Mileposts and distances

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Nov 22 19:18:01 EST 2016

Abe and others:

Regarding mileposts and distances - not all miles were real miles and since
I know the Pennsy did things that way, I suspect others were just as
loosey-goosey with reality. The old Pope's Creek line is one I know about
and some miles were maybe 1.3 miles between mileposts, others somewhat
less. the only distance which was fairly certain was the end point length
(I Think).

Other RR's and the B&O's mainline at Point of Rocks, MD comes quickly to
mind. There you have two sub-divisions coming together, the Old Main Line
from Baltimore and the Metropolitan from DC. Further west on that same
mainline they also did some re-engineering in the 1914 time frame with
their Magnolia Cutoff which caused them to skip a bunch of miles and
milepost numbers, not that there was an secret of it.

I suspect the N&W did similar things where they straightened out kinks or
eliminated sections, as in around Lynchburg when the new Beltline was
opened in the 1913-1914 period and then the line down to Island Yard
eliminated entirely.

Southern had the same basic issues when they both straightened and
double-tracked their mainline from Alexandria to Atlanta. Their change to
the new line which we see today vs. the old one going down to the river had
completely different alignments, hence also numbers which I know they
mentioned as "old line" or something of the sort.

To change well-known meeting points with new MP's would have really messed
up the old heads on the RR who were used to meeting at a specific spot, or
knew their grades were in a specific spot for either accelerating or

I am sure the list can go on but those are a few things I am aware of.

Jimmy Lisle and others in the operating or formerly so, department, care to
toss in your thoughts and judgments here?

Bob Cohen
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