Blue Ridge

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Wed Aug 26 21:18:03 EDT 2009

Just west of the summit on US 460 find Colonial Road on the left.
(About 200 feet past the route 805 turnoff mentioned earlier.)

A short distance up the road is a park with two ball fields. Park in
the gravel lot and walk to the far side of the park and through the
woods to view the tracks.

Back on Colonial Road, continue past the park to Blue Ridge Springs
Road (Rt 616) and turn left. The road ends where the photographer's
bridge once stood.

Much of the land to the west of this point has grown up with trees,
plus losing the vantage point of the bridge makes seeing the 1950's
view of the original curve difficult.

You can see an aerial view at,-79.805224&spn=0.013114,0.027874&t=h&z=16

For you GPS hounds, the coordinates are North 37-deg 22-min
20-sec West 79-deg 48-min 19-sec (37.37222853570164
latitude -79.80522394180298 longitude)

The coordinates for the second bridge are North 37-deg 23-min
10-sec West 79-deg 47-min 37-sec (37.386114890337346
latitude -79.79362070560455 longitude)

Aerial view of second (east) bridge at,-79.792843&spn=0.013111,0.027874&z=16

Stepping Stone Rd crosses the bridge.

Ron Davis

At 03:45 PM 8/26/2009, you wrote:



>The Google satellite image for the Blue Ridge area gives a very

>clear view of the bridge you have described. It shows a small

>private bridge very near to a gravel yard along the tracks. Using

>the satellite view as a guide this bridge should be easy to get to.

>Thanks for your help. I always enjoy learning new information about the N&W.


>----- Original Message ----- From: "NW Mailing List"

><nw-mailing-list at>

>To: "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at>

>Sent: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 11:14 PM

>Subject: Re: Blue Ridge



>>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 still there.

>>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.


>>Frank Gibson



>>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>

>>>To: "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at>

>>>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>

>>>>>To: "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at>

>>>>>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 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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>>>>Nathan Simmons

>>>>trainman51 at





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