Emporia is a sleepy little town, about 11 miles north of the Virginia-North
Carolina border, that time has seemed to forget about.
This page is as much about history as it is for what remains today.
Today, train service in Emporia is down to CSX trains only running north and
south, as the diamond that used to be here with the Norfolk Southern was
taken out sometime soon after 2014, thankfully, after the Google Streetview cameras
had a chance to come thru.
The N/S CSX line, AKA the "A" Line, was once the Atlantic Coast Line running
south out of Richmond VA.
The former E/W line, before becoming NS, was once the Atlantic & Danville RR,
and then the Norfolk, Franklin & Danville.
Another missing site today is the interlocking tower that used to control
the junction. Not exactly sure when it disappeared, but the Carrtracks
website has it going away around 1958.
CSX has its Tropicana train coming thru, but I'm not sure if the "trash
train" comes this far south.
Amtrak Silver Service, Palmetto, and Carolinian trains pass through Emporia, but do not stop here.
The closest Amtrak station to Emporia is Petersburg (Ettrick) VA, about 20
miles north; second closest is Rocky Mount NC.
If we look at the USGS map below from 1918, the diamond was actually in
Plenty of food, gas, and hotels are located near the interstate exit on US 58.
Martin K OToole
R. W. Dawson
GPS Coordinates: 36.693108, -77.536254
400 Halifax St, Emporia, VA 23847
The depot is now home to the Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce.
If you refer to a 1964 ACL schedule, it should be noted that only the
secondary trains, Havana Special and the Palmetto, stopped here.
Former CSX/NS Diamond
GPS Coordinates: 36.695148, -77.534553
The approximate date the diamond was taken out of service is maybe around
late 2014, or 2015. In this view, you can see the foundation for the
Former Interlocking Tower
GPS Coordinates: 36.694973, -77.534533
According to the Carrtracks webpage, the tower was replaced by an automatic
interlocker in 1958.
I'm looking for additional pictures of the tower. Also looking for any other info
on the tower, like it's name, etc.
Looking north from Atlantic Avenue. Photo comes from Jeff Hawkins page
on the ACL signals. This is at ACL milepost 62.6.
Jeff Hawkins has done an amazing job at documenting the "lost" signals of
Virginia. The page referenced below covers the "A"
line signals, of which, Emporia was part of. Please make sure you
visit his page.
Since the diamond has been removed, it is doubtful that these signals are still
The next time I visit my daughter in Richmond VA, I will have to
make a field trip to check.
From the Carrtracks website comes this:
The Atlantic Coast Line added 147 signals from Richmond
to Pleasant Hill (one mile south of NC state line) on double track in
1914. Around 1958, the ACL and Atlantic & Danville replaced the
mechanical interlocking at Emporia, VA with an automatic interlocker. It
was estimated that the closing of the interlocking tower saved the railroad
a little more than $20,000 a year.
EB NS Colorlight Signal
As of 2019, I don't think this signal would still be in place, but who knows?
View is from Halifax Street.
WB NS Colorlight Signal
View is from Reese Street.
NB CSX Colorlight Signal
The view is from East Atlantic Street. The tower would have been
adjacent to the signal, on the far side of it.
Although Emporia does not sit on an Amtrak superhighway, it does see a fair number of trains.
One of those trains is the Autotrain, the SB of which comes thru around 7PM, the NB comes thru around 6AM.
I base this on 50MPH, and the fact that Emporia is ~145 miles south of
The Palmetto, Silver Star, and Silver Meteor all pass thru Emporia.
Keep in mind, that Emporia is about 40 miles south of Petersburg VA, and
about 55 miles north of Rocky Mount NC. This means the Silver Meteor
will be in the dark in both directions when it passes thru.....
Courtesy of the University of Texas Library, click here for their index page.
I love trains, and I love signals. I am not an expert. My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page. This is something I have fun with while
trying to help others.
Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.
For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented
I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.
If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct. Once in a while,
an error may creep in :-)
My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning. Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or
disoriented. Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost! I belong to AAA, which allows you to get
local maps for free when you visit the local branches. ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the
railroads on them. If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job
of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads. Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.
Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted. Screen captures are made
with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it!
By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous
and/or other stuff.
Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit
is always given! Please be NICE!!! Contact info is here
Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.