After following 80M up Dry Fork to Cedar Bluff, Chase Freeman and I headed east on the Clinch Valley expecting to find a train around Gillespie. Disappointingly this didn’t happen, but J73 was in the siding.
1. This NS slow approach signal at Bailey Switch VA looked promising, but we had just come from Cedar Bluff and nothing was back there except J73. Bailey VA.
2. Bluefield ought to yield some action. Not like the old days, but there were two trains to go west. 29G-03 (Norfolk to Detroit) with 8367-2698 departs west. Today he has 16 intermodal for Columbus plus 7 empties. Behind those are 48 empty auto racks for Detroit. No. 195-04 (Linwood-Bellevue) has just pulled in for a crew change on Main 2. NS 8367-2698 leaving Bluefield VA.
3. 29G left first, but 195 ran around him. NS 8442-9345-8826 roll west at bucolic Nemours with 195-04 (Linwood-Bellevue) with 23 loads and 95 empties.
4. NS 8442-9345-8826. View 2. Nemours.
5. 195 approaches Bluestone Jct. NS 8442-9345-8826. Bluestone.
6. Those piers supported the lead into the N&W’s electric generating plant and shop at Bluestone.
7. No. 188-03 (Bellevue-Crewe) with 66/23 hustles east behind NS 6801-9249-7508-8781. The electric plant would have been on the right. Bluestone.
8. No. 188 rolls through Flat Top (Yards VA post office). Something is coming on Main 2. NS 6801. Flat Top.
9. New NS gon 202215. Flat Top.
10. 29G barrels west. NS 8367-2698. Flat Top.
11. It was slow going around Elkhorn Tunnel, and Chase and I were able to catch up with 29G at Maybeury. 29G is just east of North Fork in this view. NS 8367-2698. North Fork.
12. 29G at Eckman. On the right is the spur to the Dan’s Branch Mine. NS 8367-2698. Eckman.
13. 29G reaches sun light at the west end of West Vivian Tunnel (formerly known as Kimball Tunnel). This is just west of Kimball. NS 8367-2698. Big Four.
14. NS 8367-2698. Big Four. View 2.
15. 29G passing Superior. The preparation plant is across the creek on the left. Years ago this was Lake Superior Coal Co. NS 8367-2698.
16. We didn’t beat 29G to Iaeger by much. The depot was in this area. NS 8367-2698. Iaeger.
17. Down at Hull we found 83J with “Interstate” 8105 returning east to Auville Yard. NS 8105. Hull.
18. NS 8105. Hull. View 2.
19. 83J turns on the wye at Dry Fork Jct. NS 8105. Iaeger.
20. NS 8105. Iaeger. View 2.
21. He was informed he would follow two eastbounds to Bluefield. In fact 83J pushed M8M-03 (Elkhart-Linwood) later in the evening. NS 8105. Iaeger. View 3.