Image of the C&O for Progress monogram Image of the C&O for Progress monogram A graphic image of the words C&O Piedmont Subdivision

Spur to North Anna Nuclear Power Plant


In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s the Virginia Electric Power Company (VEPCO, now Virginia Power) began construction of a nuclear power plant near the North Anna River. In 1971, the river was dammed, forming a 9,600-acre lake to provide cooling water for the plant. In addition, the C&O constructed a spur to the construction site to handle large materials (e.g., steel rebar, steam generators, transformers, motor-operated valves, pump motors, piping, cable, etc) that could not be trucked in. The spur split from the main between Frederick Hall and Pendleton. It is now largely dormant, though it is still occassionally used to deliver large items to the site that cannot be handled by trucks.

During construction, cars were set off on the spur by a local or by trains 794 or 795. A former Washington Terminal switcher was used to shuttle loads to the construction site and return empties in the evening. Billing was handled by the agent in Mineral.


This is where the North Anna spur separates from the mainline. (Larry Z. Daily photo, August, 2010.)

In 2008 Martin Marietta opened an aggregate distribution yard 0.8 miles up the North Anna spur. The Buckingham Branch locals bring loads up from the quarry in Verdon.(Gary Smith photos, summer 2008. Used with permission)
These are the cars Martin Marietta uses to move loads for the aggregate yard. (Gary Smith photo, summer 2008. Used with permission)

This is the North Anna Power Plant taken from Lake Anna. This photo was obtained from Wikimedia Commons


This map was prepared from U.S.G.S. topological maps, C&O track charts dated 1963, C&O Side Track Records dated 1937, a copy of the Side Track Records updated through the 1990’s, and C&O Valuation maps, also updated through the 1990’s.


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