Pasquale Codella

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Wed Dec 7 23:29:45 EST 2005


Between spring 1906 and April 1908, the Norfolk & Western Railway
constructed a "low grade line" around the City of Lynchburg between
the towns of Forest and Concord, VA. This formed a bypass around some
steep grades along the original main line going into and out of
Lynchburg. The new line was placed in service April 6, 1908.

Construction technology at the time relied on steam shovels and small
rail cars which ran on flimsy temporary tracks to move large amounts
of dirt needed to create a gentle grade along the new line. The
temporary tracks would have to be moved frequently as the
construction progressed to areas where the dirt was being dug up
(cut) to where it was being dumped out (fill). Where the line crossed
over a low lying area, the railroad would "fill" the space with dirt
to bring the ground up to the desired grade.

The railroads hire workers to do an endless variety of tasks, such as
building and running locomotives, taking tickets, and sending telegraphs.

Ron Davis

>Date: Sun, 4 Dec 2005 16:09:33 -0800 (PST)

>To: Moderator <list-moderator at>


>Thank you for replying so promptly... The information I have is as

>follows...:and we are talking about the 1910's/1920's... Actually, I

>am not sure of the date.


>"He (Pasquale Codella) worked at laying track on the Old Million

>Dollar Railroad from Washington to Great Falls; it was on this job

>that he learned how to lay track, switches, etc., information which

>ws to come in vvery handy latero n. When that work was completed

>James Codell (his American name) went on a new construction job

>laying track for a narrow gauge railroad in Lynchburg, Virginia,

>handling material from steam shovel to the dump, making the fill for

>the Norfolk and Western Railroad on its main line from Roanoke to

>Lynchburg. Before a year had passed on this job, Codell was

>superintendent in charge of the work, and he kept the job of

>superintendent until the work was finish ed fifteen months later. "


>1) I do not know the date when the Old Million Dollar Railroad was

>laid...but according to the informaiton I received, it was before

>this Norfolk and Railroad R.R. Perhpas this person expanded the

>already constructed Norfolk and Western... IN which case, what time

>period would this be?


>2) Also....what else would a railroad worker learn besides "laying

>tracks and switches..."?


>3) what does "making the fill for the Norfolk and Western Railroad" mean?


>Thank you... Leo

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