This is the location of crossovers at MP 282, once controlled by a tower.

Blacksburg Branch

This branch ran from Christiansburg to Blacksburg until it was abandoned in the 1950s. It started as the Virginia Anthracite Coal & Railway Co. to serve the coal mine at Merrimac, was extended to Blacksburg, and purchased by the N&W when it ran into financial trouble.

Catawba Branch

A short portion of this branch still exists. At one time, it ran from the N&W main line in Salem to the base of Catawba Mountain in Roanoke County. It was built to deliver sand to a glass-making operation in Salem.

Keen Mountain

The Keen Mountain Railroad was a 48-inch gauge line operated by the Red Jacket Coal Corporation at Keen Mountain, in Buchanan County, Va.


The “town” of Kellysville, West Virginia, has been an important location on the railroad since the merger of the Norfolk & Western Railway and the Virginian Railway. It was one of the connection points between the two railroads that allowed traffic to move to take advantage of one line over the other.

Kingston Branch

This branch ran from the Christiansburg depot in Cambria to the east, then turned south as it headed to the Kingston Mine.

North Carolina Branch

This line ran from Pulaski to Galax and Fries, serving iron and other mineral mines.

Old Main Line

When the Pocahontas coal field was opened, the best route for the new line to serve this area was down the New River. The surveyors and builders took a “shortcut” around the twists and turns of the New River between Radford and Belspring. The “Walton Cut-off” eventually replaced this part of the line.

Potts Valley Branch

This branch ran from Ripplemead in Giles County to Paint Bank in Craig County and carried iron ore and lumber from the region until it was abandoned in the 1930s.

Vicker Coaling Facilities in 1937

The large concrete coaling tower between Christiansburg and Radford is a backdrop for many photos, but there is more to the site than meets the eye.