AM Junction / Amtrak
Connection - In the late 1980's a connection track
was constructed to facilitate the movement of
Richmond-Newport News Amtrak
passenger trains specifically between the Bellwood and Peninsula
Subdivisions in downtown Richmond. At the time the
connection was built, both 17th Street and Brown Street
Yard were in their waning years of operation, thus the
connection has undergone some realignment and
classification since it was originally built. With
the closure of 17th Street Yard, the No. 2 mainline of
the Bellwood Subdivision was rerouted to serve as the connection
track. Today's AM Junction (CA85.5) is the
interlocking at which the Bellwood No. 2 main connects
with the Peninsula Subdivision. The junction is
very near the site of C&O's AR Cabin which marked the
west end of double track leaving 17th Street Yard
here for a diagram of the area.
AY - Telegraph call
letters for Acca Yard. The signals that flank the
I-195 and Westwood Avenue bridges are today called AY.
On occasion some crews will refer to the northbound
signal for #2 track coming off the wye as "AY Tower"
because the signal is located on the site where AY Tower
stood until being demolished in the late 1980's.
Bellwood - A
community in northeast Chesterfield County named for
James Bellwood who purchased 2,000 acres of property in
1882. Mr. Bellwood and his wife were heavily
involved in the development of the surrounding community
and ran an award-winning farm. Mr. Bellwood died
in 1924 and his son sold much of the property to the
U.S. Army in 1941 on which they constructed the Richmond
Quartermaster Depot. This name is also synonymous
with the Seaboard Air Line in that the railroad
established Bellwood Yard in the area. The yard continues to
see minimal use today by CSX.
BG Tower - Once
located at the ACL-N&W crossing on the east side of Petersburg
Union Station at Third and River Streets. The
tower was staffed by operators from each railroad.
Two from the N&W and one from the ACL. It's
estimated the tower stood at this site for perhaps close to 100 years, in
one form or another, before being destroyed by a
pre-dawn derailment on May 6, 1952. BG Tower was
not rebuilt and the BG operator was
relocated to the nearby N&W yard office under the
new call letters of RS.
Blue Shingles - A
one-lane overhead bridge that spans the CSX North End
Subdivision between Douglasdale Road and the James
River. The bridge, located at the end of Blue
Singles Lane, once carried vehicle traffic to the Blue
Shingles Mansion that was located on a bluff overlooking
the James River approximately where the Powhite Parkway
is today. After many years of neglect, the mansion
was demolished in 1968.
Bone Dry - This is
the area near the connection track between Brown Street
and AM Junction. The name is derived from the Bone
Dry Fertilizer Company that once occupied the land on
the north side of Brown Street between the C&O and SAL
mainlines. The building was burned in April 1968
civil unrest that resulted from the assassination of Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr.
Bootleggers - The
name for the southbound signals at the Lincoln Street
grade crossing in Petersburg. Also called
"Bootlegger's Crossing", the name stems from a nearby
residence which had a small shed in the backyard that
was used by the owner to peddle illegal (at the time)
Browns Island -
While Brown's Island proper parallels the north bank of
the James River between 5th and 12th Streets, it has a
different meaning on the railroad. CSX crews refer
to the area under the Robert E. Lee Bridge as Brown's
Island. This is used as a holdout point for
eastbound trains waiting to enter Fulton Yard.
Many coal trains will purposely recrew here so that the
train can gain ample speed to conquer the grade just
east of Fulton Yard without the assistance of pushers.
Positioning the lead locomotive under the bridge also
offers the crews shade which is very beneficial during
the summer months.
BX - There have been
two locations for BX Tower, near Petersburg. The
first was at the junction of the ACL's original mainline
into downtown Petersburg and the 1895 beltline,
approximately where Interstate 85 crosses the tracks
today. The old mainline from BX to downtown was
abandoned in 1992 while the beltline trackage continues
to serve as part of CSX's North End Subdivision.
The second structure was located 1,000' south of the
Interstate 85 bridges on the east side of the mainline.
This single story, brick building was demolished in
April 2002. During it's years of operation it
housed an operator who controlled the mainline between
the south end of Collier Yard and Dunlop, along with the two miles of
the old mainline between BX and downtown Petersburg.
Coal Wharf Track-
This track runs parallel to the Bryan Park Terminal Lead
on the west side of Acca Yard and often is used to park
maintenance of way equipment. It once led to the
RF&P's paint shop located at 2260 Dabney Road. The
name is a throwback to the original 1924 Acca engine
terminal which had a coaling tower in the immediate
vicinity. Incidentally the paint shop is the only
surviving structure from the original engine terminal.
CSX frequently parks maintenance of way equipment on
this track which briefly parallels Tomlynn Street.
Clopton - Located on
the ACL's original mainline from FA into downtown
Richmond. Clopton Yard is located between Cofer
Road and Terminal Avenue just west of US Route 1 in
South Richmond. The yard still hosts a small
amount of rail traffic. Acca Yard based local Y122
uses Clopton to serve the remaining customers along the
old mainline between FA and North Hopkins Road.
Clopton was the southern terminus of the ACL's 1891
beltline that extended north from here to Acca Yard.
Coney Island -
Interrupting the nearly three mile long C&O Viaduct
along Richmond's riverfront is a small patch of land
between East Main and Pear Street. Over time
railroad crews nicknamed the interlocking (CA84.0) Coney
Dog Pond - Perhaps
one of the most debated names in Richmond railroading.
Is it Dog Pond or Dog Pound? Located on the
Bellwood Subdivision just south of the Chamberlayne
Avenue overpass, the signals have been the subject of
much debate. Dog Pond, the more accepted name,
stems from the pooling of rainwater near the track which
would attract the neighborhood dogs for a drink or a
dip. The dog pound name is in reference to the
Richmond Office of Animal Control located just a few
Dunlop - The junction
between the original ACL mainline through downtown
Petersburg and the belt line was located at Dunlop, a
community on the northern fringes of Colonial Heights.
The tower operator controlled movements through the
interlocking and also the wye that was located here.
During the early part of the 20th Century, Dunlop rated
a small yard and scale track to accommodate a large
volume of cars that were used to serve four different
sand and gravel businesses located between Walthall and
DX - DX Cabin was
the junction of the C&O's yard lead to their 2nd Street
Yard and the Rivanna Subdivision mainline. The
switch was located west of the Robert E. Lee Bridge and
approximately 200' west of the current DX signals.
While DX was the telegraph call letters for this
location, it is believed that the name somehow
references the fact that the tracks left the mainline
here and meandered into downtown Richmond.
Egypt - Signal
(CA81.5) located at the east end of Fulton Yard.
The location earned it's name from C&O conductors who
were riding the caboose of westbound empty hopper
trains. When the head end would stop at the yard
office, the rear of the train would be in ******* Egypt.
FA - At the Wamsley
Boulevard grade crossing on the southside of Richmond
was the junction of the Atlantic Coast Line's mainline
into downtown Richmond and their beltline built in 19xx.
Regulating movements through this busy junction were the
operators at FA Tower who also controlled the
interlocking at Meadow. FA is telegraph call
letters for Falling Creek which flowed nearby. The
original two story wooden tower stood on the east side
of the tracks next to the grade crossing. It's
replacement, a modern single story brick structure, was
located 500' to the south until it was torn down in the
Fort Lee - When
hearing of Fort Lee most people immediately think of the
U.S. Army facility located between Petersburg and
Hopewell. In eastern Henrico County the area along
Charles City Road near the Richmond International
Airport is also known as Fort Lee. Named for
General Robert E. Lee, this area was the location of a
Confederate Army stronghold designed to thwart any
surprise attacks on Richmond from the east. To the
C&O and CSX, the eastbound struggle up the grade at Fort
Lee presents a challenge for eastbound coal trains
enroute to Newport News. The grade often warrants
the use of pushers on eastbound trains leaving from
Fulton Yard. The Charles City Road grade crossing
crosses the Peninsula Subdivision in between the Fort
Lee signals (CA78.3) which protect a crossover.
GN - Telegraph call
letters for Greendale, a neighborhood in north central
Henrico County. The northern yard limits for Acca
Yard and site of RF&P's GN Tower. Since 1975 this
location has been home to Richmond's Staples Mill Road
Amtrak Station (RVR).
Louisiana Street -
If you search a modern street map of Richmond for
Louisiana Street, you'll be looking for a long time
because there isn't one. That wasn't
the case during the thriving years of the Fulton Bottom
neighborhood. Louisiana Street ran in a east-west
orientation and ran parallel between Orleans and
Nicholson Street and passed under the C&O mainline just
west of R Cabin. The underpass is still visible
amongst the overgrowth that has reclaimed this once
Marlboro - Signals
located at the S4 milepost on the CSX Bellwood
Subdivision. They are located just north
of the Bells Road grade crossing next to the Richmond
Manufacturing Center of Phillip Morris USA which
produces the Marlboro brand cigarette.
Meadow - While it
might not resemble anything of significance today,
Meadow was once an important junction. The
Atlantic Coast Line constructed the James River Branch
or belt line between Acca Yard and Clopton in 1891.
In conjunction with the opening of Broad Street Station
and the completion of a new bridge across the James
River in 1919, the ACL built a new alignment from Meadow
to FA. This right of way is in use today as part
of the CSX North End Subdivision. Meadow, located
one mile south of the James River, was the point at
which the two beltlines joined together on the north
end. ACL passenger trains and many manifest trains
used the new route to bypass Clopton while locals and
some freights continued down the old beltline to switch
Clopton Yard. The trackage between Meadow and
Clopton was used into the early 1980's but was abandoned
shortly thereafter. A very
short segment north of Clopton remains intact today as a
switching lead. Meadow is now the location of a
NA - Telegraph call
letters for North Acca. This name is still in use
today to identify the interlocking at North Acca which
is located between the Dumbarton Road and Interstate 64
bridges. NA Tower once stood on the west side of
the tracks just north of where I-64 crosses today.
Peekaboo Track -
Railroad employees refer to the track leading onto the
Science Museum of Virginia (formerly Broad Street
Station) property as the Peekaboo Track. The
origin of the name is unknown.
Pump House - Several
miles west of downtown Richmond alongside the CSX
Rivanna Subdivision sits the Byrd Park Pump House.
Built in 1882, the facility was used to pump water from
the James River and Kanawha Canal uphill to the Byrd
Park Reservoir until it was closed in 1924. In
terms of today's railroad operations, this is the
location of the Pump House signals and is also
frequently used as a holdout for eastbound coal trains
awaiting clearance to enter Fulton Yard. The
signals can easily be seen from the Nickel Bridge.
Signals located between FA and Centralia on the CSX
North End Subdivision adjacent to the Defense Supply
Center Richmond (DSCR). The DSCR was formerly the
Richmond Quartermaster Depot, hence the name. The
facility was once a major customer of the Atlantic Coast
Line. It boasted over 17 miles of trackage
including a 400 car capacity classification yard and a
four stall engine house.
Solite - Located on
the northwest side of Acca Yard where Racrete Road
terminates at the tracks. The property adjacent to
Acca Yard is now occupied by the Ready Mix Concrete
Company. I believe this facility was originally
owned by the Solite Concrete Company for which the
location is named after.
South AY - South leg
of the Acca Wye located at the end of Mactavish Avenue.
R Cabin - Former C&O
interlocking tower (C&O called them cabins instead of
towers) at the west end of Fulton Yard (CA83.1).
The tower has been out of service for many years but
still stands at the intersection of East Main and
Orleans Street and appears to be in fairly good
Rockets - Rockets
is a name that dates back over 250 years. In
railroad terms it refers to the signals just south of
the James River Bridge on the Bellwood Subdivision.
It was along the banks of the James River in this area
where Mr. Robert Rockett operated a ferry service in the
1730's. More commonly known as Rockets Landing,
the area was home to the Navy Yard of the Confederate
States during the Civil War. During the SAL era,
Rockets was the north end of a passing siding that
extended from here south to Commerce Road. Today
the siding is long gone and the Rockets signals serve
only as intermediates in each direction.
Rivanna Junction -
Origin of the CSX Rivanna Subdivision (CAB0.0) and it's
junction with the Peninsula Subdivision (CA84.5).
The junction itself is elevated above street level as
part of C&O Viaduct built in 1901 to raise the C&O's
mainline above the frequent floodwaters of the James
Thoroughfare - The
stretch of CSX's Bellwood Subdivision between South AY
and the Boulevard Bridge.
Approximately 1-1/2 miles west of the Powhite Parkway
Bridge on CSX's Rivanna Subdivision are a set of signals
called "Waterworks". The name comes from their
proximity to the City of Richmond's water
West AY - Junction
of the north and south legs of the Acca Wye situated between N. Hamilton Street and
Belleville Street. The south leg of the wye was
double track until shortly before the closing of Broad
Street Station in late 1975.
Westham - West end
of double track on the CSX Rivanna Subdivision at mile
CAB7.5 The name comes from the adjacent
neighborhoods that comprise the Westham community of