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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Ghost railroad in Suffolk VA


Date: 12/16/08 08:38
Ghost railroad in Suffolk VA
Author: VunderBob

Google maps of Suffolk, Virginia show a branch from the defunct Seaboard line that ran south-southwest to Ahoskie, NC breaking off and going west to Franklin, VA. The line crossed US 13 north of Whaleyville. I drive US 13 to work everyday, and I'll be darned if I can see any sign of a roadbed where the map shows it to be.

The line to Ahoskie was abandoned between the Chowan River in NC north to Suffolk in roughly 1980, give or take about 2 years, and that roadbed is as plain as day. Track that remains today is now the NCVA. I suspect the branch shown on Google Map was pulled long before that.

Does anyone know the history?



Date: 12/16/08 08:58
Re: Ghost railroad in Suffolk VA
Author: ctillnc




Date: 12/16/08 10:28
Re: Ghost railroad in Suffolk VA
Author: VunderBob

ctillnc Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> See if these help:
>
> http://trains.rockycrater.org/graphics/pfmsig/atla
> s48/va-1948.gif
>
> http://trains.rockycrater.org/graphics/pfmsig/atla
> s48/nc-1948.gif

You're on to something, because the line I'm interested in originates at Franklin Junction, and goes to the left before curving up to hit Franklin.



Date: 12/16/08 10:55
Re: Ghost railroad in Suffolk VA
Author: atsf616

"SPV Railroad Atlas of North America -- Appalachia and Piedmont" indicates Franklin & Carolina, which a quick Google search revealed to be a logging road built in 1944 that was sold to ACL in 1958, and abandoned by SCL circa 1972:

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~vaschs/Camp.htm

If you toggle back and forth between "map" and "satellite" views on the same Google map, you can still see a distinct trace of right-of-way, although it's been pretty well obliterated in spots.



Date: 12/16/08 10:59
Re: Ghost railroad in Suffolk VA
Author: BL2




Date: 12/16/08 11:14
Re: Ghost railroad in Suffolk VA
Author: BL2




Date: 12/16/08 11:16
Re: Ghost railroad in Suffolk VA
Author: mexrail

From a 1966 version of Collier's Ency., I see that the line was an ACL branch from Franklin Jct to Franklin, VA. 1973 version of Official Guide does not show the branch (then SCL). Per Goggle "street view" here is where the ACL crossed Hiway 13.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=franklin,+va&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=31.013085,33.046875&ie=UTF8&ll=36.612272,-76.662887&spn=0,359.991889&t=k&z=17&layer=c&cbll=36.610031,-76.663033&panoid=7wVy4YP6hig4OTSZpto2cA&cbp=12,105.97607255274641,,0,5

Looks as though nature has reclaimed much of the old R-O-W. Anyone else?

Mexrail



Date: 12/17/08 14:58
Re: Ghost railroad in Suffolk VA
Author: emd_run8

In addition to all the info above, it was also known as Camp's Railroad. It ran from Franklin Jct where there was a wye at the jct with the ATLANTIC COAST LINE, not the original Seaboard. Earlier the line went East from Franklin Jct into the Dismal Swamp to access the lumber to take to Franklin.
When you go North from Whaleyville on 13 there is a small hump in the road which was the old roadbed. Just past the hump is an old metal building and an old antenna pole. That was part of the Camps RR operation. They loaded logs there off trucks to be taken to Franklin by rail. There was also a company store there. The RR was later bought by the ACL for access to Franklin before the ACL/SAL merger. There are still remnants of the old ROW all the way to Franklin in spots.
Tommy Arthur



Date: 12/17/08 15:07
Re: Ghost railroad in Suffolk VA
Author: rbx551985

emd_run8 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In addition to all the info above, it was also
> known as Camp's Railroad....

UNION CAMP PAPER CO. was the name of the big paper mill in Franking at the time; now it's something else (the title escapes me at the moment). And yes, "Camp's Railroad" was a nickname for the branch line. There are places that the roadbed's former location are very visible, especially during the Winter months when trees are barren of leaves. The paper mill's south edge switching yard, run by a private operator, is the former Camp's Railroad Yard, and is still in operation. They often have 50 or more tank cars of various chemical loads back there on hand for the paper mill, and sometimes empty boxcars for loading paper, and other equipment.



Date: 12/17/08 17:07
Re: Ghost railroad in Suffolk VA
Author: emd_run8

rbx551985 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> emd_run8 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > In addition to all the info above, it was also
> > known as Camp's Railroad....
>
> UNION CAMP PAPER CO. was the name of the big paper
> mill in Franking at the time; now it's somethin

Thanks for the help!! Camp Manufacturing Company, the paper mill, was the reason for the railroad in the first place. I forgot to mention it. The mill was originally owned by the Camp family in Franklin, then Union Camp, then the buyout/merger fever. I think it is International Paper now. They restarted after the infamous Franklin flood several years ago after fears they would pull out because of the flood damage.
Thanks, Rhett
Tommy



Date: 12/18/08 07:07
Re: Ghost railroad in Suffolk VA
Author: VunderBob

emd_run8 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In addition to all the info above, it was also
> known as Camp's Railroad. It ran from Franklin
> Jct where there was a wye at the jct with the
> ATLANTIC COAST LINE, not the original Seaboard.
> Earlier the line went East from Franklin Jct into
> the Dismal Swamp to access the lumber to take to
> Franklin.

I called it Seaboard, because in my mind it was abandonded as SCL, not ACL, and the bridge where the old line crossed US 58 on the east side of Suffolk still says "Seaboard System". I realize SAL and ACL remnants comprise the current NCVA, but for the life of me, I can never remember which leg is which.

So I ain't originally from the area. Sue me. ;-)

Oh, and Union Camp is now International Paper.



Date: 12/18/08 17:54
Re: Ghost railroad in Suffolk VA
Author: emd_run8

VunderBob Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> emd_run8 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----

>
> So I ain't originally from the area. Sue me. ;-)
>

You'll be hearing from my lawyers, hopefully before Christmas!!!
By the way, I'm sure you've noticed the other bridge to the North side of 58 that still has ACL on it. I've lived here for years and cannot get a picture of an engine on it. If I don't hurry up it will all be overgrown or fallen down!
Tommy



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