About The Tunnel Diaries

This started out as a documentation of the 54 tunnels on the Clinchfield Railroad between Elkhorn City KY and Marion NC.  Later on, as my Tunnel Diaries navigator and Lord of the Topos, Lee Stone, found other tunnels and interesting places to visit, the blog expanded.  As of October, 2013, we’ve pretty much run out of tunnels within reasonable driving range, so I’m including features like the dated concrete road overpasses the railroad constructed and anything else more or less related to the railroad industry in this area.  I’ve also been updating the black-and-white pictures with color versions.  These pictures are my own and should you wish to use them for your own purposes, please obtain my permission.  Thank you.

22 thoughts on “About The Tunnel Diaries

  1. Butch Adkins January 12, 2013 / 5:20 pm

    Like the tunnel site

  2. Anonymous April 24, 2014 / 11:49 am

    hi was looking at your tunnel pics around dante area…do u have a pic of tunnel at wakenva where train went over a small creek. my uncle Vernon Martin lived other side about 1959-60. you had to go through tunnel to get to his house. thanks linda

  3. linda April 24, 2014 / 12:11 pm

    do u have pic of tunnel at wakenva va down road past trammel va going away from dante area. creek went though it. my uncle Vernon martin lived on other side 1959-60. u had to walk through tunnel to get to his house. thanks linda

    • Bob Lawrence April 24, 2014 / 5:30 pm

      Yes, ma’am, I do. It’s Martin tunnel. The picture is here.
      Thank you for looking at The Tunnel Diaries.

  4. railfan July 5, 2014 / 11:26 pm

    Interested in what you know about a spur tunnel near Dante, North portal is I believe at 37° 2’20.70″N 82°11’7.56″W and South portal is at 37° 0’50.51″N 82°11’46.68″W

    • Bob Lawrence July 6, 2014 / 5:42 am

      That’s the newer Sandy Ridge Tunnel (there are two with the same name in the area), completed in 1958 and out of service a decade or so later, when the need for that spur went away. It’s shown on this page: https://thetunneldiaries.com/2012/04/

      • Anonymous July 15, 2014 / 6:23 pm

        That is fascinating – thanks for the history.

      • Bob Lawrence July 15, 2014 / 8:16 pm

        And thank you for taking time to look it over!

  5. Wizzy Boo July 18, 2014 / 8:07 pm

    I just ran across your site and I cant wait to see the tunnels you have found! I am running out of places to find old tunnels so this is wonderful! thank you so much,Wizzy

  6. Johnf470 August 15, 2014 / 4:46 am

    Hey very nice blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds alsoI am happy to find a lot of useful info here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . . eggaafedefea

  7. Johnc201 August 15, 2014 / 4:46 am

    I do agree with all the ideas you have introduced for your post. They are really convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are very brief for newbies. May you please extend them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post. gdadeekbfcbc

    • Bob Lawrence August 15, 2014 / 5:31 pm

      Anything in particular you’d like me to expand upon?

      • Lesa Bentley August 24, 2014 / 3:34 pm

        Great pics! I actually live in Sun, Va… wondering what the long tunnel at the old Dante ballpark, going up towards Trammel Gap is called & if you have a pic of it? Thanks so much!

  8. Lesa Bentley August 24, 2014 / 3:36 pm

    Great pics! I actually live in Sun, Va… wondering what the long tunnel at the old Dante ballpark, going up towards Trammel Gap is called & if you have a pic of it? Thanks so much!

  9. dan September 25, 2014 / 10:28 am

    Your research and travels ( rail tunnel spelunking) are intriquing. Thanks for sharing. I plan to explore a few this Oct. dan

  10. Jon January 28, 2015 / 9:28 pm

    Bob send me and email. I think I can answer a lot of your questions and give you a couple more possible adventures on the CRR.

    Did you hear about the tunnel fire at Robinson’s Creek (5 miles from Vergie) last summer?


  11. Travis February 10, 2015 / 8:54 am

    I had a question about an old tunnel that someone asked me about, and they are going on by what there grandparent told them. It was a tunnel located in the Tom’ Creek area of Coeburn, Va and he thinks it was called Denny Tunnel. Do you have any info on this or do you know anything about this particular tunnel.. Thanks Travis

    • Bob Lawrence February 10, 2015 / 6:18 pm

      From Coeburn heading southeast to St. Paul on the old Norfolk & Western line (built around 1907 or so), you’ll find these tunnels: Little Tom, Holbrook, Little Bull and Big Bull. In St. Paul, there is Cragan (or Craigan) tunnel. I don’t know Denny Tunnel, but, if you find some source of information on this one, please pass it along to me. I need to document it. Thank you!

  12. Shane Passmore February 10, 2015 / 1:23 pm

    Hi Bob, Thanks for the wonderful website. My son and I love to explore old tunnels (especially the Rathole in TN). Anyway, how did you access the Oakman Tunnel(s) here in TN? Is that TVA land above them and along Elm Springs Road? Or is there another way? Thanks!

    • Bob Lawrence February 10, 2015 / 5:46 pm

      Thank you for the compliment. Yes, to access the Oakman tunnels, you do have to park where Elm Springs Road crosses the tracks and walk in from there. Since we had absolutely no desire to cross over the lake on that trestle (too dangerous), we went around to the Lone Mountain Boat Dock area and hiked down to Sycamore Tunnel (36.377813, -83.562397) from there. Great views all around, too (it was summer).

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