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Harrisonburg area lines

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NS Chesapeake Western Lines


NS Virginia Network
Typical traffic and volume
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The Harrisonburg cluster of lines includes the former Chesapeake Western line between Elkton (connection here with the Shenandoah Valley line) and Harrisonburg, as well as part of the south end of the former Southern branch which ran between Manassas and Harrisonburg. The ex-Southern branch is operated by the Virginia Division between Bowman and Harrisonburg. The former Chesapeake Western line to Staunton is operated as part as a collection of industries at Pleasant Valley, just south of Harrisonburg. The line is out of service between Edinburg and Bowman, although NS has left the rail intact, supposedly as an emergency detour for the Valley line. North of Edinburg, the line is served by a Manassas-based local E95. The southern extremity of the Staunton, beyond Pleasant Valley, is now operated by the Shenandoah Valley. The Harrisonburg lines also include a short segment of the ex-Chesapeake Western between Harrisonburg and Dayton. At one time this line extended to Stokesville, at the foot of Great North Mountain. See the Chesapeake Western History Page for more details.

There are no signals on these lines. Movements are governed by track warrants. Grades are quite stiff between Harrisonburg and Elkton, in places reaching 2%.

Typical traffic and volume

Several locals which work out of Harrisonburg. These include V92, which goes on duty at 0500 Sunday through Friday and works the line north to Mount Jackson. Most of the traffic consists of feed grain for the poultry industry, which is quite strong in the Shenandoah Valley. A lumber mill at Bowman also receives service. V93 goes on duty at 0500 Sunday through Friday and performs local switching within the yard limits of Harrisonburg. It also executes interchange service with the Shenandoah Valley at Pleasant Valley, just outside Harrisonburg. At the end of the shift, in the mid-afternoon, the V93 crew assembles an outbound train, V94. The V94 crew comes on duty at 1500, taking the train over the Chesapeake Western line to the connection with the "Valley" at Elkton. From Elkton V94 heads north to Shenandoah Yard. This train turns at Shenandoah and heads back to Harrisonburg with the same crew. V94 usually has a hefty consist and warrants three or more units. On occasion, sometimes as often as three times per week, extra grain trains head from Shenandoah Yard to Harrisonburg. These usually operate in the morning to avoid interference with V94.

The CW is operated as a separate entity within Norfolk Southern. The lines are dispatched from an office in Harrisonburg.

The above information was provided by Vic Stone.


Norfolk Southern
Chesapeake Western Railroad

Elkton to Dayton--Westward
0.0ElktonNS Valley Line
11.1Penn Laird
21.3Pleasant Hill
Harrisonburg to Mt. Jackson--Northward
93.0New Market
88.8Shenandoah Caverns
86.0Mt. Jackson
*Miles from Manassas
(line is out-of-service but in place
between Bowman and Edinburg)
Harrisonburg to Staunton--Southward
4.7Pleasant ValleySVRR

Listening in

Road and Dispatcher Channel   161.250 AAR Channel 76
End of Train devices          161.115	AAR Channel 67 
CW dispatcher, Harrisonburg
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Page last updated October 18, 1997. A special thanks to Vic Stone for his assistance with this page.
Copyright 1996, 1997 by Paul A. Wilson. All rights reserved.