Track Name versus Letter identifier for NS/N&W Tracks...

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Fri Dec 30 21:09:27 EST 2016

Track Name versus Letter identifier for NS.../N&W/Southern/CW and more...Tracks...

Not sure about Transportation but from the Engineering side of things, Line ID's (Letter) are very much used for Track identification the Letter identifier is very much integrated in what is done everyday and with work directly with Engineering. While I personally didn't start with the Railroad till 2008 The "H-Line" has been the "H-Line" ever since I've been producing reports and providing audits on the various lines, yes some people know it's called the "Valley" but looking at the entire system we have to stick to the Letter ID followed by the Division ID as we have to consider the entire system not just one former line like N&W, Southern and so on. System wide there are redundant Line Letter IDs on all the Divisions so we have to be carful when referring to Letter ID's as well to insure everyone knows what division is being referred to.

As one Example:

If I say "B-Line" am I talking about the line from Front Royal to Manassas... B-Line on the Piedmont Div. or...

the former NKP line from Bay Village (Cleveland) to Hobart near Calumet... B-Line on the Lake Div. or...

the Line from Pamplin to Burkeville...B-Line on the Virginia Div.?

Local or "Historic" names are not used. The "Valley" on the N&W may cause confusion with a "Valley" on what used to be another line that is now part of NS. Now for localized operation I can see local folks on one district referring to their little portion of the railroad by none standard or "historic" names which may work when not having to take the rest of the system into consideration but as far as the big picture that will not work, let alone using just the Line Letter ID alone as the example shows, the Letter ID with Division ID must be used together to properly identify a specific location point on NS. While some may blame it on "Railfans" for the letter ID's it might just be that the railroad has been doing it for quite some time and it's just now that more are hearing about it since it's now more important than ever for proper operations and organization given the former N&W as well as other absorbed lines are parts of a bigger picture.

Below is an example of what I was provided to do my job with when starting out and this is/was the info for only one of the 11 divisions at that time.

See data below based on the Virginia Division Track chart before the Virginia & Pocahontas Divisions were combined, which when they were combined recently did require some line ID (Letter) Changes.

(Data below is as of 2008 Virginia Division Track Chart)

While your conversation may refer to former N&W operations only (Pre-NS) if so disregard my input, my comments above were provided to show that the Line ID's are used on the Railroad and in some departments very important and for quite some time.

Thank you



Location to Location,                   Line Letter ID        MP to MP,             District

Lamberts Point - Bridge 5            LP                           0.00 - 5.10             Norfolk

Bridge 5 - Poe                                N                             1.23 - 77.81           Norfolk

Poe - Jack                                        P                             0.00 - 8.86             Norfolk Petersburg Belt

Poe - Petersburg - Jack                N                             77.81 - 88.31         Norfolk

Petersburg - Hopewell                CP                            0.38 - 9.86             Norfolk City Point Branch

Jack - Crewe                                   N                             88.31 - 128.89      Norfolk

Crewe - Burkeville                         N                            128.89 - 133.40     Blue Ridge

Burkeville - Pamplin                      B                             0.00 - 36.90           Blue Ridge Farmville Belt

Pamplin - Concord                        N                             169.10 - 189.87    Blue Ridge

Halsey - Forest                              N                             207.65 - 214.52     Blue Ridge Halsey Spur

Concord - Forest                          PH                           0.00 - 22.36            Blue Ridge Lynchburg Belt

Forest - Roanoke                          N                             214.52 - 257.40     Blue Ridge

Roanoke - Walton                        N                            257.40 - 297.63      Christiansburg

Salem - Lakeside                           S                             0.00 - 2.80              Christiansburg Catawba Branch

Christiansburg - Corning Glass   CA                           0.50 - 4.75              Christiansburg Blacksburg Branch

Walton - East Bluefield                 N                           301.85 - 360.30      Christiansburg

Abilene - Roanoke                         V                            141.39 - 243.10      Altavista

Vinton - Demuth                            VC                          0.00 - 1.53              Blue Ridge Tinker Creek Conn

Salem Connection                          SX                          0.00 - 1.75              Christiansburg Salem Connection

Glenvar Crossover                         GX                          0.00 - 0.28              Christiansburg Glenvar Crossover

Roanoke - Narrows                        V                            243.10 - 316.86     Whitethorne

Ironto - Bradshaw                          BS                          0.00 - 4.92              Whitethorne Bradshaw Spur

Potts Valley - Kerns                        PV                         0.00 - 4.70              Whitethorne Potts Valley Branch

Walton - Bristol                              NB                         297.63 - 408.38      Pulaski

Radford - Forest Avenue              RB                          0.00 - 1.77               Pulaski Radford Branch

Hagerstown (CP Town)                 HW                       73.70 - 74.80            Hagerstown Sec.

Hagerstown - Shenandoah           H                           0.63 - 106.68            Hagerstown

Shenandoah - Roanoke                 H                           106.68 - 239.28        Roanoke

Hagerstown - Williamsport          HW                        74.80 - 80.34            Williamsport I. T.

Cloverdale - Lone Star                   C                            0.00 - 8.88                 Roanoke Cloverdale Branch

Roanoke - Belt Line Jct.                W                            0.00 - 2.31                 Winston-Salem

W. Roanoke - Winston Salem       R                            3.36 - 126.58            Winston-Salem

W. Salem - S. Winston Salem       WS                         0.58 - 4.70                 Winston-Salem

Martinsville - Fieldale                    DW                        41.50 - 47.20             Winston-Salem Hill Top Branch

Junction - Duke Power                  BC                           0.00 - 4.10                 Winston-Salem Belews Creek Spur

Kinney Yard - Picks                          L                             0.00 - 85.87               Durham

South Boston - Clover                     F                            31.00 - 47.40             Durham Clover Spur

Mayo Jct. - Mayo Creek                 M                           0.00 - 4.01                  Durham Mayo Creek Spur

Hyco Jct. - Hyco                               HY                          0.00 - 7.55                  Durham Hyco Spur

Suffolk - Lawrenceville                   FD                          16.50 - 95.20             Franklin

Burkeville - West Point                   F                            84.80 - 179.00           Richmond

Elkton - Dayton                               EB                           0.00 - 23.00               Chesapeake & Western

Bowman - Harrisonburg                CW                         84.00 - 111.85          Chesapeake & Western

Harrisonburg - Pleasant Valley     HS                          0.00 - 5.00                 Chesapeake & Western

Tidewater Jct- West Jct.                 A                            0.00 - 7.24                  Norfolk Terminal Sewells Pt. Branch

Tidewater Jct- Algren                      V                            2.30 - 15.40                Norfolk Terminal South Branch

Park Avenue - Tidewater                VB                          0.12 - 1.75                  Norfolk Terminal S. Beach Route

Norfolk - Chesapeake                      NS                          0.00 - 4.00                 Albermarle


In my opinion anybody who used the "H-Line" term should be dragged behind
a track sweeper.

The above quote just made my day!

We be out!


Dittos Jimmy!

Jeff Sanders-Roanoke Terminal


Working on the Roanoke Dist., I had never heard of it being referred to
as the "H" line until I heard from you railfans!

Jimmy Lisle

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