Shenandoah Valley line

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sun Apr 25 12:21:15 EDT 2010

Thank You, Mason! I am currently fighting this battle on another list
(VRFD, in case you wish to chime in there as well)and I am unfortunately
losing ground. I too am quite annoyed at the fact a lot of railfans keep
referring to the Hagerstown and/or Roanoke Districts as the H-Line. I
myself use Valley Line or Shenandoah Division when generalizing, it sure
beats the H-Line designation that people keep using.


Nathan Simmons
trainman51 at

On 4/24/2010 20:16, NW Mailing List wrote:

> Bob and the NW Mailing List,


> The Shenandoah Line was never called the "H" line. It was always called

> either the Hagerstown District, north of Shenandoah VA, or the Roanoke

> District, to the south. After the Norfolk Southern merger, specifically

> after Ricky Lee Gates in 1984 left some CR B30-7s standing on the mainline

> north of Baltimore in front of an Amtrak train, freight traffic was forced

> off the N.E. Corridor. NS began putting these trains westward over the

> Manassas Branch to Riverton Junction, then north to Hagerstown. The crews,

> now mostly ex-RF&P crews who have taken a buyout then gone to work for NS,

> (as the ex-SR old heads had taken the buy-out and retired), operated on

> these trains which required radio train orders on the unsignaled branch

> given by milepost. The mileposts on the Manassas branch begin with a "B".

> These radio train orders then specified a "B" milepost which differentiated

> them from trains on the old SR main to Lynchburg. The ex-RF&P crews noticed

> the "B" mileposts ended when they reached the fully signaled Hagerstown

> District at Riverton Junction, hence the necessity of copying radio train

> orders. In a sense of relief from the necessity of repeating these radio

> train orders these ex-RF&P guys began calling the Hagerstown District the

> "H" line. Of course the newbie railfans listening with their first scanner

> picked up on the "H"-line nomenclature and it spread, via the internet. It

> is my hope as a member of the NW Mailing List, that when you hear this

> termed tossed out, you will politely correct these newbies, and remind them

> that it is the Hagerstown District, and not an "H" line.


> Best,

> Mason Cooper



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