[N&W] Re: Clinch Valley

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue May 4 23:18:02 EDT 2004

Exactly when the Blackford Branch was abandoned, I can't determine, but it
did appear in N&W's 1957 public timetables (freight service only).  This was
spur that connected with the CV at Honaker.  It had extremely light axle
loadings and the predominant traffic on the Blackford Branch was livestock.
Service on the Blackford Branch was on a seasonal  arrangement and when
livestock specials were operated, N&W furnished  a Class G 2-8-0, built in
1897 which had an engine weight of about 120,000 lbs.  The G's survived to
serve the Blackford Branch.

One of the CV helper districts was Finney (post office may be known as
Artrip) to Honaker Tunnel.  One retired CV engineer noted it was possible
to get a light Y6 up to 60 MPH on  "Finney Flats".

Clearances have always been a problem on the CV.  Even today, the tunnels
west of St. Paul can't accomodate a Plate C car (no jumbo covered hoppers,
double stacks, etc.).  In 1956-57, this probably wasn't a problem, but it did
eliminate high-wide loads and meant no vista-domes on Nos. 5-6, a la Colorado.

Harry Bundy

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