old train pictures

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed May 2 07:47:36 EDT 2012


N&W once had a double track main (with a few, short exceptions) from Portsmouth, Ohio to Norfolk. It was said in the 1960's that Stuart Saunders picked apart in several months what it took Racehorse Smith decades to build. The track around Pepper became single track, I believe, in the 1960's.

One of the short segments of single track on the otherwise double track mainline was the one mile or so segment from Bluff to Cowan. This was never double track because of the tunnel and bridge.

Ray Smoot

From: nw-mailing-list-bounces at nwhs.org [mailto:nw-mailing-list-bounces at nwhs.org] On Behalf Of NW Mailing List
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2012 3:00 PM
To: nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Subject: Re: old train pictures

Does anyone remember the diesel?

David L. Hall

In a message dated 5/1/2012 1:05:39 P.M. Central Daylight Time, nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org<mailto:nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org> writes:
On Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 2:36 PM, Jeff wrote:
Bruce et al -

That photo was taken at Pepper, and was shot from the Peppers Ferry Road bridge.


Jeff nailed the location with the archive photo, but opened up the floor for more questions. I buzzed down there after work on Monday to take advantage of the sun, especially shining from the west onto this location. It helped a little.

The location is just east of what was Pepper station on the Radford Division, west of Walton Junction (see http://g.co/maps/as8b5). The photo Jeff provided and the one of the J with passenger cars was taken either from or just adjacent to the VA 114 overpass across the track(s) looking back east toward Walton.

The two pictures I grabbed were from the cab of my pickup truck while sitting on the shoulder of 114, directly on the overpass. The trees have grown up both along the highway and the railroad embankment so that it would take a crew from AxMen to be able to reproduce the archive photo. Note on the one photo (Pepper1.jpg) I have marked what I believe to the the rock outcropping that is above the engines in the archive photo and what I call the rock face (the flat area of rock) further back near the signal bridge. It would take a hike or winter with no leaves to confirm this, though. But I do believe the location can be confirmed as Pepper, MP N-304.

Now, the questions: When was the westbound track removed? Did it extend all the way to Cowan or did it end at Bluff before the bridge across the New River and into Cowan Tunnel? Jeff's photo isn't dated, so that doesn't help. But that is the fun of this, one solved mystery leads to another one to solve.

Bruce in Blacksburg

See images at:

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