October 2008

Rails to Schuyler


This soapstone quarry is near Schuyler, Virginia. It is one of a series of quarries in a line along a hillside east of the Virginia Alberene soapstone mill.


The quarries were connected to the mill by a branch of the Nelson & Albemarle Railroad. This is my unscientific way of determining that the rail used to serve the quarries was about 3 and a half inches tall.


Sitting in the brambles on the quarry spur is an old railroad car. This is a Chesapeake and Ohio pre-World War One vintage flatcar. The Nelson & Albemarle Railroad leased flatcars, a ballast car, and a passenger combine from the C & O. Over the time these cars were leased, they became the oldest cars owned by the Chesapeake & Ohio that were still in service.


Little locomotives were knocking these flatcars around between the quarries and mill long after arch bar trucks had been banned from the interstate rail network.


Looking toward the soapstone mill from the deck of the flatcar.