When the first train arrived in Jackson's River Station July 10th, 1857, the western terminus of the Virginia Central consisted of little more than a refueling station for wood-burning steam engines and a station house for employees and passengers. However, by the middle of the 1940's, the rail yard beyond provided work for nearly 2,000 employees. It is estimated that as many as 1,400 workers per day utilized these stairs and elevator to enter and exit the rail yard. Shift changes even necessitated the use of a traffic light to ensure safety. Alas, the 1950's saw the shift towards diesel locomotives and with it the shifting of CSX repair shop away from the town. The tunnels and elevator were finally closed in 1987 after many decades of faithful service, marking the end of an era. The years saw the town and the railroad grow together, and today Clifton Forge takes great pride in its founding role in the nation's rail system.