February 2015 Article

This Month's Article:  February 2015
Continuing to Build the new Nelson & Albemarle Railway Map
Since November, we've been crafting a new railway map to reflect the combination of information reflected in multiple publications by various authors.  And while it's taken longer than expected to complete the drafting of this map, we now include a new resource that was just received.  This makes the total published maps/diagrams at seven.    We first noted this compiled list of publications in the November, "This Month's Article" and present it here again with two updates, #3A and notes added to #5: 
1. Right of Way / Track Maps of the Nelson & Albemarle Railway from 1915 (as found in the National Archives); Four full size drawings with track detail
2. Steam Locomotive and Railroad Tradition - May 1963 - An Upcountry Romance: A reminiscence of the N&A by H. Reid; A system diagram
3. C&O Historical Newsletter, September 1977 - Volume IX, Number 9 - The Story of the Nelson & Albemarle Railway Company - including Map of the Nelson & Albemarle Railway Company and Connections; A general map of the system & interchanges
3A. The Short Line: The Journal of Shortline & Industrial Railroads - Volume 6, Number 1; TSL #31, January/February 1978 - Nelson & Albemarle Railway - Alberene Stone Co. - by Ed Fielding - including very general system map (with scale) and Commonwealth of Virginia outline noting where the rail line and accompanying system map was generally located - the map only shows Warren, Esmont, Alberene, Guthrie, Schuyler, and Rockfish but includes the interchanges with Southern and C&O railways.  A special thanks to Meghan Peterson at "The Short Line" for recovery of this article and sharing it via PDF with NEARHS.
4. Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette, March/April 1989 - The Story of Alberene Stone and Its Railroads by Garth G. Groff; Track diagrams at terminals Warren, Esmont
5. Soapstone Shortlines: Alberene Stone and it's Railroads - 1991 by Garth Groff (separate publication from Drop Leaf Press); System route and track diagrams - NOTE:  Garth Groff's 'unpublished' full manuscript of this condensed version is in the Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia and includes additional track diagrams which were consulted for detail (specifically on the Rockfish interchange) and were used to validate detail for the new map. 
6. C&O Historical Magazine, April 1992 - Volume XXIV, Number 4 - Nelson & Albemarle: Early Days on a Soapstone Shortline; Early system route and interchanges
The Topographic Map of Virginia, Covesville Quadrangle surveyed in 1926 with topography by E. I. Ireland and controlled by the U. S. Geological Survey, Southern Railway, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway was used as a basis for the exact location of the rail line in alignment with State and Local roadways, physical features of the land, and stream/river beds.  From there, individual diagrams showing track layouts at the various terminals were created from detail on Right of Way/Track Map (Valuation Maps) from 1915 and validated with the track detail created by Garth Groff for his unpublished manuscript on Soapstone Shortlines (see publication note, above).  While all of this progressed well in getting the first lines on paper, it's been slow to get the terminal detail added (especially Rockfish where the topographical map data was NOT on the Covesville Quadrangle and had to be extracted from a 'not-as-enlarged' topographical map of the Buckingham Quadrangle).  An extra trip to the Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia allowed validation of the track layout at Rockfish.  There are several more points to add to the map including some reference to other industries along the main line, track layouts that were removed prior to 1926 (C&O) in Esmont including a short turntable, and variations in track over the years. We've also worked with the office supply retailer, Staples, to prepare for the eventual reproduction (albeit B&W) of the new map.  To keep costs down for copies, the map has been created in pen & ink with shading done by the use of architectural drafting practice.  The additional effort going into the map is justified by the inclusion of detail that was not available when we started work.  We look forward to sharing parts of the map on the Nelson & Albemarle Railway Historical Society website very soon.
Send email to NelsonAlbemarle@comcast.net if you have any comments or questions or wish to contribute to future articles. Copyright 2015 - Nelson & Albemarle Railway Historical Society.