Re: Virginia Chemical Tank Cars

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford <mallardlodge1000@...>


Virginia Chemical was indeed at the end of the NF&D West Norfolk branch, and was AFIK the only customer at that time I was stationed in nearby Portsmouth (1982-1983). While I took photos of the depot/yard office, I don't think I shot the plant. What I remember chiefly was that the plant had a prominent and ominous wind sock, just in case toxic gasses were released. I just looked at Google Satellite View of the West Norfolk, and it appears that most of the chemical plant is gone, leaving just foundations though the tracks are still there. There is at least one other chemical customer further down the track beyond the VC site.

When I lived in the area this was wide-open country. Now it is crowded with all sorts of development, including a major container terminal. Just for nostalgia, I was stationed at the 5th Coast Guard District Offices in downtown Portsmouth, but our darkroom was at Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, a mile or so north of the Virginia Chemical plant. I souped a lot of Tri-X in that darkroom.

I did shoot some interesting and very old freight cars in MW service on the branch (an A&D pulpwood rack and an NF&D boxcar, or vice-versa). My camera had a loose lens element and those photos are pretty fuzzy. I'm scanning and Photoshopping my way through my negatives, and when I come to those cars in a few months I will see if they are worth sharing here.

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆

On Tue, Feb 18, 2020 at 10:39 AM Doug Pillow <jssp46@...> wrote:
Virginia Chemical was/is located in West Norfolk,apart of Portsmouth Va. It was serviced by the Atlantic & Danville, later the Norfolk, Franklin and Danville, NS, and now I believe by a short line sucessor to NF&D

Doug Pillow

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