Clifton Forge to Gordonsville

At the junction at JD Cabin (MP 276.0), a metal box on the south side, where the speed limit is 35 mph, the double track James River line turns away south and the single track North Mountain line turns northeast, with speed limit 65-40, and passenger speed restrictions, variously, of 60, 55, or 50 on curves along the way, climbing up the valley past a road bridge overhead, a golf course on the west side, a through girder bridge over the Interstate, two dirt road grade crossings, Longdale, a dirt track grade crossing, a grade crossing, a road bridge overhead, Griffith, a bridge over a river, two dirt track grade crossings, a bridge over a river or stream, a bridge over a stream, Intermediate Signals at Copeland, a bridge over a stream, Intermediate Signals at Crane, a bridge over a stream, an old tunnel on the north side, Hillboro Tunnel, two grade crossings in town, and Hillboro, and turning east-southeast, descends into another valley to the north, past a grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, a dirt track grade crossing, a stream alongside to the west, and a grade crossing, to Goshen (MP 252.9), where a narrow gauge line once tailed in from the southwest, and there is a siding on the east side of the line.

The line turns north-northeast, past a through girder bridge over a river, a road alongside to the west, a dirt track grade crossing, Intermediate Signals, a grade crossing, a dirt track grade crossing, Intermediate Signals, a dirt track grade crossing, a grade crossing, a siding on the east side at bells valley (MP 248.8), with a dirt track grade crossing and a dirt road grade crossing within the siding, a road alongside to the west, a grade crossing (on a slope up from that road), Intermediate Signals, a wooded area, a siding on the east side at Craigsville (MP 243.9), with a bridge over a stream and a grade crossing within the siding, where the line jogs east, two grade crossings, a bridge over a stream, a bridge over a road, a slide fence to the west, a bridge over a stream, Intermediate Signals at Fordwick, where a mine spur once trailed in from the southwest and the line turns northeast on a ledge above the valley to the northwest, past Intermediate Signals at Augusta Springs, Intermediate Signals at Ferrol, where it turns north, past a dirt road grade crossing and Intermediate Signals, and then north-northeast, with freight speeds for trains moving away from the location restricted to 30 mph for a stretch either side of MP 234.3, past a siding on the east side at North Mountain (MP 234.0), east end MP 233.25, up on a ledge above a narrow valley, with a road far below to the west.

There is a grade crossing, a broad summit, a grade crossing, and a turn south-southeast at the Intermediate Signals at Christian, whence it drops down into the upper reaches of the Shenandoah Valley to the north, past a dirt road grade crossing, a road bridge overhead, Intermediate Signals at Swoope, a bridge over a river, a grade crossing, and a bridge over a road, turning east past a bridge over a road, a grade crossing, and a road bridge overhead to a siding on the north side at LaGrange (MP 224.2), with a grade crossing in the siding, where freight speeds for eastward trains drop to 30 mph for a few miles, and past a road bridge overhead, a bridge over a stream, Intermediate Signals, extra track and a spur into and industry on the west side, Intermediate Signals at MP 222.x, and curvily into Staunton (MP 220.9), where the speed limit is 25 mph in town, past a grade crossing, a street alongside to the north, two grade crossings, a bridge over a street, a bridge over a street far below, a bridge over a street, a spur with a caboose, boxcars and passenger cars on the north side, the passenger platform with umbrella sheds and brick depot on the north side of the line, on a ledge above the town, past a through girder bridge over a street, and the Shenandoah Valley's line and a short siding departing north-northeast.

The line turns southeast, past a road bridge overhead, a spur trailing in from the northwest, signals at MP 219, a power plant spur on the north side, a road bridge overhead, dual road bridges overhead (I-85), two road bridges overhead, a siding on the south side at Brand (MP 217.5), with a dirt track grade crossing within the siding, a bridge over a road, a dirt track grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, and a dirt road grade crossing, east past Intermediate Signals at Fisherville, a bridge over a dirt road, a divided road grade crossing, and a bridge over a highway, and southeast, past a dirt road grade crossing, Intermediate Signals, a road bridge overhead, MP 210, a road bridge overhead, a grade crossing (SR 254), a road bridge overhead, a grade crossing, a bridge over a river, and a bridge over a road, to a siding on the north side at Waynesboro (MP 208.6), where a connector, with two "sidings' on the north side of the connector as it turns, departs northeastward and downward to the former Norfolk & Western line along the valley, and the former C&O  line then bridges over that other line below.

There is a bridge over a street before the line turns south, climbing, once again, this time over the Blue Ridge, with speed limit 40 mph  and then 40-35, past a (former?) siding on the east side at Basic (MP 207.1), a bridge over a road, Intermediate Signals at Blue Ridge, a speed limit of 40 mph through the long Afton Tunnel, a turn east-northeast, with speed limit 35-20, past a siding on the south side (and an old depot on the north side) at Afton (MP 203.8), as the line starts to descend, past a road bridge overhead, Greenwood, a road alongside to the north, Intermediate Signals at Jarman Gap where the line turns east and the speed limit rises to 60-40, a bridge over the road that had been alongside to the north, a rock wall where once there had been a tunnel, Intermediate Signals at Brookfield, dual Interstate bridges overhead, a dirt track grade crossing, two dirt road grade crossings, a siding on the south side at Crozet (MP 194.8), with a dirt road grade crossing within the siding, two grade crossings, signals, a bridge over a street, an old depot on the north side (in Crozet), a street alongside to the north, curving away, a bridge over a road, Intermediate Signals at Mechums River, a bridge over a river, a bridge over a road far below, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals, a wooden road bridge overhead, a siding on the south side at Ivy (MP 188.9), where the speed limit falls to 40 mph, with a grade crossing and a bridge over a road within the siding, a grade crossing, a bridge over a street, and Intermediate Signals at Farmington, turning southeast past a road alongside to the south, a grade crossing, a golf course to the north, road alongside to both north and south, a bridge over a road and a bridge over a divided north-south road, into Charlottesville, capital of Virginia.

In Charlottesville, with the speed limit now 15-10, the line passes Thomas Jefferson's original buildings at the University of Virginia campus, across a road on the south side, with other university buildings to the north, including sports facilities, and a road bridge overhead, and then bridges over that road on a deck girder bridge, past  a bridge over a north-south street, the West Charlottesville Yard (MP 183.1), on the south side of the line, a grade crossings, a bridge over a street, and the Hampton Inn on the north side, and then crosses the double-track former Southern Railway (now NS) main line at JC Cabin (MP 182.3), a metal box in the northeast quadrant next to an NS metal box, the point where there are  Amtrak Charlottesville station platforms on both tracks and a depot (part of which is now a restaurant) in the northeast quadrant, near the intersection of the platforms. The main street of this part of Charlottesville runs parallel to the former C&O line, just to the west, bridging over the platforms on the NS line within the station area.

There is a grade crossing, a road bridge overhead, two grade crossings, and a bridge over a street. The former C&O Charlottesville depot, on the north side, was at MP 181.4, there is a road bridge overhead, a former coaling platform and water tank on the north side, MP 181, a grade crossing, a bridge over a road, and the speed limit rises to 20 mph at MP 180.1, the line runs on an embankment, a grade crossing on that embankment, Intermediate Signals at Rivanna Bridge, a road bridge overhead, the bridge over the river, and a wooded cutting, followed by the East Charlottesville Yard (MP 179.6), where the speed limit rises to 50 mph to MP 178.4, falls to 45-40 past the 3,180 ft. siding on the south side at Massie (MP 177.9), where the line turns east with speed limit now 65-50, with passenger speeds restricted to 60 mph on some curves, Shadwell, Keswick, where the line turns southeast, Rugby, where it turns northeast, Campbell, Cobham, the 2,850 ft. siding on the northwest side at Lindsey (MP 165.2, where a line coming north from the James River Line once trailed in from the south and the speed limit rises to 70-50, and the 4,540 ft. siding on the southeast side at Gordonsville (MP 160.4), where the line turns east, the original C&O main to Richmond and Newport News then turns south and the line towards Washington DC turns north-northeast.