This chase map covers the area between Salem and Christiansburg Virginia. Exit wise off of Interstate 81, it covers from exit 118 at Christiansburg, to exit 137
in Salem, just three miles shy of I581 that takes you into the downtown area of Roanoke. We're going to start at the north end, at Diuguids Road in Salem, and work
our way south.
The two (formerly) competing lines of the Virginian and the Norfolk & Western intertwine for a few miles south of Salem, and then go off in their separate directions
to get to the coal fields. For the most part, the N&W tracks are easier to follow.
Both Christiansburg and Salem have depots still standing, see this map for the location of the one in Christiansburg. The Salem depot is shown on the Salem
map. Next to the depot in Christiansburg, there is a small maintenance yard as seen in the photos.
This map is a big improvement over the earlier B&W version which I originally did about 20 years ago.
The 2 satellite photos are from Google maps, which used to have the best coverage for the area, BUT, Bing Maps, which I used to prefer, finally did birds eye views
of the stretch between Salem and Christiansburg around 2008 (with their recent (2018) changes who knows what they look like today, if they even have birds eye views
anymore for this area).
This is probably the best spot in Salem to wait for trains, as both lines are within feet of each other.
About 1200 feet south of here is a double crossover with signals in both directions.
The double track is the ex Norfolk & Western tracks, the single track ex Virginian.
The signals south of Diuguids Lane, green arrow points to the southern set of signals.
The north signals.
The south signals.
A Bunch of Bridges
There's four bridges here, but they are difficult to access. The Virginian crosses the N&W here.
Wouldn't you have loved to have seen the VGN electrics pulling freights thru here!
Signals and the North End of a VGN Passing Siding
US 11 passes over the ex Virginian right-of-way in the
middle of a passing siding. Both ends of the siding are signaled with
N&W CPL's. Where there are two tracks, the signals are on bracket post
installations. On the north end of the siding, a few feet to the east,
is a signaled N&W double crossover.
The SB signal going into the north end of the passing
siding..... not accessable.
A NB freight approaches the bracket post signals where it
will soon be going back into single track territory as seen in the picture
Caught in the Act!..... Both tracks and both sets of
signals, with the N&W track on the right. A train is using one of the
Signals and the South End of the VGN Passing Siding
Signals at the south end of the passing siding, the
bracket post mounted signals are at the yellow arrow.
A close-up view of the above picture.
Grade Crossing Signals
A unique installation of standard CPL signal
components, connected to the track circuits, to indicate the presence of a
train in the block to protect a private crossing.
Bridge and a Signal Bridge
Above, where the private crossing is, the tracks are
adjacent to US 13. Just as the tracks start to veer away from the
highway is another bridge, and just south of the bridge is a signal bridge.
South of here, the tracks cross under the highway.
There is another teeny bridge between this one and the
one above, but it doesn't provide much of a photo oppotunity.
This spot offers a slightly different setting, being
elevated above the "valley" below it. Sight lines to the north is
limited if your sitting there and waiting, but if you're chasing a freight,
you should be able to make it up here with no problem.
The ex-N&W Depot in Christiansburg
Two shots of the depot, now used by NS for the MOW guys.
Also here is a track where you can find something almost all the time, and a set of NB signals.
This set of maps was compiled before the Virginian was built.
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.