Relay of Virginia S line? : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Rumors are rampant hereabouts that CSX may be seriously considering relaying the old Seaboard mainline between Petersburg and was ripped up rather hastily several years ago. Just last week, a CSX track section hand confirmed to me this possibility. Can anyone who in "in the know" shed any light on the possible relaying of this old route ?

-- Greg Hodges (, September 07, 1998


I read the background report by Zak Agresto and am very hopeful about this line being reopened. I'm also familiar with the building on the ROW in McKenney as I'm a lifelong resident of the area. I have fond memories of the SAL, SCL, and Amtrak trains passing my house just a few hundred feet away from the tracks.

But who's planning what? To quote the background report "...CSX is willing to agree to a plan that will get their line back into shape..." Is CSX planning to spend dollars to rebuild the "S" line? Or are we waiting for passenger rail to kick in the big bucks with CSX providing the ROW?

It would certainly be great if CSX (and NS?) needs the additional capacity and are willing to move out. But I'm worried that without sufficient freight needs, passenger rail alone won't be enough (at least not in the short term) to get this project rolling.

According to the NCDOT Rail Website, there was a big pow wow yesterday (December 1st) in Charlotte supporting passenger rail along the "S" line, including into SC and GA. But I've yet to hear anything about this conference in the mass media. Hence at least part of my skepticism over passenger rail alone making the Virginia "S" line a go.

Bottom line: Does the post-Conrail world need the Virginia "S" line open for freight?

Finally, as an interesting aside, my records indicate the "S" line from Petersburg to Norlina was originally opened 3 June 1900. The one hundredth anniversary of this date occurs 18 months from tomorrow. Wouldn't it be great to see the line rededicated on its centennial!!!

-- Samuel W. Hayes (, December 02, 1998.

Yes, there is a building sitting dead center on the R.O.W. in McKenney, VA. It's a Butler-style building on a concrete slab - nothing a D-6 and a couple of hours wouldn't clear away!

-- Craig Zeni (, November 19, 1998.

I have heard that so far, the line has been fouled in only one place, where a building sits on the former right of way.

-- Chuck Till (, October 31, 1998.

Having contacts within the NC DOT and CSXT, along with VADOT, i have been told this. NC wants to lay the line and rebuild it to high speed railroad standards. NS adding roadrailers and CSXT there pigs. Va DOT is actually all for this. But CSXT is the one that is dragging there feet on the deal, ill have more info later. BTW i was at a NCDOT meeting with a friend, and they presented a slide show, showing the projected routes and stuff. The S-Line being abandoned was a consideration, as was the A-Line and Southern's main into WAS. The A was too busy and to single track, NS wasnt about to agree to any PAX trains, and the S-Line was th cheapest, and the most availble. So the S-Line has gained the light of NC's eye. Hope to see some action soon, belive me, ill be out there to take picture after picture!

Zak Agresto

-- Zak Agresto (, September 22, 1998.

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