On Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, I took a day of vacation and travelled over to former L&N territory between Deane and Hazard, KY.
1. South Dent looking south at the end of the passing siding toward Deane. CSX signals. S Dent KY.
2. That 260 mile post is measured from Louisville. CSX signals. View 2. S Dent KY.
3. CSX signals. View 3. S Dent KY.
4. Looking north toward Hazard. CSX signals. View 4. S Dent KY.
5. Reference the article at the end of this rail fan adventure. This is the remains of the turntable pit taken from the Leatherwood Branch bridge over the North Fork of the Kentucky River. L&N turntable remains. Dent KY.
6. L&N turntable remains. View 2. Dent KY.
7. Looking north toward Hazard at the junction of the Leatherwood Branch with the passing siding. CSX junction. Dent KY.
8. Junction of the Carr’s Fork Branch (left) with the Rockhouse Subdivision at Jeff. The former water tank could probably serve engines on both lines. There is an active mine (Yellow Creek) on Carr’s Fork near Vicco. CSX junction. Jeff KY.
9. Looking north toward Hazard. The spur to the inactive Buckeye Mine comes off at the switch just beyond the signal. CSX junction. View 2. Jeff KY.
10. This skewed through truss bridge at Jeff is one of several on the former L&N lines in Eastern Kentucky. CSX bridge. Jeff KY.
11. CSX bridge closeup. View 2. Jeff KY.
12. Having found nothing going on at Hazard or Typo mine I decided to retrace my steps toward home. At Deane I met an empty train from Martin coming down the hill off the former C&O E&BV Subdivision. I figured they were going to shove their train up these sidings and load their train at Rapid Load mine. Not so...they only picked up speed and disappeared around the curve. I raced down the curvy state highway trying to overtake the train that was cruising along at 25 m.p.h. The train here is on former C&O track. L&N track was to the right, but it has been removed. CSX 39. Deane KY.
13. Near Isom KY, CSX 39-593 on mine C842-08 bring 90 empty tubs past the church at the mouth of Blair Branch. The long siding once served South-East Coal’s Swaunee mine siding. One of my colleagues at work is a member of this church although he lives in Pike County. As of late, one AC unit was stationed here to push coal trains over Deane Mountain on the E&BV. I’m not sure if this is still the practice giving the lower traffic levels. CSX 39-593. Isom KY.
14. C842 gets a “medium clear” signal at Blackey. The Whitesburg Branch (old EK main line to Whitesburg and Neon) hasn’t seen any recent activity, but the Roxanna mine is to resume loading soon. Roxanna is now the end of line up the north fork of the Kentucky River. CSX 39-593. Blackey KY.
15. C842 comes into Dent yard on the passing siding. They will run around their train and proceed up the Leatherwood Branch on the right to load at the Blue Diamond mine. CSX 39-593. Dent KY.
16. The taxi arrives to assist the conductor. CSX 39-593. View 2. Dent KY.
17. C842 has a “slow clear” to come out of the siding at North Dent. CSX signals. N Dent KY.
18. Unlike the C&O, normally control point signals on the L&N are approach lit. CSX 39-593. N Dent KY.
19. CSX 39-593. View 2. N Dent KY.
20. The engineer on C842 is now swapping engines and has a clear signal to go to South Dent. CSX signals. View 2. N Dent KY.
21. CSX 593-39. View 3. N Dent KY.
22. C842 runs up the main to South Dent. CSX 593-39. Dent KY.
23. CSX 593-39. View 2. Dent KY.
24. C842 comes slowly down the siding. The turntable pit is on the right. CSX 593-39. View 3. Dent KY.
25. CSX 593-39. View 4. Dent KY.
26. CSX 593-39. View 5. Dent KY.
27. CSX 593-39. View 6. Dent KY.
28. The conductor couples up the engines. It’s getting dark. CSX 593-39. View 7. Dent KY.
29. CSX 593-39. View 8. Dent KY.
30. C842-08 proceeds up the Leatherwood Branch. The taxi will meet them up there as well as a new crew. I head for home. CSX 593-39. View 9. Dent KY.
31. CSX Rockhouse SD. Page 1.
32. CSX Rockhouse SD. Page 2.
33. Dent magazine article. Page 1. Click here for a larger image.
34. Dent magazine article. Page 2. Click here for a larger image.
35. Dent magazine article. Page 3. Click here for a larger image.
36. Dent Yard and major facilities. Click here for larger diagram.
The coaling plant survived into the late 1970s. The photo of 2-8-4 1979 on the turntable appeared in Prince’s book Louisville & Nashville Steam Locomotives.
All for now.