Hand Off at the Horn
Rail Fan Adventure --
On the morning of October 13, 1980, I was able to reach Elkhorn City KY in time to see the a.m. hand off of overnight hotshot number 97 from the Clinchfield to the Chesapeake & Ohio.
1. The CRR cab had cut off on the fly back at the south end of the yard, and then a blue C&O caboose dropped from the cab track onto 97's rear car.
2. The three SDs that had brought 97 north were already in the engine track while two C&O units replaced them on the head end. With a downriver profile to BS Junction (Catlettsburg, KY), where the Big Sandy would join the main line, it's either level or downgrade, so two units would be plenty.
3. Big changes were coming, though. In just over two weeks---November 1, 1980---CSX Corporation would be created. Elkhorn City would be closed as a terminal--and the Clinchfield and C&O would eventually disappear as autonomous railroads.
Train images used by permission of Ron Flanary
last update - 19 Feb 2015