Koehler, VA

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue Dec 9 13:23:10 EST 2008

On Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 11:35 AM, Kenneth wrote:

> I asked this on the Southern list, but somehow forgot to ask here.


> I'm looking for information regarding the track arrangement at Koehler, VA,

> where the Danville & Western and N&W interchanged. This is just west of

> Martinsville, VA


> I have a 1912 station list for the D&W, which indicates that the N&W went

> under the D&W, but also lists for the same location "grade crossing, track

> connection." Does that mean that there was a connection, a diamond, or

> both? Does anyone have any idea what the track arrangement was for Koehler

> in the '40s or '50s?

MapTech and its historical map collection is your friend. Start at

For the 1924 view of Koehler and Fieldale, see

The D&W comes down Jones Creek from the east to Beaver Creek, then follows
that waterway to go under the N&W at Koehler on the Smith River. The D&W takes
a sharp right to come parallel with the N&W. There may have been a connection
with the N&W there. It appears that the N&W was double-tracked or had a main
and siding at Koehler; there is another siding just north of where the
lines diverge.

The D&W and N&W run parallel to each other to the north, then the D&W curves
to the left to cross the highway and river while the N&W curves to the right to
continue to follow the river. The D&W crosses Bassett Branch Creek and follows
that waterway on west. Just before crossing the creek, there is a reverse switch
for a line that runs into Fieldale. That line has several tracks and appears to
serve several buildings; there is even a switchback to reach a building at a
higher elevation.

According to the 1984 7.5-minute Martinsville quad, the line from the east
was still in existance, tagged as a "Southern" line. The configuration is
still pretty much the same, although the line ends just across the bridge
over the creek, apparently allowing enough room to switch to the line into
Fieldale. The line off the switchback is gone, but it looks like there is a road
on the old roadbed. The N&W shows just a stub siding in Koehler instead of
a through track.

Bruce in Blacksburg

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