WWII Traffic Tidbits

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue Jan 31 16:44:49 EST 2023

Here is another Arsenal item that references the Virginian. The spur line
came off the VGN just west of New River (or Pepper) Tunnel and angled down
the hillside into the plant.

Bruce in Blacksburg

*Radford News Journal*, 13 March 1941, pg. 1

*Landslide Halts Virginian Traffic*

Rocks and Dirt Cover Tracks Three Miles West of Radford Powder Works

A quick thaw Monday, following the freezing temperatures of last week, was
believed by officials of the Virginian railway, to have caused the
loosening of a thousand tons of rock and dirt which tumbled across the main
lines of the Virginian railway three miles west of the Radford Ordnance
works at 12:45 Monday afternoon. Work was immediately started to remove the
barrier and train service was resumed yesterday afternoon.

The landslide blocked the tracks for 150 feet in a narrow cut halfway
between Whitethorne and the powder plant. Two rocks, estimated to weigh 300
tons each, came to rest on the tracks and had to be removed by dynamite.

Work crews totaling 40 men were immediately dispatched to the scene from
Elmore, W. Va., and Roanoke after the Virginian company had been notified
by the Norfolk and Western and powder plant officials. Freight and
passenger trains were rerouted around the slide over N. and W. tracks
between Salem and Ripplemead or Potts Valley junction while the tracks were
being cleared. The slide occurred about 30 minutes after one freight train
had passed and more than two hours before another train was due.

The Virginian completed its spur line Monday to the ordnance works, the
spur leaving the main line about one mile from where the slide occurred.
Since most of the material shipped to the plant comes from the east through
Roanoke, the slide did not curtail the delivery of material to the plant.
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