RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.

 

Todd's Railfan Guide to
SALEM VA
WEST OF DOWNTOWN ROANOKE
Map 4 of 5 for the Roanoke Area
 

In General
Map
Sights
USGS Maps
 

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In General

Salem is next to Roanoke Virginia off Interstate 81, about 130 miles from the Tennessee border. 

The two (formerly) competing lines of the Virginian and the Norfolk & Western, both of which belong to Norfolk Southern, come their closest here in Salem in the vicinity of Diuguids Lane.  This is just about the only place easy to get to that you can catch trains on both lines.  There are a few places south of here (on map 5), but the sight lines are not quite as good, altho the surrounding scenery is much better.

Salem has a depot still standing off of South College and 9th, and is also the home to Live Diesel manufacturer, Mountain Car Company across the tracks from the depot.

Diuguids Lane is a good spot for pictures, because  both lines pass here and are right next to each other, making it a whole lot easier to catch all the trains heading south out of Roanoke.  The sight lines here are good.  Mill St and Union St aren't too bad either.

The satellite photos are from Google maps, which for the area, have the advantage over bing.com/maps, which I usually prefer.  Google has also done a better job of supplying local information on their maps in the way of restaurants, shopping, services like fire and police, etc, altho Bing is catching up.

Aerial shots were taken from either Google Maps or www.bing.com/maps as noted, once in a great while maybe MapQuest.  The screen captures are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 


Maps


Sights


The Virginian Depot

Gone but not forgotten is the Virginian Railway depot on Union Street.  The station was torn down in 1995-1996.  Picture and info courtesy Ken Miller.


    1         The N&W Depot

Norfolk & Western's depot was built in 1891.  The N&W Freight Station was a quarter of a mile away at the Union St crossing, and was torn down ~1966-1967.  Thanks to Ken Miller for the information.

     Pix from 2004.

 


    2         The Mountain Car Company

MCC is one of the largest manufacturers of 1/8 scale live diesel engines and rolling stock.  Their website is here

     Pictures I took in 2004.

            Pictures from MCC's website.

 


Historical USGS Maps


Courtesy of the University of Texas Library, click here for their index page.

This is a screen capture (actually two spliced together) of the Salem area from a 1929 version of the Salem quadrangle.


Disclaimers:

I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.  My webpages are an attempt at putting everything I can find of the subject in one convenient place.  There are plenty of other good websites to help me in this effort, and they are listed in the links section on my indexa page, or as needed on individual pages.  Please do not write to me about something that may be incorrect, and then hound the heck out of me if I do not respond to you in the manner you would like.  I operate on the "Golden Rule Principle", and if you are not familiar with it, please acquaint yourself with how to treat people by reading Mathew 7:12 (among others, the principle exists in almost every religion).  If you contact me (like some do, hi Paul) and try to make it a "non-fun" thing and start with the name calling, your name will go into my spambox list! :-)

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in, especially if restaurants or gas stations open, close, or change names.  Most of my maps are a result of personal observation after visiting these locations.  I have always felt that a picture is worth a thousand words", and I feel annotated maps such as the ones I work up do the same justice for the railfan over a simple text description of the area.  Since the main focus of my website is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  Since most of us railheads don't have just trains as a hobby, I have also tried to point out where other interesting sites of the area are.... things like fire stations, neat bridges, or other significant historical or geographical feature.  While some may feel they shouldn't be included, these other things tend to make MY trips a lot more interesting.... stuff like where the C&O Canal has a bridge going over a river (the Monocacy Aqueduct) between Point of Rocks and Gaithersburg MD, it's way cool to realize this bridge to support a water "road" over a river was built in the 1830's!!!  

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! BE NICE!!! Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.

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NEW 10/15/2009
Last Modified 13-May-2014