I’m posting these tunnels as they descend to Marion NC, but the pictures weren’t taken sequentially. This was of necessity, since we’ve taken about four trips to figure out ways to get to these often isolated works of man. This last Sunday was my long anticipated “that’s a wrap” trip. We got the two tunnels that finished off the quest to photograph the 54 tunnels between Elkhorn City and Marion NC (there were 55 tunnels, but 3rd Rocky was opened up in 1977…there would have been 56, but the Ashford Cut couldn’t support a tunnel – and a gracious thanks to Dr. Brown for that piece of information). So, here we are at 1st Rocky, 716′ long and this, the southern portal, located at 35.869675, -82.006134. This tunnel, which is the first on the long glide down to Marion, is so named because it’s rocky. The platform to the left, (see comment below)
Bob: That platform off to the left was probably to hold a track car – a motor car used for the track crew to get around on the railroad for inspection and minor work. Some had trailers to carry larger material. Motor cars got dropped when the railroads started using pickup trucks with rail wheels. Crews had to man-handle the cars off of the track for trains. Some had jacks built in to the car, to help lift the motor car so that it could be turned 90 degrees and rolled onto trackside platforms.
Thank you! I appreciate your input tremendously! Adds to my knowledge of how the Clinchfield operated.