The Abingdon Branch of the Norfolk & Western Railway was nicknamed the “Virginia Creeper”, likely for the train’s slow speed through this mountainous region or as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Virginia Creeper Vine, a common woody vine throughout the southern Appalachian Mountains. Initially chartered in 1887, little construction occurred until reorganized in 1898 as the Virginia-Carolina Railway. In 1900, the railroad provided service from Abingdon to Damascus, to Whitetop Station by 1913, and to present day Todd, NC by 1915. The last train ran March 31, 1977. Today the “Virginia Creeper” is a 34-mile National Recreation Trail from Abingdon SE to the NC state line, just past Whitetop Station. Open year round, the trail is considered one of the most scenic in eastern North America.