Algren to Abilene


Note: Jeff Hawkins provides the following narrative.

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Quartermaster Junction - A5.8: This view is looking railroad east from Granby Street in Norfolk towards Sewells Point. Underneath the I-564 bridge is Quartermaster Junction. Here the track branches off and continues compass west one mile to Norfolk International Terminals. To continue straight will take you on to West Junction and right onto the main Navy Base in Norfolk. This is where the Sewells Point facility was located. It was abandoned in the early 1970's and very little trace remains. I doubt if I will ever attempt any photos on base due to post 9/11 security issues. This line was double-tracked during the Virginian era from Sewells Point to Carolina Junction. Photo by Jeff Hawkins, March 2003.

Most railfans and historians refer to the Virginian as one of the major Appalachian coal haulers. Two of my favorite segments of this railroad are the Sewells Point and Jarratt Districts of the old Norfolk Division. Sewells Point is located between West Junction and the Virginian Coal Docks, to the north of Norfolk, while the Jarrett District runs west out of Algren, through Jarratt and Abilene, and beyond.

As a result of the 1959 takeover by the N&W, the Jarratt District quickly became a redundant, parallel route with little business along the way. In time the line from Algren (V15.4) to Abilene (V141.4) was abandoned and the track removed with some of the rail not being dismantled until the early 1990s.

Thanks to Jeff Hawkins for contributing information about this route.

Thanks for your wonderful pictures and commentary. My curiosity is always aroused when I drive by an abandoned RR right of way. I will now no more about the VGN.

John R. Farnor
Richmond, VA


Hey,at the south norfolk tower to the west or east you can see a still active cantilever crossing feet from the taken-up diamond and the reason i know because i live around there.

dequante bazemore
chesapeake, VA


We gave a pictorial history of the building of the coal pier 3 to the railroad, about the time frame of 1985, engineer at Lamberts Point. The pictures were taken by W. P. Wiltsee from December 1911 To the loading of the first ship in January 1914.. He was y wife's grandfather.

William A. Blakemore
Hanover Co. , VA


Their was a railroad that went through The tracks i beleave were laid down in the mid/late 1800s to earley was a narrow guage railroad. the man who laid the tracks was from yale mass.thats how the town got it's you have a map ware the rails wer laid

sacramento, CA


The Hampton Roads Transit is turning alot of the exempt lines in Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach into high speed rail transit lines.

John Gaston
Williamsburg, VA


Are there any sections of this railroad that remain which could be used for tourism purposes i.e. say a dining car or short rail trip? If so what sections and what are the lengths of the sections that still have track in place?


Oxford, NC


Where old rail road lines have been removed

Have the track routes been left or turned into

cycle or walking lanes or what and are there still some redundant tracks still in place

Peter Jenkins
Europe and, CN


Peter, the old Virginian line from just west of Jarratt to Walters, VA has been turned over to Virginia Beach for their Lake Gaston water pipeline. The pipeline passes over the Blackwater River using the original bridge piers. I am planning a photo series from Suffolk out to Jarratt once it warms up a bit.

Rescue, VA


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Do you have any pictures or information about Algren to Abilene? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.