NW Mailing List
nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue Aug 25 23:14:04 EDT 2009
I lived in the area 60 years ago, and infrequently am back. Sam's
report is useful, and news to me.
So this should do the trick: from the highest point on Rte 460 (the
east-west artery) at Blue Ridge, head east toward Lynchburg. Coming up
almost immediately to the right (south) is the yard where the crushed
rock "cone" under the end of the conveyor belt from the limestone quarry
used to be. It sounds from Nathan like some sort of remnant Stone Corp
facility remains on the site. If you can gain access to the yard, drive
in to the back as far as you can go. The yard used to extend to a cut
where the N&W tracks ran. Facing the now-NS track, off to the left just
a few hundred feet away the bridge is visible, assuming the bridge is
In the alternative, keep heading east beyond the Stone Corp, and just
500-1000 feet down the road is a turnoff to the right (south), which
takes you to the bridge. I remember it as a private road (never knew
the name) serving a cluster of homes south of the trackage. Some
magnificent shots were taken from the bridge, to the west, of head-end
power on the curve just beyond Buford's Gap (the line between Bedford
and Botetourt Counties), and to the east, of EB and WB trains on the
mains and even of just-released pushers from Boaz and Irving on the
middle track ending just within sight and extending 1.6 mi (c. 1950)
back to Villamont on the eastern slope.
NW Mailing List wrote:
> Since the stone conveyor that used to go under the highway was removed
> a couple of years ago, I think the "stone cone" landmark is no
> longer there.
> Sam Putney
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "NW Mailing List"
> <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
> To: "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 2:50 PM
> Subject: Re: Blue Ridge
>> I was in the area not long ago and couldn't find the Station or the
>> First photographers Bridge. But I think I found the Second. If I am
>> not mistakes it is across the street to the Stone Corp. Headquarters?
>> can any one confirm this for both myself and Mike.
>> NW Mailing List wrote:
>>> 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 nwhs.org>
>>> To: "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
>>> Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 10:07 PM
>>> Subject: Blue Ridge
>>>> 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
>>>> 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
>>>> NW-Mailing-List at nwhs.org
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>> Nathan Simmons
>> trainman51 at gmail.com
>> NW-Mailing-List at nwhs.org
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