ACL's Pigs Point Branch-Norfolk District : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

A 1939 ACL Employee Time Table makes mention of a Pigs Point Branch somewhere on the Norfolk District. Does anyone have any specific information on this branch such as location, dates of operation, length, structures, type of freight, etc.? Thanks.

-- Buddy Hill (, December 06, 2000


Where did the NF&D interchange with the Pig Point Branch ? I don't believe it did. NF&D crossed the Pig Point Branch at Churchland between Churchland Blvd. and Lilac Road. No interchange track is shown on the NF&D track chart. After A&D became the NF&D, N&W moved the base of operations to Suffolk to avoid paying trackage between Boone and Pinners Point. Any interchange for ACL,SAL, or SCL was accomplished at Suffolk OR ferried to Norfolk on N&W trains to be interchanged via the Belt Line. During the surge of export coal during the 70's (50 plus ships in queue at Hampton Roads to take coal at Lamberts Point) there was a proposal to build a coal pier at West Norfolk on the NF&D, but this never materialized.

-- Harry Bundy (, April 18, 2001.

In response to some of the questions posted, there is an interesting bit of information on the former Frederick Military Academy Alumni web site at The page makes no mention of railways but there is rather detailed information as to the types of munitions handled at the old "Pig Point". Hope you find this interesting. Does anyone know if that area had tunnels? A person told me that he remembered walking between college dorms via tunnels though I find this hard to accept due to the closeness of the river and high water table. - FMA Webmaster

-- Richard W. Abrams (, April 17, 2001.

NF&D was formed by N&W to take over the old Atlantic & Danville when N&W acquired that line by forclosure in 1962, and NF&D was controlled by N&W from the time of its creation until it merged with N&W in 1983. N&W used NF&D as well as its own locos on the line until about 1980, so videos showing NF&D locos would be from the N&W period. By the way, where did the NF&D interchange with the Pigs Point Branch and what were they delivering?

-- Bill Nelson (, February 26, 2001.

I have video of the SCL local working this branch. I believe the job went on duty at the GE plant which it worked before taking its train to Suffolk, Virginia. At the time I shot the Video, the SCL was involved in a six month motor power exchange with either the N&W or the NF&D. I cannot be certain which railroad the agreement was with because I can't remember when the N&W took over the NF&D and the locomotive in my video is the NF&D Alco #2. Also, at the time of the video, Virginia still required a caboose on trains. At Bruce and at College Park the crew would preform a "pull and run" to place the caboose on the rear of the train.

-- Van Welton (, February 24, 2001.

Sorry, but I forgot to mention that (this conjucture) the oil cars sent from FL on the AN were probably going to the fuel depot at Craney Island VA. If so this was NOT the place we are discussing.

-- Tommy Arthur (, December 11, 2000.

The tracks used to go through the campus out on the water on a pier (formerly munitons depot mentioned before). They loaded or unloaded ships/barges there. There was also a spur to a cement plant close to the GE plant. The GE plant was adjacent to the college campus. There were numerous tracks inside the campus(depot) compound. They are still digging up shells there.

-- Tommy Arthur (, December 11, 2000.

Tidewater Community College is located on the site of a large US Army ammunition depot. Richard Prince, in his Central of Georgia Ry book, mentions that many tank cars of fuel were loaded at Port St. Joe on the Appalachicola Northern RR for the US Govt. Fuel Depot at Churchland, VA during early WWII. This should have been on the Pig Point Branch.

-- Richard Lasater (, December 08, 2000.

Doug - What years did you work the Pigs Point Branch? How far did the branch extend at that time? Marford? Where was the GE plant(Can you give street name coordinates?) How was the branch worked, part of a longer local run, or just to GE and back? May we assume that the truck farm produce shipments had dried up by this time? Thanks for your help.

-- Tom Underwood (, December 07, 2000.

We used to go up there and work the GE plant until they closed it. It was a hot freight customer.

-- Doug Riddell (, December 07, 2000.

Buddy - About all I can give you is the location of the ACL's Pigs Point Branch. If you have a Virginia highway map with an enlargement of Tidewater, or an ADC Tidewater Atlas, start here: Pig's Point is the land on the east bank of the mouth of the Nansemond River where the Tidewater Community College(Frederick Campus) is located, west of I-664(the Newport News-Portsmouth bridge). The track started about a block & a half from waters edge and ran southeast paralleling Wellner Drive to the north. It then turned south, then SE again and crossed the current I-664 just below Exit 8. From here it ran ESE to the north end of Tyre Neck Road where it swung south, paralleling that Road on the east side to "Bruce", the junction with the ACL mainline, a half mile west of the ACL bridge over the West Branch of the Elizabeth River. This location information probably came from a US Topo map which I copied into the ADC Atlas. I do not know what freight traffic there was, but suspect that it may have been coal to the college, though the branch may predate the school. It may have been truckfarm produce in earlier years. We need more input on this one.

-- Tom Underwood (, December 06, 2000.

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