The Twins, Again

I always liked The Twins (I like Kent Junction, too.  I’m irrational at times).  This is looking at the North Twin, south portal, from the South Twin, north portal.  South Twin is 236′ and North Twin is 308′.  Faceup date on both is 1912.   They’re about 5.6 miles northeast of Clinchport on Highway 65.
Up in North Carolina, on the loops, I was able to get three tunnels in one shot.  To get any more than that would take tunnels like Bee Rock lined right up.

Bee Rock tunnel

In 1890, the Louisville & Nashville railway (L&N) pushed two tunnels through outcroppings of Stone Mountain between Appalachia and Big Stone Gap while creating its Cumberland Valley Division.  This one, closest to Appalachia at 36.895712, -82.787822, is Bee Rock.








This is the view from the Appalachia side.  The tracks are still in place, but they haven’t seen a train since around 1986.  Bee Rock, at 47′ 7″ in length, enjoyed a brief fame as the “Shortest Railroad Tunnel in Use in the United States”, according to Ripley’s Believe it or Not.   Soon (oops!), someone noticed that there was a tunnel a foot or so shorter over near Gallatin TN and that was that.

This is looking through the tunnel toward Callahan’s Nose tunnel (about 4,000′ ahead), which we’ll come to later (interesting tunnel, that).








The plans are, I believe, to turn this old railbed from Appalachia to Big Stone Gap into a trail for walking and biking.  I hope so.  I’ve walked it a couple of times.  It’s very enjoyable, but, then, I’m easy.  I’ve walked a lot worse rail lines, for sure.