Holbrook tunnel

The third tunnel between St. Paul and Coeburn is Holbrook.  It centers at 36.924873, -82.372080 and is about 1,600′  long.  A trestle begins 11′ or so inside the northwestern portal and extends 625′ over a valley.  It’s dated 1947, but, since the tunnel was blasted out around 1905, we know it’s a replacement for the original timber trestle (and it must have been some trestle!).  There are two more trestles before we get to Coeburn, both high and long.


May Town tunnel

Here’s Swede  May Town tunnel.  This northern portal is located at 36.936982, -82.465540 in Coeburn VA.  It was constructed in 1922 as the Interstate Railroad ran a line up from Miller Yard through Guest River Gorge to Coeburn and points beyond.  It went out of service in the ’60s and all the trackage has been removed.  It’s around 639′ long and muddy.  We wore waders to get through it.  Just behind where I was standing to take this picture is Adams Street bridge.
Btw, the Guest River Gorge trail is a great hike and there’s even one small tunnel on the way (Swede tunnel).  It’s not far down the trail, but it’s a little over 5 miles  to the Clinch River from the trailhead, it’s a long, long 5 miles back up.  Each mile is marked with a sign and, as you’re coming back up, the signs seem to get farther and farther apart.  We’ve done it on bikes and on foot.  Bikes are recommended, believe me. Or a helicopter.