• Lake Anna Power Plant

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

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by CBRy
Lake Anna (Virginia) Nuclear Power Plant

I was recently doing a Google Maps "fly-over" of the Lake Anna
Nuclear Power plant area. I notice that there are a few RR cars
sitting on a couple of tracks, but in general, the track system
looks pretty unused and some of it even looks abandoned.

Is any motive power assigned there or does the common carrier
do the switching and spotting?

Is it being used for anything anymore? I know a couple of years
ago, they removed a passenger car from the property that was
being used, I think, as a diner. Any other activity?

  by RailVet
This location was covered in the February 2010 issue of the High Green, the newsletter of the Chesapeake Railway Association. A plant employee said there's no in-house motive power and the rail line is used only for very rare movements, such as oversized equipment. Here is part of the HG text covering the rail cars at the North Anna plant:

Recently your editor contacted the North Anna Nuclear Generating Station to inquire about a couple of passenger train cars spotted in a satellite photo. Mike Duffey, a spokesman for Dominion Virginia Power, responded with the answer: “The short version of the story is that the company purchased a dining car and a kitchen car back in the 1980s for use as a cafeteria at the power station.” Mike noted they’d been made redundant by the construction of a cafeteria within the plant’s admin building and had recently departed the site over the company’s lightly-used branch near Mineral, VA, along the former C&O line operated by the Buckingham Branch Railroad. The company also owned two similar cars at the Surry Nuclear Power plant and these had also recently departed; however, since there is no rail connection at Surry, the cars were barged out, just as they had once been barged in.

Winslow R. “Win” Goodier of the Old Dominion Chapter, NRHS, in Richmond, VA, filled in more pieces of the puzzle. Win noted that they’d been purchased by the Buckingham Branch Railroad and wrote, “The North Anna cars are on their way to Staunton by rail and the Surry Power Station cars will go to Dillwyn. They will be rehabbed for entertaining clients. We're hoping to be able to use the ones in Dillwyn for our excursions. They also purchased a CSX office car last year that had been sitting in Clifton Forge and previously had been up at the Greenbrier. I think it's the Virginia.”

Win pointed out a website where the cars could be viewed online and you can view them yourself at:

http://www.pbase.com/vamidlandrr/buckin ... d&page=all

Photographer Shannon Crabtree, who posted the photos to the website above, gave his permission for his photos to be reprinted in the High Green and wrote: “I heard that the BB had purchased them from Dominion (formerly VA Power) and they were stored on the North Anna spur. BB has them parked at the Martin-Marietta unloading facility. I believe they were at the end of the spur by the power plant. A friend of mine and I were in the area and we saw them.” Shannon and his friend ask for and were granted permission to photograph them.

The cars from North Anna that Shannon photographed are the Shennandoah Vale (yes, with an extra “n”) and the Nu Power Lakeside. Keep an eye out for them and the others while you’re railfanning and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch them sometime.
  by CBRy
Odd remark about "Surry Power Station Yorktown VA" not having a rail connection!
I just Googled it and it has a VERY ACTIVE rail network! I can spot HUNDREDS of
cars on MULTIPLE sidings!

Are we talking about the same place? It has enough trackage and locos, etc, to
qualify as its own railroad!

Maybe just the diners were on an isolated piece of track?
Last edited by CBRy on Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by RailVet
Clearly we are talking about different locations. Here's the location of the Surry Nuclear Power Plant

http://msrmaps.com/image.aspx?T=2&S=12& ... aremont|va|

and here is its story in Wikipedia:


You may also look for "Hog Island" and "Gravel Neck" on any state map. The location is on the west side of the James River from Fort Eustis, and there you'll find the site of the plant.
  by CBRy
Yup. Definitely different locations! The "Surry Power Station" that I got
on Google Maps is in Yorktown. I see that the one in your location used
to have a rail connection. It appears that "Hog Island Road" (VA Rte 650)
is on the old RR ROW. When did the RR go away? I always thought that
some of these larger industries and power plants are making a grave
mistake by getting rid of their rail service as they will eventually need
to replace LARGE items that can't be moved by road due to logistics and
bridge loadings. Same with military installations. 20/20 hindsight....

I "flew over" Surry Nuclear Plant with Google and you can still see signs
of the old trackage if you look very close in the plant grounds. Also some
traces alongside the Hog Island Road in places. I would think that the
nuke plants would prefer to move that waste via rail vs road nowdays
with all of the accident potential plus terrorism.

Thanks for correcting the location.
  by RailVet
I know of no railroad that ever went to the Surry Power Station. According to this Dominion Power website

http://www.dom.com/about/stations/nucle ... /index.jsp

the plant began operation in 1972. That was well within the lifetimes of most in this forum, and I don't recall the construction, operation, abandonment and dismantling of a line to the plant.

So far I've seen nothing to indicate Route 650 is a former railroad line. Instead, it appears to be the one and only street route to the plant. Do you have an old map showing a rail line connecting to the plant? If so, at what location did it connect to another railroad in the national rail network?

As for Hog Island, it's very unlikely that a rail line went there. The location lacks industry for a railroad to serve, and the marshy ground is hardly suitable for railroad operations.
  by RailVet
Looking at my copy of the SPV rail map atlas covering Virginia (page 54), I don't see a rail line coming anywhere near the Surry Power Station. The closest is the NS (ex-N&W) route from Petersburg southeast toward Norfolk, and it's nowhere near the plant. The long-abandoned Surry, Sussex & Southampton Railway, a narrow gauge line, had its northern terminus a bit to the west in Scotland, and it ended operations on July 31, 1930, long before anyone was thinking of building this plant. See this URL for further information:


Other than logging operations from an earlier era, this area of Virginia is devoid of anything that would attract railroad construction and perpetuate a rail line's operation.