The morning fog along the James River is just now lifting, revealing the trappings of the steam era at the former Chesapeake & Ohio facilities at Balcony Falls, VA. A rail train is tied up in the distance, and an approach indication on the westward signal suggests a train might be near. In the steam days, the normal freight power here was a 2-8-2. Since the James River line from Clifton Forge to Richmond was all downriver, a single C&O K2 or K3 Mike would suffice on the same coal train that took two H8 2-6-6-6s--one on the front, and one pushing on the rear--to move from Hinton to the top of the mountain at Alleghany, VA. One almost expects a C&O steam locomotive to pull up to the coaling dock to replenish its fuel supply. The main line passenger trains (and most of the manifest freight) took the more northerly route via Staunton and Charlottesville. A gas-electric Brill doodle bug with trailer provided the passenger service here. Balcony Falls was the junction with the 21-mile branch to Lexington, VA--a line long since abandoned by the time of this shot.