Clinch Valley line Access Bluefiled to Tazewell

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sun Dec 3 19:24:59 EST 2006

There are a number of small roads that parallel the Clinch Valley line
between Bluefield and Tazewell that are virtually trackside. After passing
w/b through Bluefield/Graham VA off 19 and following the Clinch Valley line,
you will pass over the line on that highway. From that point back-track
about a ¼ mile and take the narrow road off to the right. This drops you
down to trackside. Following this road, you will pass down a valley with
the tracks on one side and the road on the other side. You can easily find
the road off of your DeLorme map book of Virginia.

There are a few good trestles along this line that make great photographic
locations after the leaves are down.

Some of this route requires going back on to US460 and taking the county
roads back to trackside. One can get trackside al of the way down to
Pounding Mill for a good portion of this line.

Gary Rolih



From: nw-mailing-list-bounces at
[mailto:nw-mailing-list-bounces at] On Behalf Of NW Mailing List
Sent: Sunday, December 03, 2006 12:30 PM
To: NW Mailing List
Subject: RE: Planning a sight seeing trip of the pokey


You asked about the Clinch Valley Line, and since I did not see a response
I'll give you some highlights of my favorite branch of the N&W (based on my
last trip there which was on the way to the N&WHS meeting in Williamson in
the summer of 2005):

You can see the junction of the Clinch Valley Line with the Pokey in
downtown Bluefield, Virginia, about where US 19 makes a left hand turn
(going west) and becomes Virginia Avenue. However, after Bluefield you
cannot see much of the CV until you get to Tazewell. If you go into Tazewell
there is a N&W station still standing. Continue on US 19/460 to Claypool
Hill and then take US 460 to Cedar Bluff, Richlands, and Raven where you can
see the CV again.

Backtrack on US 460 to US 19 and continue west. At Hansonville get on
Alternate US 58 and head to St. Paul. St. Paul is where the old Clinchfield
crossed the N&W, and just east of St. Paul is Boody which is where the
interchange between the CRR and the N&W took place (a large horizontal wye).
To get there, take SR 63 in St. Paul and head east and you will see the
Boody yard. There is road to the right of SR 63 that takes you right under
the CRR/N&W wye.

Going west on Alt. US 58 from St. Paul you will cross under the CV Line and
between St. Paul and Coeburn you will see a series of high trestles to the
north of the highway connecting Big Bull Tunnel , Holbrook Tunnel, and
Little Tom Tunnel. It is quite a sight to see, but be careful slowing down
as the coal trucks go really fast!

Go into downtown Coeburn and you will see a N&W station now being used by a
local government agency. In Coeburn get on SR 72 and take a short side trip
along the Toms Creek Branch line to Tom Creek. There you will see an active
flood loader owned by the Paramount Coal Co. Return to Coeburn and continue
west on Alt. US 58. In Tacoma you will see a coal loader which you can't
miss since it is painted red. In Ramsay there is a large coal loader to the
south of the highway, but it was not active and locked up in the summer of

The last stop on the CV Line is Norton which is an interesting railroad
town. If you go up to the 11th Street viaduct you will get a good view of
the Norton yard. To the west was the L&N/N&W interchange and the Interstate
Railroad's yard. To the east was the Interstate's interchange with the N&W.

I highly recommend that you have a DeLorme atlas for Virginia with you if
you intend to take any of the side roads, and it is also useful in tracking
the CV Line. For some background on the CV Line as well as a description of
its route and maps you may want to read the series of article on the CV Line
that Buck Wilson and I wrote for The Arrow (the 3/4/04, 5/6/04 and 7/8/04

You can contact me off line at <mailto:ipmandel1 at>
ipmandel1 at if you have any questions.

Hope you have a great trip.

Paul Mandelkern

Winter Park, FL

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

From: NW <mailto:nw-mailing-list at> Mailing List

To: nw-mailing-list at

Sent: Sunday, November 19, 2006 8:40 AM

Subject: Planning a sight seeing trip of the pokey

Last year at Christmas I took a very last minut ride (from Florida) to
Bluefield to follow the frograil tour of the Pokey listed on the web. We
got as far as Welch and up the Tug branch before having to return home.

This year we are going back between Christmas and New Years. Got a new
digital camera and am looking to take better pictures this time. Anybody
want to share where the real quality shots to be had are located? Are there
any steam era tipples left? (even abandoned in place) We saw the large
facility at Keystone and went up the Tug branch and saw the small loaders in

Also curious to know what can be seen or is it even possible to follow the
Clinch Valley Line out of Bluefield.

More important, Is there better or closer motels to sleep than coming back
to Bluefield or Princeton?

Thanks in advance for any info.
Tom Lewis, Jacksonville FL.


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