The James River Bridge

Snowden, Virginia

This picture was taken in May 2004, on the CSX (former Chesapeake & Ohio) line that runs along the James River. This location (approx. 20 miles upriver from Lynchburg) is where the former C&O crossed over to the north bank of the river. The closest former station is called Major, though there wasn't much to see. The bridge at left is the abandoned rail bridge; the original piers were used and extended, and a new foot bridge was opened on the same alignment. This foot bridge is now part of the Appalachian Trail.

The new rail bridge is longer than the old one, but it resulted in a straighter rail alignment. The former rail right of way on the south river bank, for the relocated section, has been almost completely reclaimed by nature - it was difficult to tell that a rail line had been there.

The former C&O James River bridge, now a pedestrian bridge for t...
The former C&O James River bridge, now a pedestrian bridge for the Appalachian Trail. The girder bridge to the right is the replacement rail bridge. Photo by Mike Palmer, May 2004.

—  User Comments  —

I'm not sure if this line was part of the Virginia Central, but I do know that the railroad did a curve-reduction in/around 1942. On the CSX line from Staunton to Norfolk, in the Keswick area, there are still signs of the old ROW including the Keswick passenger station. The tracks were finally pulled in 1960.

Here's a good website about it.

Jeffrey Hege
Strasburg, VA