April 30: Morse Day and "running extra" train night at Boyce station

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Mon Apr 11 18:13:04 EDT 2011

Hello, all:

April 30 is a national observance of Samuel F. B. Morse's birthday. A Morse Telegraph Club cookout is scheduled for 1 PM. Between 11 AM and 5 PM, telegraph operators will demonstrate a wire with other "lightening slingers" around the country by communicating through a national hub via an Internet connection. Boyce station is "DK" office and Chris Hausler will be the wire chief for the day. This event will held be rain or shine inside the agent's office at the depot.

If there is a 30 percent or less chance of rain, the grill will still be hot for an extra "train night" that will continue after dark. Come and chat about northern Virginia railfanning and railroad history. You can stay as short or as long as you wish for either or both activities on April 30. If there is a higher likelihood of rain, there will not be an train night "extra."


The former N&W station in Boyce, Virginia, is at milepost H46.1. It was built in 1913 and is an example of an early "public-private partnership. Local funding amounting to $17,500 supplemented the N&W's original budget of $7,500 to make it a first-class masonry depot. An afternoon and evening picnic as well as presentations after dark will be outside.


Visitors from Front Royal, Winchester, or Berryville will come to Boyce via US Highway 340. At the blinker light, please turn east and go 300 yards to the railroad crossing on East Main Street, county route 723.


If you are coming from the east, follow Interstate 66 to exit 23, which is US Highway 17 north at Delaplane. Proceed 7.5 miles on Highway 17 through the scenic Crooked Run valley to the intersection of US Highway 50 adjacent to Paris, Virginia. Make a left onto US Highway 50, John Mosby Highway, and make the climb and descent over Ashby Gap. After crossing the Shenandoah River and going about a mile, Clarke County Route 723 turns
off on the right. The road is marked for Millwood and Boyce. It's about three miles to Millwood, then two more miles past that community to Boyce. Make a left into the parking lot adjacent to the NS Railway crossing.


The Best Western Lee-Jackson Motel is 15 minutes away and at Exit 312 along Interstate 312. That is the US Highway 50 East exit, with a plethora of other motels and eateries in sight. Most rooms range from $50 to $75 per night with some specials occasionally available. Reservations probably aren't needed if you check in prior to dark.

In the event you want to camp out on a chilly --but not too cold-- April night, there are several options. If you have a camper, it can be parked behind the station and an extension cord can be provided for an electric hook-up. If you have a tent, it can be erected south of the station in a grassy area adjacent to the station platform. There are no overnight restroom facilities available, but a Sheetz station is two miles away and is open 24 hours.


Once at the station, please park between East Main Street and the station building. I recommend that you leave your vehicle a little away from the track and not up against the north side of the station. This is just in case someone desires to take pictures of trains passing the station.


Please let me know if you will be attending and if you have material to present. The ATCS Hagerstown District is available on a computer screen inside the station to monitor train movements. The video programs will begin at dusk outside, which will be around 7:30 PM.


A digital projector and laptop will be available, as well as a screen and 35 mm slide projector (remember those?).


Here are phone numbers of importance: Prior to Saturday, please call my weekday office phone at (301) 386-8970. The phone number at the station is (540) 837-9090, which you can provide to others as an emergency point of contact.

Internet access is available for your laptop if you have a wireless card. An encryption key will be provided for logging into the network. For those without a laptop, there is a desktop computer available on a first-come, first-used basis.


Chairs and tables will also be available on a first-come, first-seated basis, so bring your own folding chair just in case you need it or if you require special seating.


There will be a limited number of complimentary hot dogs and burgers on a grill starting at both 1 PM and at 6 PM. If you'd like to bring your own or want to share side-dishes as pot-luck, please plan accordingly. A McDonalds and Sheetz Made-to-Order food stores are two miles away at the intersection of US Highways 50 and 304. A cooler with a sampling of free soft drinks will be iced. No "Rule G" infractions are allowed while on Norfolk Southern leased land. Smoking is okay outside the building.


The toilet and sink are on the ground floor in an adjoining house across the parking lot from the station, at 127 East Main Street. This is about a 100-yard walk and is on the ground floor with no steps for entry. However, the doorway is not wide enough for wheelchair passage.


Please contact me off line at f_scheer at yahoo.com instead of replying on-list. I will provide you answers within 24 hours since I check email daily but not hourly. If it is useful information for others, I'll include the information in a follow-up posting.

Hoping to see YOU, so you can relive the original "information superhighway!"



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