Image of the C&O for Progress monogram A graphic image of the words C&O Piedmont Subdivision

Friends, one of the questions that I’ve asked myself over the years is why I and many others build models. A few years ago it occurred to me that, as a research psychologist, I know how to go about answering that question. If you’d be willing to help me out, I have a survey online at If you, too are a model builder and could spare about 30 minutes to complete the survey, I’d really appreciate it.


C&O Milepost 97.0


Station Number: 97
Code Number: 0146

Ashcake was located where the C&O mainline crossed Ashcake Road. The road received its name from a phenomenon that occurred along its length in Hanover County. Farmers transported huge hogsheads of tobacco along the road. The gray mud of the road piled up in front of the massive rolls of tobacco until they finally flopped over into large cake-shaped piles. When dry, these piles looked like ash cakes, hence the name.

A new depot building was built at Ashcake in November of 1923. In November of 1928, the station at Ashcake was converted from an agency station to a non-agency station. According to the 1937 Side Track Record, Ashcake had a 1092' team track (track number 823) across from the station. That track was retired in December, 1942. In August of 1943 the station building was removed and replaced with a standard shelter shed. That shed was still shown on the C&O track charts in 1963. It was removed in 1964.

Trivia: On September 4, 1884 a freight train ran off the tracks at Ashcake. Ten cars piled up and blocked the road nearly the whole night.


Ashcake Station This is the C&O depot in Ashcake circa 1920. (Photo from the collection of Thomas W. Dixon, Jr. Used with permission.)

This is the C&O’s shelter from Ashcake as it exists today. The shelter was moved to a location about ½ mile from its original location. Many thanks to Jack Bruce, who emailed me about the existence of the shelter and gave me excellent directions to its location. (November 2001 photo)

This is the original site of the C&O’s Ashcake shelter. (November 2001 photo)


These maps were prepared from U.S.G.S. topological maps, C&O track charts dated 1963, C&O Side Track Records dated 1937, a copy of the Side Track Records updated through the 1990’s, and C&O Valuation maps, also updated through the 1990’s.


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