Altavista is an incorporated town in Campbell County, Virginia, United States. The population was 3,450 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Lynchburg Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The new Town of Altavista was created in 1905 during the construction of the east-west Tidewater Railway between Giles County (on the border with West Virginia) and Sewell's Point in what was at the time Norfolk County. Planned by Campbell County native William Nelson Page and financier and industrialist Henry Huttleston Rogers, the Tidewater Railway was combined with the Deepwater Railway in West Virginia to form the new Virginian Railway in 1907. Although it was a common carrier and offered limited passenger service until 1956, the main purpose of the Virginian Railway was to haul bituminous coal from the mountains to coal piers on the ice-free harbor of Hampton Roads.
Lane Brothers Construction Company was the contractor for constructing 32 miles (51 km) of the Tidewater Railway, including its crossing of the existing north-south Southern Railway in Campbell County. Three Lane brothers purchased 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) of land near the point where the railroads would intersect, and had civil engineers lay out a new town with streets and lots, complete with water, sewer, telephone service, and electric lines. Settlement was encouraged by the awarding of free lots. Named for the Lane family farm in Albemarle County, the new Town of Altavista was incorporated in 1912.