Join us for a ride on the Abingdon Branch

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sun Aug 9 19:36:42 EDT 2015

I forgot to mention that we will send you a map and information about the
outfitters before the ride date
On Aug 9, 2015 9:19 AM, "Stewart Taylor" <steamgearhead at> wrote:

> I am sorry for not getting back to you sooner to answer your questions
> .1st we will meet at adventure Damascus outfitters at 9:30 am the shuttle
> will leave at 10:00 . We are still waiting for the art work for the
> shirts.  But they will be Tuscan with gold printing on the front it will
> have the society emblem and on the back there will be a map of the Abingdon
> branch from Whitetop station to Damascus with the saying (Putting tracks on
> the branches) I hope this helps sorry I took a while to get back to you
> Dean Taylor
> On Aug 9, 2015 8:54 AM, "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at>
> wrote:
>> I have previously asked a couple of questions about this event with no
>> response. I am interested in attending this event with some of my family,
>> however, what time this is supposed to start is a mystery as is a map of
>> where the bicycle outfitters is located. I would think whoever posted this
>> announcement could have done a much better job in order to attract more
>> people!
>> Jimmy Lisle
>> On 7/30/2015 9:28 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:
>> We are pleased to announce that the Norfolk and Western Historical
>> Society is sponsoring the first ever “Putting tracks on the branches
>> event”. Our first trip in this series will be September 19, 2015 on the
>> Norfolk and Western’s Abingdon Branch or as it is known to the rest of the
>> world The Creeper Trail.
>> The line started out in the late 1800s as the Virginia and Carolina
>> Railway to haul timber and mineral resources out of the mountains. It was
>> purchased by the Norfolk and Western Railway in 1918 and renamed the
>> Abingdon Branch. At its peak, the line ran 55 miles to West Jefferson, NC.
>> This little branch became for the N&W’s little 4-8-0 class M steam
>> locomotives which ran the end of steam in the late 1950’s. The sounds of
>> the hooter whistle went silent and were replaced by the rumble of the 567
>> EMD prime movers and five chime nathan horn. The line continued operations
>> with diesel locomotives until it was damaged by flooding in 1977.
>> If you have never biked a rails-to-trail before this is a good one to
>> start with. First, our ride will start at Whitetop station and then ride 15
>> miles to Damascus *all downhill*, so very little pedaling is needed.  We
>> will be losing almost 1200 feet in altitude, plus we will be stopping and
>> talking about the history of the line and showing the sites where O Winston
>> Link took some of his most famous photos. So there will be of chances to
>> catch your breath, but you won’t need to.
>> We will start our day at the bicycle outfitters in Damascus where we will
>> pick up our bikes and receive basic operating and safety instructions.  We
>> then will board vans for our ride up to Whitetop station where we will
>> gather to start our ride down the trail. While riding down this stretch
>> keep in mind that the 4-8-0s climbed this grade with up to 10 cars and one
>> coach.  Soon we will reach Green Cove, the place of O Winston Link’s
>> famous picture of old maude the horse bowing its head to the steam engine.
>> We will be stopping there for questions and looking though the depot. Then
>> we will ride down to the creek crossing site of another famous O Winston
>> Link photo. Keep in mind during your ride of what the engineer was seeing
>> during your ride and allow yourself to step back to the 50s. Leaving Creek
>> Junction we will ride to our next stop at Taylors Valley. From there we
>> will ride back to Damascus to return our rented bikes.
>> We are planning on the ride taking about four hours. This is a very easy
>> ride and it is going to be the first of what we hope are many more branch
>> line tours to come. And believe me if you have never done it you will love
>> it and if you have ridden this before the speakers and their knowledge will
>> give you a new love for this branch. We will have transportation at each of
>> the stopping points if you think this is too much for you to take you down
>> and someone to change tubes if needed. So plan on coming and enjoy putting
>> tracks back on the branch!
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