danville and western in va

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looking for route map of d and w that ran from danville va to stuart va before 1942 when the track was taken up between fieldale va and stuart va

-- curtis lee eanes (trainman24078@yahoo.com), March 02, 2003


The SPV RR Atlas of N.America (Appalachian & Piedmont edition- 1997) shows the route of the D&W Ry as beginning a few miles west of Danville at a junction with the SR main called Stokesland. From this point (thru Whitfield and Berry Hill) to a fork at 'Leakesville Jct" is shown as 'active'. The 'left' fork route goes down into NC several miles to Leakesville NC....this is also shown as 'active' or at least still in place as of 1997. The 'right' fork at L'ville Jct is shown as abandoned thru Cascade, Aiken Summit, Axton, Burnt Chimmneys, to Hill Top (Martinsville area) where 'active' status is shown west to Fieldale (N&W Jct.), and of course gone from Fieldale westward thru Preston, Spencer, Craig, Patrick Springs, and finally Stuart. The portion down into NC may have once been SR sub. called Carlonia & NW Ry. Am curious as to what vestiges of D&W remain...structures, cuts. fills, etc.

-- Greg Hodges (ghodges@smpsfa.com), March 06, 2003.

If you will go to the following web site, http://www.livgenmi.com/patrickVA.htm you will see a map of the D&W line from N&W Junction (Martinsville) to Stuart. There are Links at the bottom of the page for further searches at that site. A map of Virginia would help, since you need to know the County names to get the best views from this map. Comparing this map with, say, a DeLorme atlas of Virginia, available at most major bookstores, should show you what current roads are near the old right of way.

-- Tom Underwood (tlunder@attglobal.net), March 07, 2003.

Look for any old atlas of that vintage. You can find them at flea markets, etc. They are HUGE. I have a 1950 Geographical encyclopedic Atlas of the World that measures 16"x22" and a 1910 Rand McNally that is 16"x21". These were published before highways were a major contributor to the national transportation system so they show mainly railroads, including the D&W. They even show the one that ran from Mt. Airy up to the dam on the Dan river on the other side of Stuart. You should be able to find one also at the Martinsville public library.

As to the other question, the tracks still run from Stokesland to Leaksville (now called Eden). There is a big Miller Brewing plant there and a power plant that receives coal, plus some other smaller industries. Track from Leaksville Jct to Cascade got torn up about 5 years ago, and last time I looked, tracks were still in place Eastward from Martinsville for several miles, but hard to find under the Kudzu. You can still follow the roadbed the entire distance. Email me. We have some common interests.

-- Larry Scott (lscott@pcs.k12.va.us), May 17, 2003.

I re-read what was posted and see that I did not answer all the questions. For Greg Hodges - Southern Railway could not legally purchase certain types of lines (something about their charter, I think) so they created a subsidiary called the Carolina and North Western which purchased the Danville and Western and some other lines in North Carolina (not connecting).

Does anybody have photos of equipment (locomotives, cabeese, etc.) for either the Danville & Western or the Carolina and North Western? I heard that Southern used their own green and gold RS-2s but lettered them for the C&NW. By the way, what were their reporting marks, since C&NW is already taken.

Next, for Tom Underwood - According to the maps I've seen of the line West of Fieldale, some roads are built right on top of the old right of way. I believe the rails were lost to the WWII scrap metal drive.

-- Larry Scott (lscott@pcs.k12.va.us), May 17, 2003.


This is not entirely correct. The Carolina & North-Western was a Southern Railway-controlled shortline railroad that was formed from the Chester & Lenoir Narrow Gauge after a hostile takeover by interests friendly to Southern. It was operated as a separate railroad with very little interference/oversight by the SR for half the 1900's. It was NOT created to be a subsidiary in which other lines desired for the SR could be acquired. To my knowledge, there was nothing in the SR charter which prohibited it from acquiring any line it wished, and there are plenty of examples (CNOTP, AGS, COG, on and on). This charter limitation was true of the SR's predecessor, the Richmond & Danville, and so it created the Richmond Terminal Company to do its dirty work, but that was pre-1894, and certainly not the Carolina & North-Western. In the early 1950's, the SR controlled a few other shortlines in addition to the C&N-W. The Danville & Western was one of these (which had been controlled by the SR for most of its life anyway) and ultimately, the D&W, Blue Ridge Railway, Yadkin, and High Point Randleman Asheboro & Southern were all leased, not sold, to the Carolina & North-Western. The original C&N-W became the Lenoir Division, while the others became the Martinsville, Anderson, Asheboro, and Albemarle divisions respectively.


Reporting marks for the Carolina & North-Western were C&N-W until the 30's, and then became CR&N. The C&NW, as it is called locally, had their own RS-2's, green and gold, but different from the SR in the beginning, though eventually, the green tuxedo and then black tuxedo schemes were applied. They also owned an RS-11.

For a complete history of the original Carolina & N-W (not the other leased lines), check out "The Legacy of the Carolina & North-Western Railway." You may also view history and photos at www.tarheelpress.com.

-- Matt Bumgarner (stealthnfo@aol.com), May 17, 2003.

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