1907 - Roanoke boasts immense Yards

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Tue Mar 20 21:47:25 EDT 2007

Roanoke Times - March 31, 1907

New N.& W. Yards Nearing Completion -- Finest yards in the South.

Friday afternoon one of The Times reportorial staff made a tour of the new
West End yards in company with Mr. Junkin, terminal master. In passing through
these new yards on a train one can form little idea of the immensity of the work
that has been done and is being done there. Not until one walks over the yards,
up one side and down the other, and has the arrangement of the yards and the
work that has been done, explained by one who is so familiar with all the
details as Mr. Junkin is -- not until then can one fully appreciate the fact
that Roanoke is to have the finest yards in the South.
The Roanoke yards are divided into what is known as the North yards, Park
yards, West yard, and the new Receiving Yards, now being built.
The North yards are east of the passenger station and north of the machine
hops. The Park yards extend from Jefferson street to the West End roundhouses.
The West yards are immediately west of the new roundhouse and extend to the West
End furnace. The new Receiving Yards extend from the furnace west, one and
a-half miles or more.
The construction work, that has been going on for fourteen months, has been
done in reconstructing the old West End yards and building the new receiving
yards. It is thought this work will be completed by the first of May. Beginning
at the roundhouses and passing west 100 yards the forwarding yards for empties
are encountered. Into the different tracks the empty cars are classified for
outgoing trains, the tracks being long enough to contain two trains of cars.
What is known as a hump will be built in the forwarding yard so that cars may be
drafted by gravity.
The West yards contain also two other forwarding yards, one fo mixed and
through freights, another for tidewater coal. These three forwarding yards lie
abreast and when the work is entirely completed, will contain thirty-six
parallel tracks. Less space is required for forwarding tidewater coal than other
trains, since the coal trains are received solid for the east and require little
distribution. The tidewater coal yard is next the eastbound track. The yard for
mixed and through freights lie between the other two forwarding yards, and is
also to have a hump similar to the one mentioned above, that the cars may be
drafted by gravity.
West of the three forwarding yards, is what is known as the ??? receiving
yards. These yards begin opposite the furnace and extend about three-quarters of
a mile beyond the entrance of the belt line, and receive all trains from the
west. The yards are sufficiently long for each track to hold four fifty-car trains.
Between the forwarding yards and the receiving yards will be located the
immense stock yards. Cattle trains from southwest Virginia will be unloaded and
the stock fed and watered before being forwarded.
The main lines are so arranged that there is no interference, the west-bound
tracks being to the extreme right and the east-bound tracks to the extreme left,
passing out.
When these new yards are completed the Roanoke yards will contain almost 200
miles of track, being for some distance thirty-six tracks wide. So much has been
added in the West End that the Rolling Mills now are the middle point of the
entire yards, including the four divisions above mentioned. When completed the
new construction will have cost about one and a half million dollars.

- Roger Link

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