East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

Rails to Schuyler - Locomotive Shop

On the southern end of the Virginia Alberene soapstone mill complex stood the repair and maintenance shop for the Nelson & Albemarle Railroad.

The mill locomotives shared the same facility. There is no turntable here, so all locomotives always faced Warren Junction, which meant they were always backed into the shop with their smokeboxes pointing out the big doors.

The shop had two wings. The east wing was apparently storage space. The much longer west wing was equipped for doing repairs and parts fabrication.

The west wing extended to a concrete loading platform. At the far end of the platform was a small warehouse building. The warehouse, as well as the locomotive shop itself, was built from soapstone slabs laid up like masonry. Heavy stone lintels arch over the high wooden double doors.

The interior of the shop was black and sooty. The floors were at different levels in different parts of the building. Some were wooden, while others were concrete.

The concrete floor had rails embedded in it for rolling platforms.. Large shop machines were driven by an overhead shaft and belt system.

There was a blacksmith's forge with racks of tongs, pliers, and other tools.