Elkhorn tunnel

This tunnel, referred to in early N&W documents as “Tunnel 377”, was first known as the Coaldale tunnel, but is now officially (as the sign on the lintel says) the Elkhorn tunnel.  Shown is the SE portal at 37.333022, -81.338904, about one mile as the crow flies, from the NW portal of the Coopers tunnel, across the Bluestone River.  The tunnel is on the Flat Top Extension, which opened up a way to the Ohio River for the N&W.  It was excavated between 1887-1888 and is 1.3 miles long.
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As you can tell by the comment below, this posting is pretty much just twaddle.  This is the Elkhorn Tunnel, but it’s Elkhorn Tunnel #2. The original tunnel was a single-track jobbie about 3,100′ long.  That line was electrified between about 1915 to just after WWII.  Wanting double tracks and seeing needs shift, N&W bored this tunnel, about 1.5 miles NW from Bramwell WV.  It was dedicated in 1950.
According to Buddy French (http://shinbrierwv.com/coaldale/return_to_coaldale_-_great_story_by_buddy_french), the old Elkhorn Tunnel, located at Coaldale, was abandoned and filled in after the new line was built.

I always appreciate comments and corrections, always!

4 thoughts on “Elkhorn tunnel

  1. bill gordon June 19, 2017 / 10:16 pm

    Enjoying your blog, noticed this photo of the new Elkhorn tunnel. New Elkhorn tunnel replaced the single track old Coaldale tunnel which is close by to the north and slightly higher. Portals for that tunnel were buried. New Elkhorn was finished about 1950 and is 7101 feet in length. It originally had ventilating fans for blowing out the smoke from steam locomotives.

  2. Anonymous December 26, 2017 / 2:52 pm

    Not saying your wrong, but the Coaldale Tunnel was above this and to the right coming from Coopers Tunnel. It was deliberately filled in after Elkhorn was built. Don’t remember reading they gave this tunnel same name, but possibly. Just keep in mind this tunnel replaced Coaldale. Had the pleasure of walking through this. Doesn’t look like 7,000 ft, but it sure feels like it.

    • Bob Lawrence December 26, 2017 / 5:08 pm

      Your memories are more valuable for me than the research I’ve done. I need now to go back and find out where I got the posting wrong. Many thanks!

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