On the Road to Roanoke in July 1987

In late July 1987, I met up with the Surdyk family (William, Marty, Robert and John) in Parma Heights on the first step of a Rails to Roanoke trip for the 1987 National Railway Historical Society convention.

It would be a week long adventure. Our first stop was Cass, West Virginia, to ride and photograph the Cass Scenic Railroad.

We then spent the next two days photographing the Chesapeake & Ohio mainline in West Virginia and Virginia while working our way to the Shenandoah line to catch the inbound convention trip from Alexandria, Virginia, to Roanoke.

We met up with it at Delaplane, Virginia, and were able to photograph it at least 12 locations. We rode the Thursday July 30 trip behind Norfolk & Western Class A No. 1218 from Roanoke to Bluefield, West Virginia.

N&W Class J No. 611 would power our return to Roanoke. We did some photography east of Roanoke prior to the equipment display on July 31, which will start the second part of this series.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Amtrak’s Cardinal at Fort Spring, West Virginia, on July 26, 1987.

Big Bend Tunnel in West Virginia , on the C&O on July 27, 1987.

At Alleghany Tunnel in West Virginia on July 27, 1987. The locomotive engineer doing a roll by inspection is wearing a Chief Wahoo hat.

Southern FP7s on the Shenandoah line on July 29, 1987.

Southern FP7s at Buchanan, Virginia.

At Bedford, Virginia on July 31.

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