#17 Caney tunnel

#17 Caney tunnel, south portal










Finished up in 1916, this is Caney tunnel, right at McClure VA  in Dickenson County.  It’s 412′ long, with a curve. Coordinates are 37.102793, -82.377871.  Clean little tunnel..some exterior erosion, though.  Figures, after nearly 100 years.

12 thoughts on “#17 Caney tunnel

  1. Shirley Hobbs November 18, 2016 / 2:43 pm

    I went to see the santa train there when I was 5 or 6 years old and many years afterward.

    • Bob Lawrence November 18, 2016 / 5:08 pm

      It must have been a thrill to see it come rolling through!

    • William April 23, 2020 / 10:28 am

      Used to live right below there in an old hotel they had turned into apartments with my granny. Is stood next to the old post office and I remember doing the santa train every year! This was mid 80’s to late 80’s. I miss it so much!

  2. Jeff Brouws December 25, 2019 / 2:24 pm


    Are Caney Fork and McClure Tunnels one in the same? No coordinates for McClure Tunnel and I’m only seeing one tunnel in McClure proper. Both tunnel south faces look to be the same. Just curious.

    Thank you.

    • Bob Lawrence December 26, 2019 / 1:09 pm

      I wanted to let you know that I’ve seen your comment and I am working on this. Caney tunnel (not Caney Fork…I had that wrong) is at McClure. It appears that there is a nomenclature problem.

  3. Bob Lawrence December 26, 2019 / 3:08 pm

    Update: I had misplaced McClure tunnel. It’s tunnel number 7 coming south from Elkhorn City…it’s nearly 12 miles down the line. The coordinates are 37.2042758W, -82.300144N

    • jeff Brouws December 27, 2019 / 10:53 am


      Many thanks for following up with all this. Just out of curiosity: is there a master list on your website somewhere that would have a complete listing of the tunnels south from Elkhorn City with coordinates attached and maybe the name of the town / village where the tunnel is nearest to?

      Many thanks,


      • Bob Lawrence December 27, 2019 / 12:04 pm

        Pick up a softbound copy of “Building the Clinchfield” by James A. Goforth and published by The Overmountain Press. ISBN 1-57072-191-9
        Lots of information and a listing of tunnels and bridges on the original Clinchfield Railroad, in order from Elkhorn City.
        And thank you for catching that tunnel mistake on my part. Corrections are good!

      • Anonymous December 27, 2019 / 12:06 pm

        Sounds good Bob..and again..thanks for your great work on this project.
        Very inspirational.

      • Bob Lawrence December 29, 2019 / 3:50 pm

        Yes, the 1988 issue will have all the information…not coordinates, though. They didn’t easily get coordinates when Goforth published his book in 1983, using data from 1915 or so, but with his tunnel list and USGS quads noted, you can locate the tunnels (you can generally see them on Google Earth, too). BTW, I paid $12.95 for the softbound version I bought around 2010 or so. I picked up a second edition, hardbound, printed by Gem Publishers in Erwin, for $19 last year.

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