Dry Fork tunnel #2, centered at 37.222078, -81.633671. It’s about 478′ long. 1912 date. Thanks go to Lee Stone for the picture…I was still fussing with my camera after taking the dusty slide…plus, I wasn’t interested in climbing a long fill again. Wonder why? As of this date, it doesn’t bother me at all.
We’re just off Hwy. 627 about a mile south (as el cuervo flies) of Bandy VA. This tunnel is centered at 37.128412, -81.699718. It appears to be about 501′ long. There’s a trestle a little bit past this northern portal that goes over 627, but, since I lost my notes on this journey, I don’t recall the date on the trestle. Btw, I’ve replaced both the voice recorder and the eTrex with newer models. I tried them out last Sunday as we explored the old town of Bulls Gap…first railroad there was built by slave labor in 1857. I’ll be posting it to www.unclebobstravels.com soon.
We started in Cedar Bluff VA, working our way up the N&S line toward Rift WV. There are five tunnels along the way. It was a hot day. I ended up taking a belly slide down the shaley embankment off a rail line (I was nearly to the top of the 35′ embankment when the loose dirt crumbled away from my foot and down I went, clutching a small tree that I had grabbed, hoping for a little braking, but I got breaking) and getting a fair amount of scratches (two on the lens of my Nikon, prompting my buddy to remind me about, you know, a skylight filter to protect the lens…). Then, to top if off, a few tunnels on, I absent mindedly left my Olympus voice recorder and my eTrex on the trunk of my car and then drove away. God knows where they are. But, I’ve got replacements ordered. Paraphrasing a saying by my boss, “If you’re going to be stupid, you’ll have to pay.”
This is Dry Fork tunnel #5, centered at 37.109438, -81.723611. This is looking more or less south. By the Google Earth ruler, it appears to be about 790′ long. 1912 date, as you can see. This line could be far older than this date, since N&W could have done a full refurb of the line in 1911-1912 (there are these dates firmly on trestles and tunnels on this line), facing the tunnels and replacing old timber trestles. If further research shows this is true, I’ll update this.