On Friday morning, May 30th, Bob Jackson, Ron Piskor and I drove from Hawks Nest State Park at Ansted over to Rainelle to check out the former NF&G. Approaching Rainelle on US 60 we picked up mine run H802-30 talking on the scanner. We photographed repainted "Chessie" caboose 903503 on display at the town hall. Nearby we shot a couple of vintage 1947 C&O boxcars used as an addition to a warehouse near the site of the old depot. More on those later.
1. CSX 876-667 amble by the small storage track near the former site of JD Cabin behind the Dairy Queen.
3. Former car shop and storage track at Rainelle looking railroad west. Rainelle really didn't have a "yard" as we know it...just a storage siding here and there.
4. Jib crane at the former car repair shop. Looking toward the US 60 crossing and old JD Cabin. H802-30 has backed onto his train.
5. CSX 876-667 are leaving town for Meadow Creek. Engines 450-461 are shut down.
6. H802 eastbound passes "Woody" on the outskirts of Rainelle. Ron, Bob and I discussed doing some maintenance on these few remaining standard C&O station signs next year.
7. H802 assaults the steep grade up to Springdale with 37 loads.
8. The summit gained, H802 pokes through the cut at Springdale before crossing the state highway.
9. H802 starts the drop to the New River. This site was formerly known as "Top Siding."
10. CSX 876-667 slowly tread through Meadow Bridge. Here's another sign that needs attention. That's a storage siding on the left.
11. H802 approaches the road crossing at the bottom of the Claypool loops. Here the old alignment (two switchbacks) tied in with the newer alignment (two loops).
12. The Sewell Valley Subdivision sticks to the south side of Claypool Creek the rest of the way down to Meadow Bridge. The railroad hugs the stream.
13. The only station or location given is Dondale.
14. We forget about this scenic waterfall every year, so the result is a grab shot.
15. H802 arrives at "Wendy", the acronym for the west end of the wye at Meadow Creek. The New River excursion trains used to turn here.
16. Ron Piskor (left) and Bob Jackson (right) capture the operation for posterity.
17. H802 parks its 37 loads at Meadow Creek yard to await pickup by a main line train.
We then headed on over to CW Cabin and Hinton. More on that later.