Kingston Branch at Christiansburg

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Fri Nov 3 13:20:56 EDT 2017

> I don't think I've ever heard of the branch going to Floyd.

​There were plans to go to Floyd, but I believe it was the Radford Southern
that was making those plans. They got as far as the Little River where it
meets the New River and that line eventually came to the N&W. It served the
quarry at the river junction and was part of the construction of Claytor

> I remember seeing some Valuation Maps showing it abandoned not much past
> the Southern States and the oil distributor across Route 11 there. I know
> both got cars on occasion, and I suspect the stockyard would have cars once
> in a while as well, but as Ray says, the crossing was paved over last year
> or so.
> My recollection is that the Val maps showed the line running out to a mine
> at the end of the 3.68 miles, memory says it was a lead mine. But it never
> went any further, and I suspect that any kind of trace of the line is
> virtually gone with development today. The line kind of turned south, after
> the recent end of track. The only reference I can find right now on Google
> Maps is a "Kingston Court" in Christiansburg, who'd location sort of fits
> what I recall from the val map.
> ​If one knows where to look on the Montgomery County GIS map, there are
some anomolies that may indicate where the line went south of I-81. It did
go to a mine in ​the rolling hills south of Christiansburg, between S.
Franklin St. and Riner Road. Google maps shows a Kingston Hollow but I
don't believe the line made it that far. I would have to dig to find the
details, but I believe the mine was an arsenic mine.

There are some maps relating to the branch in GOB East.

> The Kingston Branch was also the way that the Blacksburg Branch was
> accessed before the direct connection to the main line was built, probably
> in the 1960s. Trains travelled up the Kingston Branch for less than a mile,
> then switched over to the Blacksburg Branch and went over the main line on
> a bridge (which was removed when the direct connection was put in).
> ​As Ray says, this is how the Virginia Anthracite Coal & Railway Company
moved from behind the Christiansburg station to its line to Merrimac and
Blacksburg. The company paid a rental fee to the N&W for use of a portion
of the branch. There was a bridge across Crab Creek in the hollow next to
the tracks to reach the ridge on the other side. There is still a trace of
the bench around the nose of the bluff where the tracks went to reach the
trestle across the N&W main line. Traces of the former right of way can be
seen on Google maps at the end of Montgomery St., left over from when, as
Ray says, the line was moved to connect directly with the westbound main.
One of the maps that Joe Shaw found in GOB East showed a plan (never
completed) with a sweeping S-curve that would have cut into the bluff on
the south side of Depot Street then tied into the Crab Creek crossing to
eliminate the switchback move to access the branch (by that time, under N&W
ownership following the bankruptcy of the VAC&Ry Co.).

The attached grab from Google maps shows the hollow and a best-guess
approximation of where the branch might have run.
Bruce in Blacksburg (who has research into this branch already on his radar)

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