King Bridge

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This Clinchfield Railroad trestle is only King Bridge Company (Cleveland OH) unit I’ve found.  Made in 1907.  That’s the Clinch River it’s crossing (no, it’s not..see below.  It could be Cove Creek, though).  This deck girder is just off Hwy. 65 south of Ft. Blackmore in Scott County VA.

The Tennessean

thetennesseanfront thetennesseanback

The Tennessean train was jointly operated by N&W and Southern with a 24-hour run between Washington DC and Memphis.  It made regular trips from 1941 until 1968.

The lady who mailed this didn’t have a particularly good experience:
“Train 8 hrs late arriving at Memphis.  Phoned (someone). They will meet me in (something). Coach without heat all night – nearly froze.  No food on the train except potato chips and crackers.  Thanks for lunch. Love Mother”

The Memphis postmark is incomplete, but has to be from the ’50s, when postcard postage was two cents (1952 – 1958).

Card was printed by E. C. Kropp of Milwaukee.

Appalachia Train Station

appalachiatsfrnt appalachiatsback

The L&N came into what was then known as Intermont in 1891.  It formally became Appalachia in 1906.  This Craftsman style train station was built around 1910.  Notably, it has a slate roof.
The card was printed by The Tecraft Company in Tenafly NJ.  That company registered The Tecraft Company as a trade name in 1946, when it was over 70 years old.

Judging by the quality of the photo and comparing it to other Tecraft cards on line, I would think this card dates to the early 20th century.  It’s in fair to good condition with just  two minor creases.

Note: back in 2012, I’d posted a picture of how the station looks now.  As the comment below notes, it’s a wreck.

Seaboard Coast Line Caboose

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I didn’t track this too carefully, but it was noted as being in Marion NC around 1984.  Makes sense, it’s now on some guy’s property about 8 miles south of Spruce Pine, beside an active CSX line at Sevier Crossroads.  Looks to be in pretty good shape.  It’s sited at 35 48 10.89N, 82 00 59.22W on Old Linville Road.  Family Lines System only existed from 1972 to 1982 and this predates that, since it carries a Seaboard Coast Line ID number.  It is, I think, an ACL (Atlantic Coast Lines) M-5.  I could be wrong.  When I was a kid, attracting chiggers on a mountain side in the foggy dawn light while by brother listened for squirrels, I looked over and saw what I thought was a cat and called to it.  My brother: “Hush, Bobby, and, anyway, that’s skunk, not a cat.  Now be quiet!”

Hazard Yard South Tunnel

This is the south portal of the tunnel that passes through a ridge south of Hazard Yard.  The tunnel is about 450′ long.

southhazardtunnel

The box truss trestle passes over the North Fork of the Kentucky River.  Vandals (grrrr) have relieved the bridge of its maker/date plate.  However, the bridge resembles others on this line that were made by Virginia Bridge and Iron Company in Roanoke in 1912.

The Tunnel that Opened up Hazard

In 1912 or so, the L&N was eager to get to the high-quality coal around Hazard KY.  This tunnel, 1,300′ or so, was the access.

hazardyardtunnel

Hello, Hazard!  This is on the north side of Hazard Yard, now plenty of tracks but not much traffic.  In its day, though, it was a full-time yard.  There was at least one turntable.  The circular foundation is still visible.  The next post is of the tunnel on the south side of the yard.

Trolley?

trolley

I took this picture back in 2009.  The idea that looking a little closer and taken a few more pictures of something interesting hadn’t dawned on me.
This is, or was, in Hiltons VA.  I think was once a trolley car.  Just over to the left is where the railroad once came through Hiltons (the line from Bristol to Gate City).  I dunno.  We find artifacts like this all over the place.

Surprise! Big Four, No Daylight

big4

Photo by Lee Stone.
I like the composition of this shot.  That’s Big Four #2 up ahead.  Just beyond it is Big Four’s Walmart (formerly a K-Mart).  This 174′ tunnel may still be scheduled for daylighting (removing the overburden and opening it up) in that corridor improvement project, but, as of November, 2106, it’s still a tunnel.  That’s Elkhorn Creek on the left.
Incidentally, when I was researching this tunnel, I learned that the community of Big Four was named after the four owners of the major mines in this area.  Keep the big people happy, and distracted.

Antler #1 Tunnel

antlernrone

My traveling buddy, Lee Stone, was exploring the area around Welch WV and kindly took the time to shoot some of the tunnels in the area.  This N&S’s Antler #1 (37 27 14.88N, 81 37 42.75W – this is the format for Google Earth), eastern face, built around 1905.  In the late 2000s, it was part of the Heartland Corridor Clearance Project to raise the clearances in 28 tunnels on the line.

20th Century Limited Leaving Chicago

20thcent
20thcentback

I like postcards.  I especially like pre-WWI, probably German-printed, dramatic cards…with a train. This is one of them.  The title of this post is what is printed on the front of this card.

The back notes it is card 51 of, perhaps, a railroad series.  There’s a rather wordy puff piece about the 20th Century Limited.  But the message is the interesting item:

Hello Blanche.  Recd. your card all O.K  Was disappointed a few weeks ago, guess you know why.  Sincerely C.B.

It was posted from Rogersville TN on March 3, 2pm, 1911, to Miss Blanche Gladson, Rogersville Tenn R#4.

Now, let me tell you about Blanche.  I’ve run across more cards sent to her than to anyone else. She had a large family and, apparently, throngs of friends, all merrily posting cards to her.

She probably enjoyed them all.  I know I have.

Southern Pass

southernpassfront southernpassback
T
his Southern Railway Company pass, 4 x 2.5″, was issued to Miss Josephine Morris, dependent daughter of W.H. Morris, Agent, Harriman, Tenn, in 1921.
The back looks like a pass that didn’t print well.  There’s a clover pattern overall and “NTOW”, part of some word or other. I hope she enjoyed her visits to and from Knoxville.

I didn’t have any luck tracking down the name of the vice-president who signed this.

Nolichucky River Bridge (Unaka Springs)

bridgefacebridgeback

I think this card is from the early 20s.  I don’t know what company actually printed it (“published by Erwin Drug” just means that the drug store commissioned the postcard run).  American News Company of Boston farmed out a lot of the black-and-white work to Curt Teich in Chicago.  The inventory number does seem to indicate ANC.  However, I’m still working on this.  I have several cards in my collection that have the same back design and one seems to indicate it was done by Asheville Post Card Company.
Another maybe: this design often is shown with “COMMERCIALCHROME” AND “OCTOCHROME” in place of the “BLACK AND WHITE” wording.  It gets complicated.
Whatever.  This bridge was a replacement for an earlier timber structure and is, according to Goforth, is a TPG, a through plate girder style built on stone piers (possible: Goforth had access to original construction data and may have been using the TPG abbreviation to mean “timber plate girder”). It’s 864′ long.  This view is looking back toward Erwin. Note the steps up to the railroad grade.
This is the same bridge in 2014 (36 05 56.8N, 82 26 34.9W – Google Earth coordinate data entry):

The bridge is now a through pony plate girder and the piers are still there, but have been added on to in order to raise the level of the track.  There are houses on the left of this,at Unaka Springs, but no stairs.

Southern Railway Freight Office

sofreight

Well, it was the Southern Railway Freight Office on Meadow Road in Asheville.  Habitat for Humanity occupies the back portion (cropped out in this picture) for storage, I guess, since their retail store is just across the parking lot from this building.  This portion appears to be unoccupied.

I especially like the SR medallions in the upper corners.  Southern was a deal back then.

Polly Switchers

Here’re three more pix of those switchers in Polly KY:

lookinginto

This is looking at the back of the switcher.

controls

These are the controls by the engineer’s chair.  Note the intercom speaker.

regisplate

This is the registration plate on the back switcher (the front one was gone).  It’s been smoothed down over the years, but I think the model number is D904703 (that “D” could be a “O”) and the serial number is 52G155.

Two Blue Switchers

gmswitchers

Ran across these at a mostly abandoned coal mine and processing plant in Polly KY.
I am no expert on engines, but these are switchers made by the General Motors Electromotive Division…maybe carry the NW designation, which would mean they date from the early 40s.  I was able to get the serial number, but it didn’t yield any information when I conducted a search.

These have been hit by vandals.  That’s no surprise.

Old Fort Depot

oldfort

This is the old depot, now a tourism center, is in Old Fort NC.
The caboose there is open to the public and still retains some features of this crew car, including this advisory (in stencil caps) above the toilet:
CAUTION
TOILET WILL NOT
OPERATE PROPERLY
WITHOUT 60 POUNDS
MIN. ON TRAIN LINE GAUGE

The stove is still there, a work desk, three, I think, couches that could be used as beds, and so forth.  Old Fort is about 7 miles east of Black Mountain on Hwy. 70.

 

 

Trestle, bridge

I got to thinking: trestle or bridge?  Both, I discovered.  A trestle bridge is a span supported by piers or bents (says Google).  This solidly built deck girder trestle bridge spans the French Broad River near Marshall NC.  The man standing to the left is my buddy, who kindly entered the shot to provide a sense of scale.  The bridge is over 600′ long.
trestlenc

Fancy Livery

sunnyknott

This is a 1960 ALCO 125-ton diesel locomotive, according to the web.  Quite fancy livery, too. The Sunny Knott Loadout is located at Lackey, Knott County, Kentucky.  We couldn’t tell if it was active.  The gates were wide open and, even though there was security of a sort, we weren’t hassled at all.  From the looks of the surrounding area, this must have been a busy site once upon a time.

Printer KY Tunnel

We’re on the Long Fork Subdivision of the old C&O that ran from Martin KY to Hi Hat.  This is the north portal of a tunnel, faced out and supported by wood, near Printer KY (named for a John Printer, in case you were wondering).
printertunnelnorthportal

It’s 350′ long and in good shape.  Here’s what the inside looks like:
printertunnelinside

And here’s the south portal:
printertunnelsouth

Again, I don’t know how old these wood supports and facings are. The line went in sometime in the late 1920s and was active up until the 1990s.

E&BV subdivision tunnel

This is just outside Martin (old Beaver Creek) KY on what was once called the Elkhorn and Beaver Valley Railroad (there’s a split in Martin: the E&BV went west, the Long Fork subdivision went south).
martintunnel

It’s supported by wood bracing and framing.  This line was built in the 1913-1914 time period, but I don’t know if this wood structural support dates to that time.  The timbers are gray with age and have been heavily imbued with creosote. This is an abandoned line.
(I also don’t know who owns the two red plastic balls down on the left)

The Hemphills, #1 & #2

hemphill1wface
This is Hemphill tunnel #1 west portal, about 800′ long.

hemphill2eface

and this is Hemphill tunnel #2 east portal, about 1200′ long

If you’ve got Google Earth, set the options to “digital” and enter these coordinates:
37.44387, -81.59671
Or just follow the N&S railroad line south of Capels WV and you’ll find where my buddy was standing when he took these pictures.  He was sort of in between these two, with #1 being slightly to the SE of him.
There’s great history of these tunnels here <click>

Pictures courtesy of Lee Stone

 

Up in Harlan County

I don’t post a lot of pictures of bridges.  My buddy’s always saying, “Look at that bridge!  You want to stop and take a picture of it?”  And I say, “No.”  I figure if it’s a mighty truss bridge, then Calvin (Sneed) has already posted it on bridgehunter.com.  Otherwise, it’s just trestle…

However, this really sturdy deck girder is a relic of the once-mighty coal-driven railways that the L&N pushed though out of Harlan KY.  They built strong.  The rails on this trestle have “Tennessee 1938” notations on them.  It’s a dead line, but I bet it supported one hell of a lot of tonnage in its day.

The trestle crosses Catron Creek at about 36.79852, -83.33855.