I’d forgotten I had this picture. This much-used Jordan Spreader, SBD 774760, was sitting in the eastern part of Kingsport yard back in 2012. I thought it might have been used to clear tunnels of ice. That was fanciful. When I looked it up, I found that the unit is used to dig and clear ditches, regulate ballast and even to plow snow. Sturdy and reliable, and, of course, it’s been replaced by more modern things…so it goes.
It was raining slightly and I saw these boxcars sitting on a siding off Tilthammer Drive, in the industrial park behind Evergreen Garden Center in Kingsport. A few years ago, I came this way and the rails were getting a little rusty. I thought that this siding was unused, but, as you can see by the rails now, it is getting steady use by one of the companies down there. Nice to see. Go, railroads!
Back a long time ago, a Clinchfield Railroad spur peeled off the main line at Kingsport Yard and came down to this stop, which looks to be a Linden-made piece, next to Oakwood Market on West Sullivan Street. I assume it provided ship-ins to the grocery store and ship-ins and -outs for Roberts-Johnson Lumber Company. The lumber company burned down sometime in the ’70s, I think. Willing to stand corrected on that. I can’t find a reference for it.
It’s amazing, sometimes, to see just what survives over the years…
If you’d been hanging out around this area in, say, 1777, you would have seen a fort down near the river, at a location that’s probably been obliterated by Tennessee Eastman or the plant that preceded it. That would have been Fort Patrick Henry (nowhere near the dam that carries the name). However, the tunnel wouldn’t have been here, since it was completed in
1927 1913 or so. There are just three more tunnels in Tennessee before the rail line heads into the Appalachian Mountains (and that’s ap-UH-latch-ian, not ap-UH-lace-ian) (’round here). This tunnel is 154′ long. First is the western portal, then a look back at the eastern portal. A bridge here (which can be clearly seen on Google Earth) overlooks the old Kingsport waterworks and the never-completed 3-C railbed. Over the river and on to Colonial Heights.