May Town tunnel

Here’s Swede  May Town tunnel.  This northern portal is located at 36.936982, -82.465540 in Coeburn VA.  It was constructed in 1922 as the Interstate Railroad ran a line up from Miller Yard through Guest River Gorge to Coeburn and points beyond.  It went out of service in the ’60s and all the trackage has been removed.  It’s around 639′ long and muddy.  We wore waders to get through it.  Just behind where I was standing to take this picture is Adams Street bridge.
Btw, the Guest River Gorge trail is a great hike and there’s even one small tunnel on the way (Swede tunnel).  It’s not far down the trail, but it’s a little over 5 miles  to the Clinch River from the trailhead, it’s a long, long 5 miles back up.  Each mile is marked with a sign and, as you’re coming back up, the signs seem to get farther and farther apart.  We’ve done it on bikes and on foot.  Bikes are recommended, believe me. Or a helicopter.

3 thoughts on “May Town tunnel

  1. Murphy January 28, 2012 / 11:51 pm

    The tunnel near the Adams Street Bridge is the Maytown Tunnel. Swede Tunnel is about 2 km south of this one and is easily accessed on the gravel-top Guest River Gorge Trail. I’ve also seen Swede Tunnel referred to as Beverly Tunnel in old documents relating to when this line was first built. Somewhere on Google Books I stumbled across an article from a 1921 magazine that has pictures of when this tunnel was under construction. A search for “May Town Tunnel” should bring it right up. I live less than a 100 yards from this tunnel and had no clue it was even back there. I had seen it on maps, but always assumed it was inaccessible or sealed up. It’s quite interesting to actually see it even if it is a muddy mess.

    • bobtricities2011 January 29, 2012 / 6:26 am

      Thank you for this information. We had a long discussion about the name of this tunnel. My buddy will be happy to know that he was right in thinking that Swede is that short tunnel on the Guest River Gorge Trail…we’ve been through it several times. I’ll post a picture of it soon.

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