— User Comments —
The best I can tell, highway 32 from Suffolk to Edenton is built on the old grede. There is no evidence of other grades seen from Google Satellite.
I don't see a record of the abandoned passenger line that ran from Norfolk to Atlantic Avenue at Va Beach oceanfront. Got a good look at an old depot bldg on Ft Story, and a photo of an old section of track on the base.
Route 32 runs close by but, isn't built on the old roadbed. You can follow the old ROW on Google maps by looking at the "satellite" view from south of downtown Suffolk to a junction with the still active southern end of the line in NC east of Winton NC near Tunis landing. The bridge across the Chowon River sound has been removed. Most of it can be easily picked out of the Sat photo.
Thanks very much for your feedback. Since I made these entries, I have done just as you suggest and found the grade showing up marginally from space. I can follow it most of the way to Edenton. One great confirmation I get is by Googling "Historic Topo Maps" and looking at the area (Perry-Castaneda site is good). It clearly shows that line, and a few others long gone. The old Virginia line shows up going west, as well as a couple lumber rails going north to the James River. And I never realized the Dismal Swamp was totally riddled with lumber rails back in the day.
And regarding the rails through Va Beach, I have found plenty of topo records of those. Going thru Fort Story, down Atlantic Ave, and a line going to the far south town of Munden.
Regarding this NS line to Edenton, there was a spur line to Elizabeth City as shown in a NC Topo map of 1926. If you look in Google Satellite at highway 32 where Sandy Cross Rd intersects (no towns nearby), and look just a little north of that, you will see the junction. It is discernable some of the way to Elizabeth City.
Sniffed around Suffolk a while back, was up there for the wife's family reunion. If you follow the R.O.W. southwest from Suffolk, there is an odd looking place just to the northeast of Whaleyville. It looks like there was a wye, that connected with another wye. Anyone know what this could have been?
Regarding the strange wye near Whaleyville, there is one clearly visible on Google Satellite adjacent to Cypress Chapel Road where it intersects US 13. You can follow it as it meanders west and eventually to the main Southern rail going into the east side of Franklin. This spur can't be very old, since it has not eroded into invisibility. I don't have a topo map late enough to show it, but will likely find one soon, since USGS has topo maps from the last 50 years.
A 1967 topo map shows the Seaboard Coast Line operating that line (from Whaleyville aka Nurney) to Franklin. I think it was abandoned in 1970.
Oops - Nurney is a whistle stop north of Whaleyville, so not the same.
I hadn't even noticed the ROW going to Franklin, until you mentioned it. Found these topo's, from 1918, they don't show that line.
Will have top sniff around some more.
Just found the USGS topo site has improved dramatically. You can pull down a dozen different maps for any selected area in the US, and save to your hard drive, all at NO COST.
So, for the mysterious rail at Whaleyville, a topo map from 1953 clearly shows a Seaboard Coast Line spur (in another map called a "lumber rail") going all the way to Franklin. In still another map, an abandoned attachment to that line is shown south of Franklin, going to a couple different places southward ending near the NC border.
I am excited to begin pulling down more of those maps and get much more info than I have had before.
I don't work for, nor do I receive any gratuities from MyTopo; formerly called Maptech. Yes, you can get free maps from USGS online, but the mapping software from MyTopo is superior in every way. Yes, it costs $$$, but if you are serious about anything outdoors, spend the money and get yourself some superb mapping software from MyTopo.
If you piggy-back MyTopo mapping software with Goggle Earth, you will have a great set of tools to enhance any outdoor experience. For example, whether you hunt or are a photographer, you can use your GPS TRACK feature, to record meandering game trails, then go home, and load that game trail onto your mapping software, and print updated topographic maps, at any scale you desire.
The introduction to MyTopo mapping software does not cover nearly as much as you can do with that program. Once you get the software and become familiar with the basics, you'll be using it all of the time.
I'm a retired trucker that thinks the best places are the hardest places to get to. MyTopo software is the best deal going, especially when combined with a GPS and/or Goggle Earth.
Looking for old rail grades, old civil war forts, hunting, fishing, geology, camping.....a limitless number of ways you can use MyTopo software.
Mike P. of Nashville, and Leyland of Co., I think the junction you are wondering about is Whaley Station, just east of what was the town of Whaleyville (now part of Suffolk). The ACL (later SCL) line coming up from Rocky Mount, N.C. that ran through Gates County, N.C. (where I grew up) ran through Whaley Station and on into Suffolk. There was another line that crosses U.S. 13 and I think that line ran from either Whaley or Nurney Station west toward Franklin, where there is a big paper mill. Those lines were abandoned back in the 1970s or 1980s (not sure if SCL still owned them then or NS). I grew up in Gates, N.C. on the line running from Rocky Mount to Suffolk.
Leyland, found this on the USGS's site, from 1953. Shows the line complete. Thanks for the info on their site, full of gorgeous maps. And Dana Hill, are you old enough to remember when the line through Gates was in use? Just wondering when it was taken out of service and when was the bridge over the Chowan River removed. I foresee an expedition to see what, if any traces of it can be found. At least a portion of the line is being used.
Forgot the link. http://ngmdb.usgs.gov/img4/ht_icons/Browse/VA/VA_Norfolk_707500_1953_250000.jpg
No problem, and thanks, Mike, for the great map. It reveals a lot, even well after some of these lines have been abandoned. Its large area coverage is also a plus.
Thanks, Dana, for confirming the line to Franklin. My Google Earth is better resolution that ever, so I can easily follow these old lines out to many places.
Here in Colorado, there are a couple abandonments that occurred around 1880, and I can follow them both in Google Earth out across the plains.