Stone Arch South of Staunton

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Oct 2 09:34:53 EDT 2007

It's still possible to follow the cuts and fills of this line that never was along Peters Creek Road in Roanoke, but it's getting harder as more development occurs in the area.

Sam Putney

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From: NW Mailing List
To: nw-mailing-list at
Sent: Sunday, September 30, 2007 9:15 PM
Subject: Re: Stone Arch South of Staunton

The stone arch you have observed is the marvelous remnant of the B&O's Valley Railroad that once extended from Harrisonburg to Lexington. It was supposed to go to Salem but the Shenandoah Valley Railroad beat them to the punch . The line from Staunton to Lexington was abandoned in the early 40's when the Chesapeake Western in Harrisonburg bought the Valley Railroad. They paid for their purchase with the sale of the scrap steel between Staunton and Lexington. I remember C. G. Price once telling me (or it is in his book about the CW) that the CW's purchase of the Valley RR saved the scrap steel from going to Japan where it would have been turned into bombs sent back on our troops in WWII.

You can see the right of way paralleling I81 between the arch bridge in question and Fairfield. It always gives me goose bumps seeing that right of way, trying to imagine a train traversing the landscape. There are quite a few arches, culverts, piers and excavations in the landscape south of Lexington as well. The work was started but never completed. John Hildebrand has written a marvelous history of both the Valley RR and the Shenandoah Valley RR titled Iron Horses in the Valley. I don't see it listed in the Commissary so I don't know if it is still available. It is worth looking for if you are interested in the subject and will direct you with maps to more locations along the Valley RR.

David Ray

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Today's Topics:

1. Stone Arched Trestle (NW Mailing List)
From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>
To: "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at>
Date: Sat, 29 Sep 2007 23:26:44 -0400
Subject: Stone Arched Trestle

It is most likely old and boring news to you longtime railfans but when traveling south from Staunton, VA on Interstate-81 I've noticed what appears to be an old (possibly narrow gauge) stone arched trestle on the west side of I-81S, just a mile or so south of the I-64/I-81 interchange. Letting my imagination run wild I can also see what might be old roadbed segments and possibly other railroad-related structures, such as heavy stone culverts and trackside stone foundations, in the hillsides and farm fields west of the highway.

Could these really be old railroad remains? I've read about a Shenandoah Valley Railroad line( *) that extended from Staunton south and then west into West Virginia. I believe it may have been abandoned when more useful connections were made from Stauntonsouth toward Roanoke via routes through Stuarts Draft.
(*) I think there may have been several early railroads that either actually had that name or were generally know by that name.

Can anyone give me a history lesson about the trestle and the railroad it belonged to? Is there a good reference source for studying the history of these early and now abandoned lines? Are there any other remains and structures that might still be visible?

Thanks, Bob Brown
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