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611 Excursion: The Pocahontas


  • Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 1:00pm-6:00pm

LOCATION: Virginia Museum of Transportation - 303 Norfolk Avenue, SW


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611 Excursion: The Pocahontas

Ride from Roanoke to Walton on this 84-mile afternoon roundtrip.

We leave westbound, and on the left immediately see the Virginia Museum of Transportation—Virginia’s official transportation museum. Pass through the 58-track Roanoke yard of Norfolk Southern, and, on the left, reach the large engine terminal known as Shaffer’s Crossing. We then pass the Norfolk Southern material yard on the left, and Steel Dynamics on the right—America’s finest continuous pour steel mill ever built.

We go through the City of Salem paralleling the former Virginian Railway which was built to carry the coal from West Virginia. After passing Elliston, Virginia and going under the Virginian Railway bridge, begin your ascent of the famed Christiansburg grade. Pass through Shawsville on our curving line to the crest at Cambria (now known as Christiansburg). As we climb the Appalachian Mountains to an elevation of 2,050 feet, take in the picturesque view along the South Fork of the Roanoke River.

Our journey will also take us through the twin-bore Montgomery Tunnel which has a raised roof to allow double-stack container trains to pass through. After reaching the summit of the Appalachians at Christiansburg, our route will follow Crab Creek down to the New River. See remnants of the original grade constructed by the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad prior to the Civil War. You will see the New River while the train backs through the junction at Walton for the return trip.

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