Roanoke: Amtrak and creeks

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Thu Mar 21 18:03:17 EDT 2013

On Sun, Mar 3, 2013 at 9:21 AM, Ron wrote:

There is a creek that runs east from behind the coca-cola plant north of

> VMT. This creek passes under the tracks near VMT and continues under the

> streets in downtown Roanoke. It eventually makes its way to Campbell Ave on

> a route I have been unable to determine.


> There is also a spring under the Crystal Tower office building that flows

> under Campbell Ave. The Ponce De Leon hotel used to sit on the site and the

> spring was an attraction in its basement drinking establishment.


> I'm sure the railroad was aware of the culvert and factored that into

> their plans. Interesting how both NS and the Commonwealth appeared to have

> pawned the expense of upgrading the culvert off onto the City.


There is currently on eBay a set of plans from 1971 that shows the whole
area of downtown Roanoke -- mainly the N&W tracks, but buildings, streets,
utilities, etc. It is labeled "NORFOLK & WESTERN RAILWAY BLUEPRINT - PART
PLANS V-10 - VA 2 AND 3 - 1971" if this might lead to a set being found in
the archives. Along Norfolk Ave. is shown "12' Brk Drain, Plan 3555" which
appears to be the culvert in question. It is just outside the southernmost
track in the area of the of the passenger station. Because of the way the
plans are chopped up for display (Size is approx. 55" x 11". DUE TO SIZE
PHOTOS DO NOT SHOW ALL OF ITEM) it is difficult to tell if this culvert
extends where the passenger service will be, but I'll take a chance and
suggest it is. Depending on when it was built, it could be that it will
take quite a bit of work to convert it from something that is OK for street
traffic to something that will support trains.

Bruce in Blacksburg
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