Durham District in the 50's
nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sun Apr 3 17:49:10 EDT 2005
Good afternoon Mr. Edwards,
I am from Roxboro and it sounds as if we are about the same age. I remember
hearing the sounds of horns of the trains as they crossed Hwy 49 N and Depot
St just down from Downtown several times a day, especially in the late
afternoon just after school let out. I have a little information and I invite
others on the mail list to fill in the gaps or correct any mistakes.
The Employee Time Table No. 11, effective June 19, 1949 lists the following
Daily passenger trains from Lynchburg Union Station to Durham Union Station
Train #37, left Lynchburg 8:00 am, ar. Woodsdale 10:22 am, ar. Durham 11:45
Train #35, left Lynchburg 12:35 pm, ar. Woodsdale 2:59 pm, ar. Durham 4:05 pm
Daily passenger trains from Durham Union Station to Lynchburg Union Station
Train #36, left Durham 3:00 pm, ar. Woodsdale 4:06 pm, ar. Lynchburg 6:30 pm
Train #38, left Durham 5:00 pm, ar. Woodsdale 6:10 pm, ar. Lynchburg 8:45 pm
Daily scheduled freight trains
Train # 93, left Lynchburg 10:10 pm, ar. Woodsdale 3:40 am, ar. Durham 6:00
This is listed as a 3rd class daily freight.
Train # 71, left Lynchburg 8:25 am, ar. Woodsdale 1:45 pm, ar. Durham 4:45
Train # 72, left Durham 6:30 am, ar. Woodsdale 8:45 am, ar. Lynchburg 2:45
These trains are listed as 4th class local freight that ran daily except
Trains 37 and 38 were discontinued in 1950. They are absent from Time Table
No. 13, effective June 1, 1950. Woodsdale is listed as a flag stop on this
time table while on No. 11 it was still a scheduled stop.
Trains 35 and 36 last ran on August 28, 1954. This was documented in the
Roxboro paper, The Courier=Times and the Durham Morning Herald and are absent
from Time Table No. 7, effective August 29, 1954. On the following Monday,
Trains 71 and 72 were upgraded to mixed class trains by having a combine
attached to the end and selling tickets.
Trains 71 and 72 were converted back to local freight at the end 1957. I
think Dec. 31st was the last day of mixed train service as Time Table No. 13,
effective January 1, 1958 has these trains moved back to 4th class local
In December, 1959 trains 71 and 72 were renumbered 47 and 48.
I do not know when regular freight service was discontinued in the Durham
District. I am still working on that one. I know that N&W closed the Roxboro
Station on Nov. 25, 1987. The station was demolished in October of 1990.
The N&W agent in South Boston became responsible for freight in Roxboro and the
surrounding area. The track was abandoned south of Roxboro all the way to
Durham. It was torn up just south of Picks Siding and past Helena
(Timberlake). From that point on to the old Durham Belt line the track is still intact
with old mile posts and switch stands standing quietly in the woods. There is
still periodic freight service to the Camp Chemical Plant in south Roxboro.
They make fertilizer and are a receiving and shipping point for beans and
other farm products. I think they get a couple or three covered hoppers a week,
maybe more. At the edge of their property there is a sign from N&W that
says "End of Track."
In a posting some time last summer or fall it was mentioned that the writer
was on a work crew that was doing track maintenance in the Durham District.
Hopefully someone can tell us more about the condition of the rail bed.
I hope this is helpful.
Studying the Lynchburg and Durham RR
in Bahama (pronounced Bay-Hay-Ma), NC
_ces9705 at aol.com_ (mailto:ces9705 at aol.com)
In a message dated 3/30/05 5:47:00 PM Eastern Standard Time,
nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org writes:
When I was a child, mid-50's to mid-60's, my family would visit my aunt &
uncle in Woodsdale N.C. My uncle, Robert Robertson, was (among other things)
the N&W agent for Woodsdale at some point during that time. I vaguely remember
the RS-3's, but have a good memory of the RS-11's. My relatives lived just
up/over the hill from the crossing. I remember dashing out of the house &
running to the top of the hill to try to catch a glimpse of the train as it passed
the crossing. I had to be quick because there weren't any crossings north
that would alert me to an approaching train. If the wind was right I could
sometimes hear a southbound train "blow" for a crossing somewhere between
Woodsdale & Denniston. I remember the line being very active with several trains
during the day & one or two (?) at night. I remember the rails were "heavy
duty" & very shiney (child's thinking) & much better looking than the lighter
rails in my hometown of Courtland (A&D/NF&D).
Now, the station is long gone, preserved as part of a restaurant in Roxboro.
The jointed rail is still there, never having been replaced with
ribbon-rail. The ROW is weedy & the line seems to be seldom used past the Hyco & Mayo
How many trains were operated on the Durham District during the 50's - 60's
time period? What were their numbers & what times did they operate? Are there
any currently scheduled locals that work/serve customers all the way to
hedwards52 at aol.com
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