This is the original location of the Fremont train station in Dickenson County VA:
As the railroad went up to Moss mine, Fremont became a busy place…built in 1915. Sometime later, a giant grabbed the depot and put it on the hill. Up there is Fremont Avenue (Highway 83 which wends its way between Clintwood and Clinchco. On the other side of the tracks, across a rather heavy-duty bridge over the McClure River, is Highway 63 which takes you to, surprise!, McClure.
The renovated depot, by the way, looks great and continues to well serve the people who travel in this area.
This tunnel unites Kermit and Speers Ferry VA in Scott County west of Gate City (see comment below). The tunnel is over 4,000′ long. This string is heading north. Just behind me and to the right is a curve that creates banshee-like shrieks as the wheels negotiate it (how do trains, without a differential, as such, handle curves? Read here.)
This is Pounding Mill tunnel #2, looking easterly. It’s centered at 37.078653, -81.738603 and is about 377′ long. A straight line distance from tunnel #1 is a little over a mile, but probably along the line of 2 miles if you walked the track, which we didn’t. And we had a very hard time finding this tunnel and #3, since Google Earth, of which we are not worthy, made a teensy error, labeling Estates Street as Ash Street and we were totally lost. Lee was hungry, it was nearing noon, so he suggested we give it up and head over to a nearby Wendy’s so he could get one of their baked potatoes. I rarely eat potatoes, so I stayed outside, propped up against the car, looking at the topo map to see if there were any other way to get down to where those tunnels are. An SUV pulled up. The driver, a man, leaned over his passenger, a women, and asked, “What are you looking for? I might be able to help you.” I took the topo over and was pointing out where we needed to go to both the man and, as it turned out, his wife. She took one look at the map and said, “That’s where my parents live.” As I batted away the angels singing around my head, I explained that we needed to find Ash Street. The man said that they’d changed the name of it to Estates Street. Problem solved. He called ahead, got permission for us to cross his father-in-law’s land to get to the railroad and the tunnels. When Lee came out of Wendy’s with his food, I told him what was going on and he just laughed and shook his head. “Who would believe it!”
So, here’s tunnel #2. It probably looks pretty much as it did 120 or so years ago.
This is a long one. It’s 4,688′ or so and centered at 37.152524, -81.693367, near Bandy VA. Interesting design on this portal. Since I’d just made a production of sliding on my belly down the 30′ or so embankment coming up here, I wasn’t in the mood to trudge over to the other portal to check it. You can, if you want to.
Yeah, it’s not a tunnel, but I’ve gotten interested in documenting the remaining train stations in our area. Some are pretty tarted up and some are gone. Some have character.
This one, which appears to be on the road to renovation, is in Meadowview VA. It’s pretty much standard issue train station.
The railroad came to Meadowview around 1856 and kept the community prosperous until the 1950s. Meadowview, also known as Meadow View, is near Whitetop Mountain.
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.