Triple-Header steam on trestle

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Mon Jan 6 23:03:12 EST 2020



The train is traveling south, not north, from Blacksburg to Christiansburg.


Bud Jeffries


From: NW-Mailing-List <nw-mailing-list-bounces at> On Behalf Of NW Mailing List
Sent: Monday, January 6, 2020 9:39 PM
To: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>
Subject: Re: Triple-Header steam on trestle


On Mon, Jan 6, 2020, at 9:11 AM Frank wrote:

I saw this slide for sale on eBay and thought I would share it. It appears that the Virginian is crossing underneath, so I anticipate someone can identify the location. I rarely see three triple-headed steam locomotives except for railfan excursions, but this appears to be in regular service.  No date or other information provided by the seller.


As has been said, this is Merrimac. To put the specific location in perspective, the excursion is heading north, from Christiansburg toward Blacksburg. The view under the trestle is east on the Virginian, with Merrimac Tunnel not too far up the cut beyond the trestle. The stream under the small bridge is Slate Branch, which the Virginian follows along the base of Price Mountain. The road crossing is on the original right of way of the Virginia Anthracite Coal & Railway Co., which came down what eventually became the connection between the VGN and the Blacksburg Branch. The line continued up the drainage to the north. I'm still digging for details, but there was a bit of contention between the Virginian and the VAC&Ry that resulted in a court suit being filed in Montgomery County. The Virginian entered into a contract with the VAC&Ry. and agreed to pay that railroad to relocate its line to an overhead crossing of the then-under construction Virginian. Money was paid but little work was done, which held up completion of the Virginian (initially the Tidewater Railway at the time). The court ruled in favor of the Virginian and the VAC&Ry. line was eventually relocated.


Bruce in Blacksburg


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