Why the "B" for the Manassas to Harrisonburg line

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sun Dec 25 21:08:21 EST 2016

The Southern did things differently. I never have quite figured out how 
they came up with the letters for the lines. The main trunk line from 
Alexandria south to Atlanta doesn't have a letter. It is just called the 
'Mainline' but they have several lines that 'branch' off the mainline 
that have letters. There is the B line (Manassas-Harrisonburg) then in 
NC there is the H-Line from Greensboro to Raleigh. I know they had an 
S-line, a K-line, and a CV line. But again no clue as to how they came 
up with the designations. I sometimes suspect that if we were to look up 
how the southern was built and how many 'branches' it had that we may 
find that the southern simply, when building a new branch on the 
mainline started with A for the first branch build and then B then C 
etc. All this is conjecture. That said I do not have an factual answer 
for what the B-line is the B-line.

Back on the N&W there are a couple oddity's to the standard system. they 
handful that there is follows.

The Pulaski District begins at Walton however it continues with the 
mileage being counted from Norfolk, however it has the NB prefix. My 
educated guess is NB would mean Norfolk-Bristol

The Clinch Valley District begins at Bluefield and again just like the 
Pulaski continues with the milepost being number from Norfolk but they 
have a CV prefix for Clinch Valley.

The Dismal Creek branch begins at Dismal on the Buchanan Branch, but 
since the Buchanan Branch was numbered from Devon using the prefix D, 
the Dismal Creek branch couldn't and was therefore assigned DC for 
Dismal creek.

Lastly if one looks at the current alignment from Naugatuck to Kenova 
the new alignment is numbered from Naugatuck with a NA prefix.

On Dec 25, 2016 18:31, "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org 
<mailto:nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>> wrote:

    Great information, Nathan. Thanks, didn't really know that.

    But do we know why the "B" for the Manassas to Harrisonburg, former
    Southern Railway line, now NS? That is today's trivia quiz question.

    Bob Cohen

      1. Re: Mileposts and distances (NW Mailing List)
      Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2016 10:58:11 -0700

      I suspect the N&W did similar things where they straightened out kinks
    or eliminated sections, as in around Lynchburg when the new Beltline was
    opened in the 1913-1914 period and then the line down to Island Yard
    eliminated entirely.

    When the belt line was built the Belt Line mileposts were numbered with
    a PH prefix because it was numbered from PHoebe. Just like the
    Petersburg Belt line uses the P prefix for miles posts as it is numbered
    with Poe being the starting point, the Farmville belt had the B prefix
    as it was Numbered with Burkeville as a starting point. Just like the
    Mainline from Norfolk west is N for Norfolk, the Winston-Salem line is R
    from Roanoke, the Valley line is H from Hagerstown.

    Nathan Simmons
    trainman51 at gmail.com <mailto:trainman51 at gmail.com>
    http://www.t-51.org <http://www.t-51.org/>

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