SCL Extents : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I would like to include a link to the SCL from the Chessie System on my N-Scale Layout and was wondering what were the extents of the SCL in the mid 70's. This link would include a secondary Chessie main line from Southern or South-Central West Virginia and reach the SCL somewhere in NC or VA. Where would be the closest point of approach to this area? Any help on this question will be greatly appreciated.

Rick England High Point, NC An Appalachian coal-hauler on Tobacco Road

-- Rick England (, March 18, 1998


The proposed N&W North Carolina Extension was to have run from the N&W main line near Radford, VA southeast to Mt. Airy, NC to meet up with the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley RR. The latter line ran diagonally across the state to Wilmington, crossing the SAL at Sanford,NC and the ACL at Fayetteville,NC. The CF&YV was forced into bankruptcy by J.P. Morgan and divided at Sanford between Southern and the ACL. The southern half was taken up in the 1970's. The N&W line stopped at Galax, VA. This and the SRy half of the CF&YV were intact until the 1980's. You could extend the northern end of the N&W Galax Branch to Radford and crossing the New River connect with the Virginian at Whitethorne,VA. Trackage rights on the VGN to Narrows and a short water-level grade connection along the New River to Hinton, WVA would be a possible route. With the exception of the missing 30 miles across the Blue Ridge (possibly a tunnel under Fancy Gap), the Radford connector and the Narrows to Hinton connector (both latter routes covered by Applachian Power & Light hydro lakes), this Southeast route actually existed.

Another possible route would be to use the N&W's Durham Branch between the C&O's low grade James River Division at Lynchburg, VA and Durham, NC. The N&W already had rented the Roanoke, VA to Winston-Salem, NC when it also grabbed the Lynchburg & Durham line to prevent its use by the C&O for a southern outlet. The Durham & Southern RY. connected the the N&W at Durham to the SAL main line at Apex, NC and the ACL main line at Dunn, NC. All of this track was in operation in the mid 1970s. The N&W Durham Branch had many grades, causing it to be the first N&W line to be completely dieselized (1953). The D&S line has one severe grade between Apex and Durham at Carpenter that required doubling.

-- richard t. lasater (, May 10, 1999.

According to the October, 1971, Official Railway Equipment Register (which lists interchange points), the C&O and the SCL had only one direct interchange point - Richmond, VA. They did interchange in the Hampton Roads area, but it was through the Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line. The SCL had no interchange points at all with the other two components of the Chessie System - the Baltimore & Ohio and the Western Maryland. These are the facts. In your imagination, of course, you can do anything you like.

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (, March 18, 1998.

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