N&W and Southern crossing in Walnut Cove, NC

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed Mar 1 09:14:15 EST 2006

The crossing with the Southern still shows up on the Shenandoah Div. track
chart 01/01/1982. There were two tracks that paralleled N&W on the west
side - one crossed NC 65 and one didn't. These were apparently the
interchange tracks. At one time (in the 20's), mallet engines were banned
on the interchange tracks, but by the 40's, there's no longer a restriction

Over the years, the interlocking changed. In the 20's, there was an
operator-leverman at Walnut Cover 24/7. Position lights came to N&W
in the 30's on the Hagerstown end of the Shenandoah Division, so
apparently the crossing was protected by semaphores before position
lights. In the 50's, the operator was on duty 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM Monday-
Saturday, and on Sunday, only until No.11 departed. Probably some idea
of how the interlocking worked can be found in Southern's Winston-Salem
Division Timetable 93 10/30/61 - a Southern train arriving at the crossing
when no operator was on duty would receive a stop signal. To proceed
across thru the interlocking, the cabinet on the signal mast would have to
be unlocked and a button pushed. If the interlocking failed to clear, he'
have to talk with the dispatcher. The Winston District was TC'ed circa
1971 and the crossing become automatic -- first come first served without
regard to class, tonnage, and no preferential treatment for either railroad.

About 1971, there was a collision at Walnut Cove. A Roanoke-bound
train was stopped at the crossing and a cab lite rear-ended it.

Interchange ? I don't know. Perhaps an occasional car of brick from]
Madison Brick Company.
Harry Bundy

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