• Chesapeake Western

  • A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads
A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by K3CXG
I rode the Chesapeake Western back in the early '70's with a group of fellow rail enthusiasts. It was indeed a wholly-owned subsidiary of the N&W. Using Harrisonburg, VA as a central point, the lines extended west to Bridgewater (8 miles), east to Elkton (21 miles) and south to Staunton (26 miles). The line's motive power at the time consisted of one or two Alco T-6's (very cool!). Our charter fantrip consisted of a motorized inspection car, driven by the line's president! I think the mileage was cut back over the years, but I'm clueless about its current status within Norfolk Southern. Maybe someone else can pick up the thread and run with it.


  by David Hutchinson
I visited the line throughout the past twenty or more years. When I first went there, in 1980, the line was somewhat independent in that they had Alco T-6s lettered for CW. They also had a few relettered for NW. I shot at both ends of the line, Harrisonburg and Elkton... I think that's the name. There was an engine house, etc., at Elkton, where their line met the N&W main. Harrisonburg had a very nice brick/cement headquarters, which is still standing, but abandoned. There was also a very nicely painted CW caboose at Harrisonburg. Throughout the years, the T-6s disappeared and were followed by a variety of power. There were a lot of GE and EMD B-B units along with Southern GP30s. I caught a few of the road freights that had four or more units on them. I was there about a year ago and the power now is six axle wide cab GEs. Harrisonburg has lots of beautiful old buildings in the downtown area that were once serviced by CW. If you like that type of thing, it's a great line to explore. I have read that a new short line has taken over their old trackage that starts out by the auto auction and runs to Staunton. I have also read about the line being moved.... it now runs directly through the campus of James Madison University. It's a great line to photograph and the people down there are very hospitable.

  by ShortlinesUSA
Yep, that'd be the Shenandoah Valley RR, operated by the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley out of West Virginia. The portion of the CW from Pleasant Valley, VA to Staunton, VA has been shortlined for at least 10 years now. First operated by the Buckingham Branch, then the Eastern Shore (and briefly Bay Coast RR, after the change in ownership), now the DRGV. All have operated it as the Shenandoah Valley RR.

Power for the line is currently DRGV GP9 40 and RS4TC 8701. Operations are typically 2-3 days a week, as needed. The day I visited late 2006 had the train with 24 cars, the longest any of the guys on the DRGV had ever seen.

  by David Hutchinson
Where is the power kept? Is it near the Auto Auction site?