Cresting the Eastern Continental Divide at
2,072 feet, Alleghany, Virginia is the second highest point of elevation (North Mountain being the highest at 2,082
feet) on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. From here to Virginia's Tidewater region, via the James River and Rivanna Subdivisions
(the "James River Line") it is essentially all downhill.
Despite its remote location, Alleghany was an exceptionally busy and exciting place to be during the age of steam. As many as 36 trains passed through
or stopped at Alleghany Station each day including the C&O's famed passenger trains, the George Washington, Fast Flying Virginian, and Sportsman.
Sandwiched amongst this traffic were several locals and numerous freight manifests. C&O's magnificent Allegheny H-8
locomotives led an eastward parade of coal extras bound for Newport News, meeting
an equal number of empty hoppers being returned to the mines of West Virginia.
Alleghany's function was to
facilitate the smooth and uninterrupted flow of all this traffic. The "A" Cabin operator was responsible for the railroad between Lake's Tunnel to the east of
Lewis, and Tuckahoe (West Virginia) just to the west of Alleghany. The two mainline tracks, two passing tracks,
and the interlockings represented in these modules spanned a distance of 1.5 miles between Alleghany and Lewis Tunnels.