Image of the C&O for Progress monogram Image of the C&O for Progress monogram A graphic image of the words C&O Piedmont Subdivision

Piedmont Sub Details


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 stood in Gordonsville, though they were used across the system. These signal bridges were used over both single and double tracks. (Photo by Larry Z. Daily, 2008)

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. (Photo by Larry Z. Daily, 1988)

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. (Photo by Larry Z. Daily, 1998)

This whistle post stands in Louisa just east of the station. Again, my memory is that these were unpainted concrete with black letters in the 1970’s. (Photo by Larry Z. Daily, 1998)
Here’s a whistle post the way I remember them. This one is located between mileposts 155 and 156. (Photo by Larry Z. Daily, 1998)

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. (Photo by Larry Z. Daily, 2008).

This old style C&O crossbuck was still standing near Frederick Hall in 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 cases 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. (Photo by Larry Z. Daily, 2001)
According to Gill, this pole had CD154 clear glass insulators that were probably installed between the mid 1930’s and the mid 1950’s. (Photo by Larry Z. Daily, 2001)


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