acl milepost lettering/numbers : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

ACL mileposts were numbered based on the mileage location from the James River bridge in Richmond and of course after the 1967 merger the letter 'A' was added to identify old ACL lines as such. My question is: How did the ACL go about assigning the letter part of the milepost number? Example: the old New Bern branchhad the letters 'CB' And of course, after the merger became 'ACB'. What would the CB have stood for? I also know that on the back of each post there was a letter and number stamped in concrete. This indicated the letter for the letter of the station from which the line ran and the number of miles from that station. Example: the town of Pollocksville where I live, the milepost was CB 317 (this was painted on the front of the post in black lettering. On the back stamped in concrete was the letter/number W72 (I believe that was the number). Anyway, just trying to find out about the letter/number plan on the front side of the milpost. Also, I believe the milpost and whistlepost style used at the time of the merger was begun in the 1940's. Were wooden type posts not used prior to? Thanks, David Smith

-- david raymond smith, jr (, April 30, 2000


If my memory hasn't failed me, the pre-1940's ACL whistle posts consisted of a squared post of heartwood pine measuring approximately 5 inches wide on each side. The top of the post was not flat but tapered from each side to a low point. Based on the few remaining paint flecks, it was painted white & black just like the concrete posts.

-- Buddy Hill (, May 01, 2000.

The ACL line letters didn't stand for anything, but rather designated branches off the mainline in alphabetical order, starting at the north end. Then, branches off those branches were sequenced alphabetically with a second letter. I don't have a map in front of me, so I'm going by memory, but the first branch off the main (which itself had no letter designation) was the one at Pender, NC - so it was the "A" line. Then branches off the "A" line were AA, AB, AC, etc. The second branch off the main was the Rocky Mount-Pinners Point line, which was the "B" line. Branches from the "B" line were then BA, BB, BC, etc. And so on south.

The numbers cast into the back of the mileposts were the either the numbers used by the predecessor line, or else the mileage from the junction from which the line originated. The "W" in your example could have stood for W&W, or the Wilmington & Weldon. The milepost preserved at the Wilmington RR Museum has W1 on the back.

I'm interested in other examples anyone can post of the numbers cast into the back of these mileposts. The painted line numbers that the mileposts used to have on the front faces are available in ACL station list booklets or employee timetables. They are also shown with the postmerger designations (another "A" added in front) in the SCL "List of Stations and Interchange Junctions" reprint the Society sells for $20 plus s/h.

It's my information also that the concrete mileposts and whistleposts came into use in the 1940s, but I don't know what style posts preceded them.

-- Larry Goolsby (, May 01, 2000.

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