Montvale Turn

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Thu Sep 7 22:21:43 EDT 2006

The Montvale middle track was only 4380 feet. That's enough to chamber
105 cars (plus a little breathing room). I'm not aware of any auxiliary
at Montvale for the purpose of storing coal. The fair weather rating for
a Y-5 or Y-6 with a Y-5 or Y-6 pusher was 9200 tons Roanoke-Crewe. That's
about ninety-seven 70-ton loads, so I rather doubt that there were 150 -car
double-headers run to Montvale with relay coal.

Not sure when it was placed in service, but in 1954, N&W had traffic control
on both tracks between Bonsack and the crossovers WEST of the station at
Montvale. While an eastbound drag was at MP 240 filling out, it was possible
for the dispatcher, working with the operator a Bedford, to divert a
eastbound to the westward main track without incurring a delay.

I don't know what tonnage they were hauling, but in steam's final days,
a coal train would leave Shaffers Crossing with a Y-5/Y-6 ahead of the
Class A road engine. The train would pick up a Y-5/Y-6 pusher at
Boaz, which cut off after Blue Ridge. Then there's one final pimple --
Bray Hill. It starts at Opossum Creek on the Lynchburg Belt Line and
continues east through Doctor to the west end of the Phoebe passing
siding. At Phoebe, there was a wye and the Y helper would cut off and
turn back to Roanoke -- either on the Belt Line or via the Old Main Line.
Then it was the A's turn to haul the whole train.

Harry Bundy
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