Routing for Southern Railway's Front Royal branch

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Routing for Southern Railway's Front Royal branch

Post by OctaviusIII » Fri May 01, 2015 1:48 pm

I'm working on a project to map the 1921 passenger system around DC and Baltimore in 1921 in a subway-map style (details here) but there's only so much the Official Guide to the Railways can tell me. One particularly sticky point is how trains used to run to Front Royal. It's a one-stop branch off another branch. Would this have been handled with shuttle trains to Happy Creek and/or Riverton Junction? Would trains have diverted to Front Royal then returned to the mainline? I can provide other info and screenshots if needed.
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Re: Routing for Southern Railway's Front Royal branch

Post by edbear » Sun May 03, 2015 8:28 pm

My August, 1909 Official Guide has July 1, 1909 schedule. Two round-trips Washington-Harrisonburg and one Strasburg-Manassas round-trip and they all operated into and out of Front Royal.

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Re: Routing for Southern Railway's Front Royal branch

Post by ExCon90 » Thu May 07, 2015 2:49 pm

I was able to get hold of a 1918 Official Guide and looked up the route in the SPV Atlas for Virginia, and this is what it looks like (using one of the 4 trains, there being 2 in each direction):

82.3|Happy Creek ................ |7.00pm|
85.1|Front Royal.................. |7.12pm|
85.0|Riverton Jct. ................|7.23pm|
85.4|Riverton ..................... |7.33pm|
Miles are from Washington. The atlas shows a wye at Front Royal Jct. (between Happy Creek and Riverton Jct., not shown in the Guide) and a branch from there dead-ending at Front Royal; this is presumably why the mileage of 85.0 at Riverton Jct. is closer to Washington than 85.1 at Front Royal. I think we have to conclude that the train either went past the wye at Front Royal Jct., backed in to Front Royal, and then headed out towards its destination at Harrisonburg, or else headed in to Front Royal, backed out to the wye, and then headed onward. Either way it looks like the schematic should show a branch into and out of Front Royal, then continuing to Harrisonburg.

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