"Original" CSXT Shenandoah Division Upper Level
Note: This page represents the "original" version of the upper level
design as posted to the web site on January 27, 2002. The design has since
undergone some modifications which can be viewed in the main
layout design area (or directly to the
upper level design). This page will give you
some idea of some of the modifications made to the original plan, and it is for
strictly historical purposes as of March 23, 2003.
The upper level of the CSXT Shenandoah Division contains the remainder
of the Covington Subdivision, which extends from MC Cabin at the north end
of the Salem Terminal to Alleghany Junction, VA where the Connellsville
and Winchester lines split (see the division map from Timetable
#1). The upper level also includes the Potts Creek Railroad (PCRK), a
shortline running from Covington, VA to Potts Creek, VA.
Note: Grid lines are spaced at 1' intervals.
a larger (horizontal) version of the plan. (Image is about
Go to a
larger (vertical) version of the plan. (Image is about 320KB.)
In conjunction with touring the line below, refer to the Towns and Industries
page for more detailed information about the towns and industries on the
CSXT Shenandoah Division.
Covington Subdivision (Laurel, VA to Covington, VA)
The Covington Subdivision extends from MC Cabin to Alleghany Junction.
The upper level of the layout encompass the portion of the subdivision
from Laurel, VA to Covington, VA. For information about the portion of the
subdivision from MC Cabin to Laurel, VA, go to the Lower Level
||The next passing siding north of New Castle is
Laurel, which is home to the Appalachian Power Company's Laurel
plant. A unit train runs south from Grafton, WV (Connellsville
staging) to swap loads for empties before returning to Grafton.
Laurel, like New Castle, is a "short" 28-car passing siding, and it
is also home to Dixie Plastics and Forming, which receives plastic
|Shenandoah Junction, VA
||A 1.74% northbound grade from Laurel leads to
Shenandoah Junction, the connection to the Norfolk Southern CR&E
Division. The former Charleston, Roanoke, & Eastern Railroad
crosses the Shenandoah Division, and there is a connection track
between the two railroads here. A short portion of the NS mainline
is modeled before it ducks into a hidden 4-track staging yard
representing the Charleston, WV end of the CR&E. NS trains use
trackage rights over CSXT between Shenandoah Junction and Roanoke
Junction (Salem), VA.
After crossing the NS, the mainline begins to climb upgrade
towards the summit at High Meadow, paralleling Hays Creek along the
way. Just south of High Meadow, the main enters Mud Run Tunnel
before reaching the peak of the hill. The 2.60 % northbound
grade from Shenandoah Junction peaks at the north portal of Mud Run
|High Meadow, VA
||High Meadow, VA is pretty much just a place on the
railroad almost in the middle of nowhere. It is the highest point on
the railroad (63"), and pushers help trains up to the summit in both
directions (the pusher districts are Covington-Laurel and New
Castle-Ridgemont). Blue Spring Wood Products loads wood chips here.
||The next passing siding northbound is Ridgemont, VA.
Ridgemont is a simple passing siding "out in the middle of nowhere"
to fulfill the desire for a siding with no town or industries, much
like you find on real Appalachian railroads. The railroad crosses
Hays Creek twice near the middle of the Ridgemont siding. The south
end of Ridgemont is upgrade at 1.86% for southbound trains, which
get pushed out of Covington.
Heading north towards Carpenter, the mainline runs around Pearson
Curve, a horseshoe around the Pearson Farm. This scene has been
inspired by Helmstetters Curve on the Western Maryland.
After rounding Pearson Curve, the Shenandoah mainline ducks into
Carpenter Tunnel before arriving in Carpenter, VA.
Southbound trains face a 2.01% grade through Carpenter Tunnel and
around Pearson Curve. The southbound upgrade levels off briefly at
the south end of Ridgemont, before proceeding to the summit at High
||Carpenter, VA is home to the large Virginia Eastman
chemical plant. A two-track interchange yard will allow CSXT to
set-off on the track nearest the mainline and pick-up from the next
track. Five additional spurs make up this large plant complex. VA
Eastman will have a SW1200 as a plant switcher to do all their own
The CSXT mainline crosses the Jackson River just north of
Carpenter before reaching the south end of Covington. Northbound
trains climb a 0.97% grade to depart the Jackson River valley at the
south end of the Covington passing siding. A 1.98% downgrade then
brings northbound trains into the town and industrial district of
||Covington is the last town on the layout before
entering the north end staging yard. The yard at Covington has three
tracks for use in classifying cars for local industries from
Covington to Laurel. James River Paper has a large mill in
Covington, and Wampler Longacre has a large grain elevator. Blue
Ridge Film Extruders receives plastic pellets on a spur across the
mainline from the yard. Additionally, the Potts Creek Railroad
(former Potts Creek Branch of the CS&O/SVL), interchanges with
CSXT at Covington.
The Covington Roadswitcher, B703, will classify cars in the
Covington yard, work the local industries in Covington, High Meadow,
and Laurel, and make interchange runs to the large Virginia Eastman
plant at Carpenter, VA.
A set of pushers will also be based
in Covington to assist trains, especially loaded unit coal trains,
up the grade to the summit at High Meadow. These pushers will stay
on trains until Laurel, where they will cut off and head back to
There will be "city" buildings at both the north
and south end of Covington.
|Connellsville, PA & Winchester, VA
||The north end staging yards at Connellsville, PA and
Winchester, VA will have 6 loop tracks for a total of 12 staging
slots. This is CSXT only staging and represents the two namesake
locations as well as other destinations in the northeast and
midwest. There is an additional staging track on the aisle side
which will be used as a stub-ended track for the B741/B742 (the
"Black Cat") during operating sessions. However, this track is
connected to the Potts Creek Railroad (see below for more
information) to provide a 40' continuous loop of track for
At the present time, Alleghany Junction
has been moved off the visible railroad into staging so that trains
will appear on the layout south of the junction. The C&O (CSXT
Huntington Division) crosses over the Shenandoah Division at
Alleghany Junction on a double-track bridge.
Potts Creek Railroad (Covington, VA to Potts Creek, VA)
The Potts Creek Branch of the CS&O/SVL used to depart the south end
of Covington to head southwest down the Potts Creek valley. CSXT sold off
this former branch to a shortline operator who named the line the Potts
Creek Railroad (reporting marks: PCRK). The PCRK runs south to Mill Ridge,
VA and Potts Creek, VA. The PCRK uses some old ex-CSXT GP16s as motive
||The Potts Creek Railroad interchanges with CSXT in
the CSXT Covington Yard. The connection track to the PCRK leaves the
south end of Covington and disappears around the back of the
Connellsville/Winchester staging loops.
|Mill Ridge, VA
||The PCRK emerges from a backdrop hiding the staging
area and enters the small town of Mill Ridge, VA. Mill Ridge is the
location of the PCRK headquarters in the old SVL depot here. The
PCRK local power ties up in Mill Ridge on the passing siding along
with any traffic for industries in Mill Ridge and Potts Creek.
Mill Ridge is home to two industries on the PCRK: Collins &
Aikman and Walton Furniture Co.
|Potts Creek, VA
||The end of the PCRK is in Potts Creek, VA. Potts
Creek is home to a large U.S. Silica plant which ships many carloads
of sand on the PCRK. This industry is largely responsible for
keeping the PCRK in business. At one time, interchange was made with
the CR&E Potts Creek Branch here as well. |
Go to the Lower
Level page to continue the tour of the design.
This page was last updated on