This former Norfolk and Western line originally completed in 1882 by the Shenandoah Valley Railroad. Purchased by the Norfolk and Western Railroad in 1890, it has become a main artery in the now Norfolk Southern system. The line runs north to south from Hagerstown, MD to Roanoke, VA, a distance of nearly 240 railroad miles. It is known for it’s beautiful scenery, high trestles and abundance of classic N&W color position light signals. This gallery is arranged by location from north to south.
RENCH ROAD – HAGERSTOWN, MD
H1 – VARDO YARD
Vardo yard, Hagerstown MD
ONE FOR THE ROAD
VARDO YARD, HAGERSTOWN MD
Hagerstown, MD: At the south end of Vardo Yard as 2 trains meet each other at the northern terminus of the H Line
SAINT JAMES, MD
SHARPSBURG, MD: 16T just after sunrise in the former Norfolk and Western H Line.
SAINT JAMES, MD
35Q moves high above the Potomac River on the Norfolk Southern H Line during a frigid winter sunrise.
Gliding high across a very swollen Potomac River into Maryland is Norfolk Southern train 16T with the Delaware Lackawanna scheme heritage engine in the lead.
It’s a very chilly 10 degrees at Shepherdstown, WV as 213 sits in the siding to meet the oncoming 12R. The venerable Norfolk and Western CPL signals stand guard both in the foreground and distance and have observed meetings like this many times since their initial installation on the H Line in 1923. Until the late 1950’s, the lenses were all amber in color *much like the PRR PLS* but were converted to the color lenses you see today.
RED MOON RISING, SHEPHERDSTOWN WV
The Norfolk and Western CPL at Shepherdstown, WV displays a clear indication for Norfolk Southern train 15T on the railroad’s H Line. The constellation “Orion” can be seen to the right.
ROJO EL COLOR DEL AMOR: SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV, My Spanish may be rusty, but this old Norfolk & Western CPL signal sure is. The signal is accented by lighting provided by Sean Hoyden using 2 off camera flashes behind and to the right of me in this roughly 36 second exposure.
MOON RESTRICTING: The southbound Shepherdstown, WV signal stands tall against the bright Moon in the early morning hours of Cinco De Mayo 2012.
LOOK GOOD ON THE MARKER
Front Royal, VA
THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
“213 DIVERGING APPROACH SHEPHERDSTOWN MAIN TO SIDING
GHOST TRAIN: Travel back in time as a Norfolk and Western train slowly arrives to make a station stop at Boyce, VA. Fast forward to October 2012 and witness what seems like a ghost train arriving just in time for Halloween.
The N&W Shenandoah Junction CPL Signal Bracket Mast and code line pole is silhouetted against overnight sky lit up by the Full Moon of March 2014.
A recent snow event the previous day makes for some “cool” scenes like this one looking North at the old Norfolk & western/Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Interchange Yard. The temperature at the time this was taken was holding at a steady 9 degrees on the evening of Friday January 3rd, 2014. The scene is lit by the headlights of my parked car behind me to the right, an overhead street light and in the distance, smoke from a house’s fireplace lit up by perimeter lights from the neighbors house. The interchange was used until the early 2000’s when NS switched the interchange to Hagerstown via Vardo yard and the acquisition of Conrail. It is now used for storing MoW equipment. New siding and interlocking work at Daniels and Shen are underway. The look you see here may change dramatically.
APPROACH ILLUMINATED: Shenandoah Junction, WV
A horse races the cars on the last Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus train as an onlooker from the train takes in the scenery as the “Greatest Show on Earth” heads to it’s final stop in 147 years.
These N&W CPL signals were replaced by Norfolk Southern in April 2012.
FOGGY VISIONS: The headlights of 213 illuminate the dense fog at Shenandoah Junction, WV
SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND: These signals and their sister single mast for southbound movements are not long for this world as their replacements sit 8 miles south ready to be installed. The Norfolk and Western Color Position Light northbound bracket mast signals stand tall as oncoming NS train 36Q lights up the scene and has the clear indication to proceed north.
CLEAR CHARLES TOWN: Protecting the CSX/NS diamond is this classic N&W CPL signal as a northbound NS train illuminates it and the right of way ahead in this 2 minute exposure.
DOWNTOWN BERRYVILLE: A southbound approaches downtown Berryville, VA. The signals were taken down 2 weeks after this photo was taken on Easter evening 2012.
V86 returning to Shenandoah Yard
35Q thunders over the NS/CSX diamond in Charles Town, WV on a frigid February morning in 2015.
A night time variation of a photo previously taken. Using my head lamp for accentuation.
H71, BENTONVILLE, VA
A northbound lights up the right of way as the Lady in White, the Boyce Norfolk and Western Depot stands ready to greet it. 2013 marks the buildings 100th birthday and a cookout and slideshow presentation was held earlier to celebrate.
N&W STATION – LURAY, VA
NS N&W CPL @ SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, WV: The N&W CPL Mast stands guard over the former’s now Norfolk Southern H Line. Time is running out for this and its sister dual bracket mast Seen here as NS is actively working on extending the siding to the South and install new interlocking at both Daniels and here over the course of the next few months.
CHARLES TOWN NIGHTS
SOLITUDE IN ARCADIA
NATURAL BRIDGE STATION, VA
SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, WV
The lit signals at Berryville are set against a full moon.
HOLDING AT VAUGHN
777 at BENTONVILLE, VA
CROOKED RUN TRESTLE
GOOD MORNING FROM ELLIS RUN
Norfolk Southern Allentown, PA to Birmingham, AL manifest train 15T helps create this scene at Charles Town, WV on the former Norfolk and Western Valley Line that will soon be altered. The Color Position Light Signal will soon be replaced and perhaps along with it, the code line you see to the right as NS readies the railroad for PTC implementation and signal upgrades.
A Southbound on the H Line approaches the N&W CPL signals as a vehicle passes on an adjacent road lighting up the B&O interchange tracks in the foreground.
Not many places one can photograph an N&W CPL signal, a full code line complete with wires and of course, a crossing gate. This is the case at Summit on the old Shenandoah Valley Railroad.
BUENA VISTA, V A
LURAY, VA – NORFOLK AND WESTERN
V86 AT WARREN, VA
STANLEY, VA CPLS
38Q passes by the former N&W station at Charles Town, WV in November 2012.
LURAY, VA – AGENT’S OFFICE
LADY IN WHITE: A northbound NS train disrupts the night approaching the Boyce, VA depot.
JEREMY’S RUN TRESTLE
OVERALL, VA – Along Route 340 between Front Royal and Luray, VA in the Shenandoah Valley at the Warren and Page County lines is a trestle where the former Shenandoah Valley, Norfolk and Western Valley Line crosses over Overall Run. Here at 5:30am NS 15T with an Illinois Central leader flies overhead. Lighting provided by Sean Hoyden.
Charles Town, WV
CENTRAL OF GEORGIA: My first Norfolk Southern Heritage Unit I photographed in September, 2012 at White Post, VA. The building to the left is the 1940’same N&;W freight house.
ACORN HILL AT DUSK: The peaks of Massanutten Mountain loom behind the N&W color position light signals that guard the interlocking at the south end of the Bentonville siding in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Measuring a length of 1,141 feet and 101 feet at its highest, the bridge is the 2nd longest of the Valley viaducts spanning the floor of the Shenandoah. The current structure #631 replaced its predecessor at the same location in 1918. US Route 340 parallels the structure and in 2012 was realigned closer to the bridge eliminating a very scenic open field location.
777 LEAVING SHENANDOAH
YEAGER’S LANE TRESTLE
15T reaches the summit of the grade between Front Royal and Shenandoah, VA at “Summit”: where Vaughn Summit Road crosses just north of the interlocking for the siding. on Norfolk Southern’s H Line in the Shenandoah Valley.
35Q pulls out of the new extending siding as seen from the WV Highway 9 overpass in February 2015