Roanoke Passenger Service Returns

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Jan 21 22:12:08 EST 2014

Bruce, Harry and anyone else,
Keep in mind this is an overall plan that has several improvements, related
to and not, the Regional extension to Big Lick. The Roanoke to Altavista
clearance improvements are most likely double stacks as Harry has mentioned
just like improvements for the Crescent and Heartland Corridors. Any
Lynwood - Roanoke traffic with double stacks run through Lynchburg.
The former L&D (Lynchburg & Durham) does not go through Altavista but
connects with the former VGN east of Brookneal (Vabrook) some 20+ miles
from Altavista. The former VGN connects with the main of the former
Southern at Altavista. So the L&D would not even be considered unless
extreme conditions. Both Altavista (remember the Altavista Cut-off or
Gateway folks?) and Vabrook are backward (east-to-south) connections for
any east-to-north move. The north end of the L&D at Lynchburg does have a
Plate B OR smaller tunnel but has cleared many returning Virginia/Carolina
power plant hopper trains, NS and power company, and excursions for years.
The Vabrook to Lynchburg route is still important today keeping returning
hopper trains off the gravity rich Roanoke and east former VGN.
Charlie Long

On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 3:22 PM, NW Mailing List
<nw-mailing-list at>wrote:





> But where are "Green" and "Smothers" that will be double-tracked? What

> clearances in Altavista are being taken care of? Does this mean NS might

> use the Virginian from Roanoke to Altavista, then run up the Durham line to

> Lynchburg as an alternative route? Or just continue east on the VGN with

> stack trains like coal is run now? And what work needs to be done in

> Lynchburg? Are there plans to add a new stop at the former N&W station at

> the end of Woodall Road? A lot of work was done on the wye there before the

> service was extended to Lynchburg, to facilitate moving the train to

> Montview yard for service and to be turned. Does this involve work on the

> N&W side of the wye?


> Bruce:

> Green is one of those Southern Rwy. concocted names that identifies the

> south end of

> double track, 6.6 miles south of Altavista. Smothers, also a Southern

> identifier, is the

> north end of double track, 6.6 miles north of Chatham. In between is 9.8

> miles of

> single track. So what does that have to do with the extension of

> passenger service to

> Roanoke ? I haven't the slightest.


> Doubt there's any attempt to use the Durham District into Lynchburg --

> there's Durmid

> Tunnel that's so narrow, it won't clear some empty hoppers coming from

> Hyco/Mayo.


> From memory, there are five tunnels on the Altavista District, four of

> which are between

> Roanoke and Altavista. Stack trains ? Double stacks won't clear those

> tunnels. Maybe

> NS's intention is to have the Commonwealth enlarge the tunnels to improve

> clearance and

> run the passenger train that way. It wouldn't add but about 13 miles to

> the route. The

> only clearance problem AT Altavista on the Southern side I know of is a

> pedestrian bridge

> near the school. On the other hand, a connection to get southbound

> trains westbound

> on the former VGN would be quite a task. Maybe they have in mind

> diverting north of

> Altavista from the current main tracks to the original Southern

> right-of-way to get to Hurt

> for a connection. At Lynchburg, there *had* been talk of adding a

> station to serve

> Liberty University.



> At a VDOT meeting in Roanoke last summer, I reminded Dept. of Rail +

> Passenger

> Transportation's representative that in 1961, following the single-tracking

> between

> Forest and MP 239 (Goose Creek) N&W operated six passenger trains/day over

> the single track segment (there is a passing siding at Bedford). He

> smirked at me,

> so I guess he knew something I didn't. Harry Bundy




> ________________________________________

> NW-Mailing-List at

> To change your subscription go to


> Browse the NW-Mailing-List archives at



-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the NW-Mailing-List mailing list