Pine Mountain tunnel, west portal

Just a couple of days ago, a person who had visited this blog sent me some extremely valuable information on the Pine Mountain tunnel, bored in 1947-1948 from Jenkins KY over to the Virginia side of Pine Mountain.  The C & O was eager to open up a vast, 300 million ton, coal field just east of Pound.  The tunnel was completed in 1948 and was out of service by 1958.  The east portal, which I’ve posted before, is more or less open, if you like slogging in waders to get through to it.  This west portal, near Jenkins, was boarded up rather thoroughly (although I’ve had at least one person comment that they had gone through it).  Thanks to a photo by Chris Balthis, I know that this portal is well reinforced with concrete.  The literature indicates that this side of the mountain wasn’t as stable as the east side.  Look closely and you’ll see the inscription above the tunnel.  They did things like that then…now they just throw tunnels up and slap some concrete on them.  Hmmph, kids these days…
Anyway, I thought I’d posted this western portal.  I hadn’t.  Error corrected.

2 thoughts on “Pine Mountain tunnel, west portal

  1. Jess December 14, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    My husband and I visited the Pine Mtn Tunnel in Jenkins, Ky today. There’s an area in the boards that has been cut out, appears as if for someone to get through. It looks rather muddy on the inside, not sure if someone could traverse. Anyway, would like to know more about it if you have the info. Thanks!

    • Bob Lawrence December 15, 2017 / 5:15 pm

      The story is that the tunnel was extremely unstable and had partially collapsed. It has on the Virginia side, for sure. Research seems to indicate that the geology in that area tends to shift. I’ll go through well maintained tunnels, if they’re reasonably short, but not long, unused, unstable ones. Nope. No way.

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