N&W in 1909--New branch

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Thu Jun 18 21:40:47 EDT 2009

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
November 9, 1909

New Branch Will Relieve Congested Traffic in Pocahontas Field
Fifteen Miles of Track to be Laid Between Canebrake and Cedar Bluff and Only One Tunnel, 4800 Feet in Length, Will be Cut

Considerable interest is being taken among the coal men in this field in the new line which the Norfolk & Western is to commence building between Canebrake and Cedar Bluff, on the Clinch Valley. This line, which will connect the Pocahontas division with the Clinch Valley division [The new line became the Dry Fork Branch.] and help to make the Clinch a better paying line, will eventually connect with the Tug Fork branch and the Clear Fork branch [Neither was ever connected.], and in this way a great deal of the congested traffic on the immediate Pocahontas coal field will be diverted to a line [The N&W Clinch Valley line.] which has never at any time in the past done a record breaking business. In addition to this it will enable the Norfolk & Western to ship a great deal of eastern coal and coke to tidewater with a shorter mileage. Work is to be commenced on the extension to Cedar Bluff at once, and it is expected that the line will be ready for operation on January 1st, 1911. Fifteen miles of track will be laid and only one tunnel will have to be built. This tunnel will be 4,800 feet in length.
Another very interesting fact has just been learned, and that is that the Norfolk & Western and the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio have recently completed traffic arrangements by which the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio will use the Norfolk & Western tracks from St. Paul to Kiser [Later known as Carbo.], on the Clinch Valley division, and from there the new line will connect up with the extension to Elkhorn City. It could not be learned yesterday, just how much of this line has been built, but it is understood that the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio expects to commence running freight and passenger trains from St. Paul to Kiser commencing December 1st. The original plan of the company was to build a tunnel at Dante and go from there on to Elkhorn City, but the tunnel cannot be finished for some time and it is possible that the Kiser arrangement will be only temporary. [The CC&O did build the line from Kiser to Wilder (known as the CC&O Dumps Creek line) and even operated passenger trains between St. Paul and Wilder, but never built the connection between Wilder and Elkhorn City. In 1956 the CC&O (by then Clinchfield RR) Dumps Creek line became the N&W Dumps Creek Branch.]
The South and Western [Should be the Virginia & Southwestern.] now uses the Norfolk & Western tracks from Toms Creek to their line at Norton [V&SW maps do show its having a line between Norton, Coeburn and Toms Creek.], and the new arrangement will mean that three lines can now use the Clinch Valley division. The Clinch connects at Norton with the Louisville & Nashville and a short line [The Virginia & Kentucky RR] which runs to Wise court house. At St. Paul it connects with the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio, and with the development of the lower Clinch and Cedar Bluff extension and the Kiser arrangement there is no reason why the Clinch Valley should not now become a revenue producer. [The last sentence in the article was too blurred on the microfilm to transcribe here. Other articles in the BDT have claimed that the N&W's Clinch Valley line was not profitable in this time period.]
Gordon Hamilton
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