Friends, one of the questions that I’ve asked myself over the years is why
I and many others build models. A few years ago it occurred to me that, as a research psychologist, I know
how to go about answering that question. If you’d be willing to help me out, I have a survey online
at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DNX3QKB. If you, too
are a model builder and could spare about 30 minutes to complete the survey, I’d really appreciate it.
We all know that it’s the details that give a railroad or a
location much of its character. Maintenance sheds, signals, stations,
and countless other details contribute to the “flavor” of a railway.
The Piedmont Sub is no exception. I’ve included on this page photos of
some of the details (other than stations) that I found along the line.
One detail that screams C&O is this distinctive cantilever signal
bridge. This particular example stands in
though they were used across the system. These signal bridges were
used over both single and double tracks. (2008 photo)
This speeder shed stood in
Gordonsville. I would imagine that sheds all along the Sub looked
like this. That’s the Exchange Hotel in the background. I’m not
sure when this particular shed was removed, but it’s no longer there.
A seldom-modeled detail is the mile post. This one stands in
Trevillian. I remember that the C&O’s mileposts were obelisks
like this one. My memory of the C&O in the 1970’s, though, is that
both the mileposts and whistle posts were a tan colored concrete with
embossed black numbers. These, however, are much easier to see. (1998
This whistle post stands in
just east of the station. Again, my memory is that these were unpainted
concrete with black letters in the 1970’s. (1998 photo)
Here’s a whistle post the way I remember them. This one is
located between mileposts 155 and 156. (1998 photo)
This is apparently a right-of-way marker. I’d never seen one before this one and I don’t
know exactly how they’re used. The post is triangular. The photos show the two sides that have
markings on them. The third side was blank. (2008 photo).
This old style C&O crossbuck still stands near Frederick Hall. (2005 photo by Gary Smith. Used with permission).
An old C&O block phone in the collection of Bradley Hughes. (Bradley Hughes photo. Used with permission).
One often overlooked detail are the lineside telegraph poles. This one stands
just east of the Doctors Road grade crossing. According to Gill Pollard this
photo shows the small plastic insulators that the railroads began using about 40
years ago. Gill reports that most railroads used the upper crossarms for the
telegraph and the lower crossarms for signals. When the telegraph became obsolete,
the upper lines were no longer used and, when the price of copper peaked in the
1970’s, the top wires were removed and sold for scrap. In some cases the
upper crossarms were simply pulled off the pole, in other the whole top of the
pole was sawed off. Now, the use of overhead wire for signals is obsolete as well
and the poles are coming down. Gill says that the poles between Newport News and
Richmond have already been removed, so these will probably be gone soon.
According to Gill, this pole had CD154 clear glass insulators that were
probably installed between the mid 1930’s and the mid 1950’s.
Please note that, due to a huge volume of spam coming in on my email account, I’ve had to change my email address.
The new address is email@example.com (but remove the nospam and the dot before piedmontsub.com).
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