Norfolk Division questions

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Jul 10 10:28:44 EDT 2007

The Old Main Line (through Farmville) and the Belt Line
(through Virso and Abilene) were in effect double track,
although separated by miles. It wasn't cast in concrete, but as
a rule of thumb, the passenger trains traveled the Old Main Line
through Farmville, so did westbound freights, but eastbound freight
traffic from the Blue Ridge District and coal traffic off the former VGN
at Abilene used the Belt Line. The flow of traffic Pamplin - Abilene -
Burkeville was predominately east.

There had been a 9296-foot passing siding at Maloney, 7 miles east
of Pamplin and 9 miles west of Abilene, but it was taken out in the
60's. With the additional flow of westbound traffic resulting from
the abandonment of the Old Main Line, NS decided NOT to restore
Maloney reasoning there'd be no time saved in staging meets there.

Louis Newton had been assigned at Crewe and he recalled an incident
where eastbound traffic had to be diverted from the Belt Line to the
Old line. There was no Traffic Control on the Old Main Line, so a
train order was issued for No. 99 to meet No. 92's symbol at Prospect,
an 8,340 foot passing siding. It wasn't discovered until both trains
arrived at the meeting point that each had more cars than the siding
would accommodate, resulting in a time-consuming "saw-by".

Harry Bundy

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