In General


In General

Location / Name:
Salem VA, No County - it is an independent jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of VA
However, it IS the county seat for surrounding Roanoke County

What's Here:
Former N&W Depot
Two NS Lines, former Virginian and N&W Lines
Good Photo Spots

GPS Coordinates: as needed
Phone A/C: 540
ZIP: 24153

Access by train/transit:

The Scoop:

Salem is next to Roanoke Virginia off Interstate 81, about 130 miles from the Tennessee border.

The two (formerly) competing lines of the Virginian and the Norfolk & Western, both of which belong to Norfolk Southern, come their closest here in Salem in the vicinity of Diuguids Lane.  This is just about the only place easy to get to that you can catch trains on both lines.  There are a few places south of here (on map 5), but the sight lines are not quite as good, altho the surrounding scenery is much better.

Salem has a still standing N&W Rwy depot off of South College and 9th.

The "Live Diesel" manufacturer formerly known as the Mountain Car Company, used to be across the tracks from the depot, but has since moved to Boones Mill VA, about 10 miles south of Roanoke.

Diuguids Lane is a good spot for pictures, because  both lines pass here and are right next to each other, making it a whole lot easier to catch all the trains heading south out of Roanoke.  The sight lines here are good.  Mill St and Union St aren't too bad either.

Notice the R-O-W above Main Street, along Kessler Mill Road, is now a trail.

Ken Miller
Denver Todd

Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area:
None for now.....

Getting Here

Exit 137 or 140 off of I-81.  Take either road south to Main St or Lee Highway.

From Roanoke, take either the Salem Highway or Roanoke Blvd, which starts off in Roanoke as Shenandoah Ave.


The above map in a PDF is here


The Virginian Depot

Gone but not forgotten is the Virginian Railway depot on Union Street.  The station was torn down in 1995-1996.  Picture and info courtesy Ken Miller.

  The N&W Depot

GPS Coordinates: 37.280764, -80.051843

Norfolk & Western's depot was built in 1891.  The N&W Freight Station was a quarter of a mile away at the Union St crossing, and was torn down ~1966-1967.  Thanks to Ken Miller for the information.

 Pix from 2004.

The two siding tracks (yellow arrow), probably at one time connected the Virginian with the N&W lines.
Mountain Car Co used to be across the tracks from the depot.

The Mountain Car Company
103-B Digby Greene Rd., Boones Mill, VA 24065

What used to be Mountain Car Company is now Titan Trains, and they moved from Salem to south of Roanoke about 10 miles.
They are one of the largest manufacturers of 1/8 scale live diesel engines and rolling stock.

      Pictures I took in 2004.

            Pictures from MCC's website

Historical USGS Maps

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.


NEW OCT15/2009, MAY13/2014, APR30/2020
Last Modified 30-Apr-2020