Friday, June 25, 2010
Atlantic & Danville Railroad Switchstand
Eventually reaching 205 miles between Norfolk and Danville, Virginia, the Atlantic & Danville Railroad was started in 1883 and completed in 1890. It was owned by British investors. Its freight and passenger traffic was never overwhelming to say the least and in 1899, Southern Railway leased it for fifty years. It operated independently between 1949 and 1962 when N&W bought the operation and changed its name to Norfolk, Franklin & Danville Railroad. However, the NF&D faded into the Norfolk Southern fold all together 1n 1983. Mile by mile, unprofitable track was abandoned and removed until by the end of 2008, less than 90 miles of the original line remained. Acquired from the abandoned right of way of the old Atlantic & Danville Railroad near milepost 95, this early 1900's switchstand was saved from a scrap heap's fate. As with the other RAILROAD SCULPTURE GARDEN pieces, help was gratefully accepted from Greg Elam and Jack Hammack. It is pictured 7 days after being obtained, repaired, cleaned and installed on two crossties in our Relic Garden. Beside it is a switch broom, used to clear snow from between switch points in the bad winter weather. This particular switch broom has a story of its own, coming from the old D&RGW west of Denver. The brooms used to keep switches clear of snow were made of a very stiff and heavy broom material.