One interest of mine that hasn’t yet appeared on this sporadically updated blog is trains. I grew up in a railroad town, with mostly railroad friends, and largely in a model train store (which also eventually became my first job at 15). It’s a hobby I’ve had neither time nor space to pursue in 20 years, but the interest is still there, and of late the bug has been biting again.
My rail line of choice has always been the Chesapeake and Ohio, and I grew up along the James River subdivision. However, some time meandering through Carl Arendt’s Small Layout Scrapbook led me down the rabbit hole to Brooklyn’s offline terminals. That piqued my curiosity, and some Google meandering lead me to Bernard Kempinski’s excellent blog post on C&O’s Brooke Ave. yard and Southgate Terminal, which I understand was also featured in an article he wrote for Model Railroad Planning 2002. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only offline terminal on C&O’s original pre-merger network.
I’ve walked the present site of Brooke Avenue yard many times myself over the years without even realizing what had been there; it’s well within my usual walking range on the (increasingly rare) occasions when things are quiet enough to take a long lunch at work. Needless to say, it grabbed my imagination, and I’ve spent the last two weeks digging up a lot of information on this facility. Very little solid information is available online, and it turns out I already have access to more offline information than most people for this site, between being walking distance to Norfolk Public Library’s Sargeant Memorial Collection of local records, and having access to a handful of old engineering records from my own engineering firm’s old surveys of the area.
As I can, I’ll begin compiling that information here in a series of subsequent articles, linked below as I complete them.
Brooke Avenue articles:
- Site History
- C&O Structures and Business on Site
- Southgate Terminal
- Connected and Tenant Industries
- Modern Disposition