Edinburg to Mount Jackson

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  • States: Virginia   
  • Railroads: NS, SR   
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This view is at Edinburg facing northeast. The "main line" is intact but solidly rusted in this area. Note the crossing signal on the left is damaged. The siding at right has a modern road crossing, but it is no longer connected to the main line (switch points removed). Photo by Mike Palmer, August 2003.

This Norfolk Southern line (formerly Southern Railway) runs west of the Shenandoah River, and is paralleled by US Route 11 and I-81. The line is well graded and there are several high steel bridges along the route. Further east, there is another parallel Norfolk Southern (formerly Norfolk & Western) line that is now used for all through freight.

As of August, 2003 this segment is "out of service" south of Edinburg, through Bowman and Mount Jackson (and possibly further south), but the rails are still intact. All grade crossing signals are still in place at the major road crossings. The ballast is old in some areas but is well maintained in others; there are several weeds growing along some sections near Bowman.

I'm originally from Harrisonburg, VA. The former Southern Railway ran into the northside of Harrisonburg where it met the Chesapeake Western (a very small railroad which ran from Harrisonburg, over to Elkton, down to Staunton, and a branch to Bridgewater.) When the Norfolk & Western merged with the Southern, they took over the CW (except the Staunton branch). They left the tracks in place from Edinburg down to Harrisonburg in case there was an accident on the main line (old N&W), they would have another thru route to the south from Hagerstown down to Roanoke. If there was an accident (derailment), it would have to be between Elkton and points north to Hagerstown. There is no rail service between Staunton and Roanoke. Sorry I can't put dates on this info but I hope it helps clarify the situtation. I should add that the line is open from Harrisonburg up to Mount Jackson.

Ed Brantly
Prince George, VA
1/5/2009

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I havent seen a train on these tracks in over ten years. I am talking about the Strasburg portion of this track.

I always walk to the tracks, when hearimg a horn, but nothing. CSX, probably. From Stasburg Junction.

The rails on the Strasburg Juntion area are rusted over as well, unfortunately.

Jeffrey Hege
Strasburg
1/8/2010

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Mount Jackson is served from the south by train V94. Valley Fertilizer is the farthest north trains currently go, although the CW extends to Bowman. Bowman Apples hasn't received service in 20 or so years, I've been told.

Joel Spitzer
Harrisonburg, VA
5/9/2010

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The siding there is used by V94s power to run around their train. They then shove north to Valley Fertilizer. Also, the track between Bowman and Edinburg is not abaonded, just rail banked. It was used recently to store cars becuase of the recession, although they have been removed. I think the track from Strasburg down to Edinburg is out of service now too since Johns Manville shut down. NS still serves the R.R. Donnelly plant there. I don't go up that way much, but from I've seen they appear to be a fairly good customer in terns of carloads.

Joel Spitzer
Harrisonburg, VA
5/9/2010

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