Blue Ridge

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Aug 25 13:01:56 EDT 2009

Your directions for the Blue Ridge station area will be very helpful. I
could use a little more help for the second "photographer's bridge" though.
Does the road leading to the bridge have a name? And what is Blue Ridge
Stone Corporation's landmark crushed limestone "cone" ? Is it something
quite large? Thanks.

----- Original Message -----
From: "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at>
To: "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at>
Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 10:07 PM
Subject: Blue Ridge

> Nathan:


> To get to the ex-Blue Ridge station site, take US 460 east out of Roanoke

> toward Lynchburg, or the reverse from Lynchburg west. At Blue Ridge, get

> on CR 805 south off Rte 460 (should the road have been renumbered, just

> ask locals for "old 805" that goes to the NS bridge-overpass near the

> station site) and head in about .3 mi. When in sight of the overpass,

> park along the roadside (little traveled). Walk east up a rise to the

> still-active NS tracks, just a minute or two's walk. The station site is

> east just several hundred feet from the overpass, between the mainline and

> a spur off the WB main that circled around the station on the north side.

> When I last visited the site early in this decade the spur was still

> active for stone crusher service, within sight to the east; a track still

> departed north from the station site (above-referenced curved track) to

> part of the limestone complex. The station occupied a fairly tight

> squeeze between the WB main and the curved track.



> There actually were two "photographer's bridges". The most celebrated, at

> the eastern end of a .75-mi s-curve and about .4 mi. west of the station,

> was on CR 616 about .3 mi south off Rte 460. The bridge was dismantled

> decades ago and not replaced. CR 616 ends near the bridge site, but

> you'd have to make your way through lots of thicket to reach the track. I

> actually have walked west along the track from the station site to the

> bridge site, admittedly not so prudent. But the trek evokes an epic

> story.



> The second bridge sought by photographers in N&W's steam era still stands

> (to my knowledge) just east of Buford's Gap (last and first Appalachian

> challenges for EB and WB traffic, respectively; .7 mi east of the station

> site) just east of the Blue Ridge Stone Corporation's landmark crushed

> limestone "cone" on the south side of Rte 460. Turn south off Rte 460 on

> a private road leading to the bridge, a hop and a skip away. The limestone

> "cone" will be in sight to your right.



> At Blue Ridge trackside you'll find a bounty of aging, rusting track

> hardware all over, dating back to the "glory days". Also ankle-deep

> cinder residue from the bowels of N&W's legendary fleet. Mute

> testimonials to a grand rail saga..



> The area signal tower, long gone, was at Villamont, about two miles east

> of Blue Ridge, hard by the WB main.


> Frank Gibson

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