1. After shooting the meet at Edjouet siding, I headed south to catch up with C640. CSX ES44ACs 725-862 roll up the North Fork of the Kentucky River just south of Coolidge, Ky., on August 23rd.
Upon pulling back onto the paved highway, I heard the dreaded whop, whop, whop! Yep, a flat tire. This one didn't prove so difficult to change as the one in the New River Gorge. But it was very hot and I got equally filthy. Turned out to be something small, which we pulled out and plugged when I got home.
2. C640 heads up the Leatherwood Branch at Daisy, Ky. A surface mine is on the left.
3. The abandoned siding on the right once served the W. M. Ritter Lumber Co. mill at Daisy. They had a small 2-truck Shay as late as 1957 (photo in Steam and Thunder in the Timber by Mike Koch) and operated a network of log-hauling lines into the hills of Perry County.
4. C640 pulls around the curve at Jim Hill, Ky., just below the mine.
5. C640 pulls up the main line under the tipple.
6. After coming back down the siding, C640 sets over one empty hopper. Their instructions are to load 29 cars of stoker coal, but they have one extra for good measure.
7. The Leatherwood mine is actually the second with that name. Old Leatherwood was located a few miles on up a steep grade at the head of the hollow. Blue Diamond Coal is now a subsidiary of James River Coal.
8. Jim Hill was the bottom of the steep grade. There was a siding here where cars were set off if the hill had to be "doubled." I would have loved to have seen a lashup of L&N ALCo RS-3s tackling the grade up to the old Leatherwood tipple with cleaner coal.
9. Jim Hill was the bottom of the steep grade. There was a siding here where cars were set off if the hill had to be "doubled." I would have loved to have seen a lashup of L&N ALCo RS-3s tackling the grade up to the old Leatherwood tipple with cleaner coal.
10. The preparation plant is up Beech Fork to the right. There are several stacking tubes for processed coal. Leatherwood loads about a train a day.
Before you ask, if standing on the bridge you would be in sight of the security guard house. Now they might let you onto company property, but the shot off the bridge would be tight (28mm wide angle ... I shot the tipple before the guard house went in). Even on a quiet Saturday afternoon, it's best to keep a low profile.