Location of former SAL Hermitage Yard in Richmond,VA

greenspun.com : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I'm currently working on a project that is located in a former railyard here in Richmond. The former yard/roundhouse were once located between and on the opposite side of the tracks from Acca Wye and Broad Street Station. Suspect this may have been the former SAL's Hermitage Yard. Can someone confirm my suspicion. Also need additional background info such as date of last operation, etc. Thanks in advance.

-- Buddy Hill (palmettoLTD@hotmail.com), December 13, 2000


Hermitage Yard actually started at what is now MP SRN 3.4 of the CSX Bellwood Subdivision, (Hermitage Road) and continued north for only about one and a quarter miles. The portion south of the Boulevard Bridge was the old running repair shop tracks, at the south end of which was a wye that could only accomodate four-axle locomotives and short cars. This portion of the yard was razed about five years ago and CSX now uses it to store damaged/destroyed MofW equipment pending disposal or repair--the "Bone Yard" it's called. The yard office (where I had my first job interview) was a two-story brick building wedged in between the north end of the Boulevard Bridge and the roundhouse lead. It, all structures, and all but four tracks were razed before I was finally hired in 1977. As for "stretching out for legroom" at the north end of Hermitage, what was probably happening was a tranfer cut being delivered to the RF&P at Acca since it was guarded by a signal that granted entrance to AY interlocking. Most of the familiar shots of the Orange Blossom behind steam were posed on #1 main at Hermitage (where the RF&P's five-track-wide signal bridge is visible in the background.) This track was taken up and the main line diverted to connect with the RF&P main line/"Thoroughfare" track just south of the Boulevard Bridge when Hermitage Yard was officially retired and the bulk of all yard work transferred to Acca or Brown Street in about 1975. For the two years I worked as a brakeman in Richmond (1977-79) before entering engine service, there was still a great deal of industrial switching/ street running on the perriffery of Hermitage, although the property itself had been sold and was being developed as an industrial park. Yard jobs from Brown Street came up the hill to work them and turned back at the conclusion of their tour of duty. To avoid vehicular traffic, most of this was done by third trick crews. By 1980, only two tracks remained at Hermitage, one to service the dwindling industries there, and the other to access Acca. Today only one track remains, and oddly enough, it has just been relaid with heavy continuous welded rail. It serves as an entrace/exit for trains enroute to C&O Fulton Yard or the Bellwood and Hopewell Subdivisions as well as an extended switching lead for yard jobs at Acca. While little more than the name remains, it's still referred to as Hermitage Yard.

-- Doug Riddell (railroaddoug@erols.com), December 16, 2000.

Greg-Thanks for confirming the location of Hermitage Yard. After reviewing old topos and aerial photos of the area here at the office, I too was struck by the "compactness" of the former facility-hence my need for confirmation. Anyway, thank you again for your assistance.

-- Buddy Hill (palmettoLTD@hotmail.com), December 13, 2000.

Bill Griffin's "All Lines North of Raleigh" has several photos and diagrams of Hermitage yard. The yard extended"approx. 3000 feet" from the Boulevard bridge overpass on the south, to the Acca Wye on the north, where R,F, &P's Acca yard began. The roundhouse, coal shute, water tank, and shops were located approx. where the Greyhound Bus station stands today.(Across Boulevard from the Richmond Brave's baseball stadium.) The text indicates that Hermitage was a somewhat small yard, and that long trains would sometimes have to use R,F,&P tracks to get sufficent 'legroom'. Not sure of the yard's demise, but folks here in Richmond indicate that most everything was gone by the early 1970's.

-- Greg Hodges (ghodges@smpsfa.com), December 13, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ