Durbin’s Historic Railroads
In its heyday, Durbin was a bustling town where people strolled the streets and patronized the many shops. Passenger and freight service on the line boomed, and agency stations and flag stops sprouted up all along the line.There were so many stops in the early days the saying was “a train had to backup in order to have whistling distance for the next station.”
By the 1920’s, the logging boom was over, the mills were closing and passenger service on the line was reduced to a crawl. Freight service continued to thrive due to a 1923 agreement between the C&O and Western Maryland Railroad for the interchange of rail cars at Durbin. Traffic passing through Durbin was so steady at one time there were eight employees at the Durbin Depot.
The line experienced another boom during World War II when gas rationing curtailed automobile travel. However, following the war passenger travel declined dramatically. Passenger service on the Greenbrier Branch was terminated on January 8, 1958. Freight service continued for almost 21 more years, and the last freight train rolled the rails on December 28, 1978.
For the next quarter century the train whistles were quiet in Durbin. In1996, the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad incorporated to bring back rail excursion service to Durbin. The new owners, John and Kathy Smith, avid rail devotees, began to make repairs on the line.
Eventually, all was made ready and operations commenced.Today, rail fans both young and old flock to Durbin to ride the trains back into history.