Maps for the Taking: NC Branch and VGN

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Thu Sep 2 13:32:09 EDT 2021

Abe,Is there anything in there about the Shenandoah Valley line?Jimmy LisleSent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
-------- Original message --------From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at> Date: 9/2/21  1:09 PM  (GMT-05:00) To: N&W Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at> Subject: Maps for the Taking:  NC Branch and VGN 
   Going on forty-five years ago, I had the good fortune to be introduced to some of the  upper-level people in the Marketing Department at Philadelphia headquarters.  With one of the fellows (we shall call him Fred,) I struck up an acquaintance and a friendship based on common railroad history interests, and we kept in contact until his retirement in 1998.  After Email came around, we kept in touch almost daily.  Why he chose me for a friend, I have never fathomed, for I was only a field-grade Trainmaster at the time, and I was light years behind him in both savvy and skills.  He even had me to his home once.
   Fred had a good library and, since our interests overlapped, when he found and bought a good railroad history book, he had one sent to me, too.  For which exemplary charity I have ever been grateful, and his generosity set an example which I have tried to follow.  (When Fred retired, he wanted a searchlight dwarf signal for his back patio.  He got it... delivered, no less, and with a suitable transformer as well.  He had enough smarts to hook it up by himself.)
   One of the books Generous Fred had shipped to me was Richard C. Carpenter's 2003 work, A Railroad Atlas of the United States in 1946, published by Johns Hopkins Press in 2003.
   I turned to the maps in Carpenter's Atlas during my recent researches on the N&W's North Carolina Branch and its Speedwell & Pacific Fast Line, and while trying to negotiate the labryanthine trackage of the N&W and Virginian in West Virginia coal territory, inscrutable to flatland foreigners like myself.
   So, in the spirit of passing on some of Fred's generosity, I have scanned and made available Carpenter's maps of those territories.  They are titled Galax, Rural Retreat, Bluefield, Iaeger, Logan and Beckley.  All are available on Google Drive, by using the following link.  (There are also some CNJ, Hazleton, Pottsville, Scranton, and Jersey City map scans there, if those foreign seaports trip your trigger...)

   -- abram burnett

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