June 25, 2012 Travis Dewitz

The passenger station in Prince, West Virginia is unmistakable in its design. The station seems to standout from its surroundings while at the same time fitting in. The view is surprising when you first come around the curve into Prince and see the station for the first time. The Art Deco styled passenger train station was built-in Prince, West Virgina in 1946. The station was commissioned by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway and designed by architectural firm Garfield, Harris, Robinson, & Schafer. There has been a station at this location since 1880. The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway is now part of the CSX Railroad system while the station is serviced by Amtrak. The Prince passenger station serves the Beckley area as Prince is a small unincorporated town. Prince is located along the New River in the New River Gorge on highway 41. The New River Gorge area was in the heart of the coal boom in the early 1900’s and a lot of coal still passes through this region today.The community’s founder, William Prince, became involved in the coal business in the 1890s and the land of the town was owned by the Prince family, which is why the town never grew or expanded during the period of the coal boom. The Amtrak Cardinal is the train that serves the station twice a day on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday, one in each direction as train #50 and #51, between Chicago and New York.

The New River Gorge area of West Virginia is absolutely breath-taking and can easily draw someone in. The gorge is the deepest river gorge in the Appalachian Mountains ranging at around a 1,000 feet deep. The gorge is also part of the National Park System as are parts of Prince. I fell in love with this area of West Virginia including the small towns  of Thurmond and Prince. The Amtrak station in Prince is a one of a kind gem on the Amtrak system.


Click here to see more of my railroad photography and information.

I would love for you to see more of my photo series from West Virginia below.

Abandoned Coalwood High School

New River Gorge

Coal in McDowell County – Part 1

Coal in McDowell County – Part 2

Coal in McDowell County – Part 3

Coal in McDowell County – Part 4

Arson Destroyed Coal Company Store

Abandoned Switchback High School

Travis Dewitz

I. Love. Photography. I love it. It lightens my heart, fills my soul, and allows me to capture life the way that I see it. I constantly yearn to show life in a way that hasn’t been seen before, to bring images to people in a fresh and innovative way. My favorite focus in photography, my specialty I guess you would say, is Railroad Photography & Art. Something about the rumbling of these great, big, beautiful machines. The way they shake the earth beneath you as they rumble by, how they invade your chest and you can feel the rumble inside you. The plumes of heat on a hot day represented in a heat wave. Snaking through a western valley, void of trees or any other distracting element. Just the train, by itself, in it’s own inexplicable beauty and power. From the time I was a child, they have captured my imagination. I’ve recently gotten into portraiture a bit, and I want to bring some of my experiences with trains to that arena. To capture the power of a person, the sadness, loneliness, omniscience, pride, love, & carefree spirit in a way that hasn’t been done before. I want people to look at themselves in a photograph I have taken, and see a side of themselves that they think no one else has ever seen. Dewitz Photography is all about capturing a moment in a way that has never been seen before, capturing a beauty that some never knew was even there.

Comments (18)

  1. Mike Matejka

    very well done — thank you for sharing. I especially like the photo of the platform sign with the blurred coal train.

  2. Steve Eshom

    Nice documentary of Prince. I agree with your assessment, Prince is quite a gem! I think your photos did a great job of capturing it. I think my favorite is the interior photo of the the Chessie cat logo on the floor shot from the low angle. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Eric S Baker

    I love everything trains. This set of photographs has inspired me to go to Prince WV and see this place for myself. Your photography is high caliber and your choice of angles and shutter speeds is appropriate for all I’ve seen here. Kudos!

  4. Cynthia Fore Miller

    A really cool photo shoot of a cool train station……check it out.

  5. Eric S Baker

    Classic, timeless and all about train travel in a most beautiful part of the world.

  6. Gene Butler

    Thanks for sharing the pictures of Prince train station. Very nice station and great pictures. Hope to see it myself one of these days.

  7. Larry Eastwood

    Travis: Beautiful album. There isn’t much down in that hollow – I’ve been there both chasing trains as well as riding the Cardinal. I think the only other substantial building is the Post Office – there used to be a rather rundown convenience store there but it’s gone. A nice quiet place to enjoy trains rolling by.

  8. Larry Eastwood

    Travis: Beautiful album. There isn’t much down in that hollow – I’ve been there both chasing trains as well as riding the Cardinal. I think the only other substantial building is the Post Office – there used to be a rather rundown convenience store there but it’s gone. A nice quiet place to enjoy trains rolling by.

  9. Suzanne Cook

    Growing up in southern West Virginia in the 50’s and 60’s was wonderful. One of my best memories as a child was the adventure to Prince and riding the train to D.C. with my Grandmother at the age of 10! I was in awe of the train station! What an adventure for a 10 yr old! My parents rode Amtrak to the west coast in the late 90’s and on their way back to West Virginia stopped in Rock Springs, Wyoming where I picked them up to spend time with me at my home in Cody, Wyoming. Thank you for the pictures and article on the Prince Station!

  10. Ron Vezzani

    Hey Travis, I follow your work down here in Pittsburgh. The coal series is some pretty nice stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Anonymous

    I spent the first thru third grades at Quinnimont Elementary School and lived in Prince. That would have been in the mid to late 1940s. I remember the new train station with Chessie the cat representing the C & O Railroad. Growing up in Prince during that time was magical for my friends and I since we got to go swimming in the New River which was across the highway and over the hill from our home. The kids weren’t aware of how hard the times were nor that we had just gone thru a horrendous war. I do remember my uncle from Beaver coming to get us and taking us back to Beaver for a celebration when the war ended. We rode a truck across the toll bridge and over the mountain riding in the back of a stake bed truck and thought it was wonderful. I left on a train from Prince when I was shipped to Korea in 1960 and still love the Deco station everytime I go back there. Great memories of a little WV town.

  12. Bob Williams

    Thank you very much. Excellent photography!

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