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Monongahela River Railroad Company

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The Monongahela River Railroad Company was incorporated by J. N. Camden and others (1), on Oct. 8, 1888, for the purpose of building a railroad from Clarksburg, running along the West Fork of the Monongahela River to Fairmont, WV.

On January 24, 1889, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad guaranteed $700,000 of first mortgage bonds on the Monongahela River Railroad, and agreed to provide Camden's railroad with a favorable rate for coal shipped over the B&O's line.

Work began on the railroad in 1889, and on July 15, 1890, the company completed work on its rail lines between Fairmont and Clarksburg. The entire line was opened for traffic on Aug. 1, 1890. On May 14, 1895 the Monongahela River Railroad acquired the Monongah Coal and Coke Company.

On March 31, 1900, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company acquired control of the Monongahela River Railroad, with Johnson N. Camden retaining his position as president of line. The B&O thereafter operating the line as its Monongahela River Branch.

The Monongahela River Railroad opened rich coal fields along its route, especially contributing to the success of the large plants of the Consolidated Coal Company which produced an enormous tonnage of coal and coke during the early decades of the Twentieth Century. It supplied coal for both eastern and western markets -- and also for local use in Upshur and Lewis counties. The rail line gave a more direct route for passenger traffic from Clarksburg to Wheeling, WV, and stimulated the construction of the line from Morgantown to Uniontown, PA by which a continous direct connection was secured with Pittsburg -- in each case superseding the elbow routes via Parkersburg or Grafton.

(1) The original incorporators of the Monongahela River Railroad Company were Johnson N. Camden, Baldwin D. Spilman, V. B. Archer of Parkersburg; Edward W. Clark, Jr., and Sabin W. Colton, Jr., of Philadelphia.