The Ashland Accommodation Train (aka “Blakey’s Train”)
The Ashland Accommodation train ran between Richmond and Ashland with stops along the way from the antebellum years to 1928. Its most famous crew consisted of Fireman J.W. Bush, Flagman Percy Taylor, Engineer Harry T. Perdue, and Captain Charles G. Blakey.
It used the Ashland Wye at the corner of Railroad Avenue and England Street to turn around. Commuters, school children and shoppers used the Accommodation.
Captain Blakey was the conductor of the Ashland Accommodation from 1885 to 1928. He was conductor for so long, in fact, that the train was known as “Blakey’s Train.”
Walter Lee Cross remembered that right about the time he and his friend Tweet Smith finished their paper route at the southern end of the tracks, Blakey’s train would be coming into Ashland.
Blakey would stop the train, pick up the boys and drop them off in front of Cross Brothers Market. After the service was discontinued, a bus provided transportation to Richmond, but in time that too was discontinued.
Source: “Ashland, Ashland: The Story of a Turn-of-the-Century Railroad Town” by Rosanne Groat Shalf
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