North Carolina Branch--Carnation

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Tue Jan 3 10:47:01 EST 2006

The types of cars (freight traffic to/from) will be real interesting! Aubrey, we need a conductors log book from there! I better hold on to TYCO Carnation tanker!
Charlie Long

-----Original Message-----

>From: nw-mailing-list at

>Sent: Jan 2, 2006 10:12 PM

>To: nw-mailing-list at

>Subject: Re: North Carolina Branch


>In it's day, the Carnation plant was a MAJOR employer in Galax for many

>years, and best of all, it shipped nearly 100% of its goods by rail, It was

>also unusual in the fact that it's employees where 100% unionized, and the

>jobs where considered very high paying at the time.


>It was a major source of revenue for the NC Branch. I am unsure when it

>closed. It will be covered in my photo series when I make my Galax trip, The

>building is still recognizable.


>I hope today, to go down to Ivanhoe and get some shots of the New Jersey

>Zinc mine head frame, and some detail of the long abandoned National Carbide

>plant, Which in its time was another major industry on the North Carolina

>Branch, My grandfather was one of the top managers at the carbide plant,

>this trip is totally dependant on the weather today, and it don't look



>Last night as I was digging thru more and even more piles of info, I found

>the National Carbide Quarry, where they dug up the raw materials used in the

>manufacture of carbide.


>The info I have is that it is spectacular looking! I will make a

>preliminary exploration today funny thing is about it,is that it is right

>beside the trail, but I have never seen it! According to the maps, it is no

>more than 100 yards from the trail, between Ivanhoe Trestle and Ivanhoe.


>I also need to clarify about the Gossan Mines, my post was vague about the

>history of it. The iron ore they mined was high in sulfur content, they

>shipped it to Pulaski, to heat the ore at the "Acid Plant", and extract

>sulfuric acid from it, they then shipped the iron ore to a furnace in



>The Grade up to the mine load out was so steep that they could only run

>steam locomotives up it pilot first, due to the water exposing the firebox

>if the tried to back up the grade, also they where limited on how many cars

>they could bring down at a time, due to grade. Their also was a switch back

>2/3s of the way up, the tail of the switchback, curved around the Huey Mine,

>witch is nothing more than an immense hole in the ground. (early on their

>where 3 separate mining entities up on iron ridge to start with, Bumbarger,

>Huey, and the Great Outburst mine, they all came under the control of

>General Chemical and was operated as one.


>N&W used standard 70 ton hoppers, only loaded about 1/3 full, due to the

>density of the iron ore, being so much more than coal, to load the cars to

>the top, would easily break the backs of the cars.


>Andy Jennings


>----- Original Message -----

>Sent: Monday, January 02, 2006 11:50 AM

>Subject: Re: North Carolina Branch


>This past New Year's weekend I celebrated in Galax as the town kicked off

>its centennial observance and celebration with their own "First Night!"

>What an event!


>Now to my point; while there, I went into a former church building that is

>now a senior citizens center and craft store or sorts. I found a nice black

>and white picture of the Galax Carnation plant! I didn't know there was

>such a place there, especially such a large operation. The picture showed a

>forty foot B&O "Time Saver" box car beside the building and a Virginian coal

>hopper! Maybe this discovery is news to only me, but in case others aren't

>aware of it, I post this message.


>Aubrey Wiley

>Lynchburg, Va.




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