"Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon
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Sun Apr 11 13:41:31 EDT 2010
Thank you, Jim, for setting the record straight regarding the Powhatan
Arrow's stops. I now consider myself properly informed! That's one of the
things I enjoy most about the discussions of this group.
How fortunate you were to have the opportunity to ride the N&W back and
forth during your college days. I was just an infant when N&W ceded its
remaining passenger operations to Amtrak, so I could only fantasize about
riding the N&W from Norfolk to Blacksburg when I was a student at Tech.
I'm not sure where I got the notion that the Arrow stopped only at Roanoke
between Norfolk and Cincinnati. Perhaps I was getting facts confused with
Roanoke being where the J's on point were changed out for service. There
was some really good discussion on that topic on this list a few weeks ago.
If you don't mind sharing further, what were the stops of the Powhatan Arrow
between Roanoke and Cincinnati? [Bluefield (apparently) .Williamson?
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Subject: Re: "Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon
Well, no. The Powhatan Arrow stopped in Farmville (as did all other
passenger trains). I know, because I used to ride it from Bluefield when
going back to college at Hampden-Sydney. The only other possibility might
have been troop trains, as they would have no need to stop at Farmville.
However, it becomes a matter of traffic density, so they probably would have
been routed through Farmville as well.
As for intermediate stops between Norfok and Roanoke, the Powhatan Arrow
also stopped at Petersburg and Lynchburg.
There's about a mile of thick, thick swamp separating the N&W line from the
VGN and SAL lines in the vicinity of Algren; there's absolutely no way to
see the N&W from the VGN other along there.
I would be interested to know if there were any instances of N&W passenger
trains bypassing Farmville on the belt line. I believe, as you indicate,
that passenger traffic was typically routed over the old "High Bridge" line
through Farmville, and the belt line, with its more favorable grades was
used mainly for heavier tonnage. Nevertheless, since the Powhatan Arrow did
not make any intermediate stops between Norfolk and Roanoke, I would suppose
routing it over the belt line around Farmville would not pose a problem for
What was the Powhatan Arrow doing there? It ran on the old main line through
Farmville. Jim Nichols
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