N&W in 1910--Dingess tunnel
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Sun Dec 13 12:45:02 EST 2009
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
June 30, 1910
SPEND THOUSANDS ON OLD DINGESS TUNNEL
Norfolk and Western Will Preserve Twelve Pole Valley Line to Carry Back Empties
The action of the Norfolk and Western in spending an immense sum of money in putting an arch in the Dingess tunnel from end to end dissipates the theory not long since expressed that the old Twelve Pole Valley Line would be abandoned.
For about a year contractors have been busy on this work, and thousands of tons of brick and concrete have been consumed in the work.
With the exception of a moderate quantity of local freight and passenger traffic, the old line is now used for the purpose of carrying empties back to the coal fields after having taken their tonnage of coal and coke to the markets in the northwest.
Owing to the heavy grades and sharp curves which abound on the Twelve Pole Line, all heavy freight trains and all through passenger trains are run over the Big Sandy Line.
There is still a good quantity of timber on the head waters of Twelve Pole and plenty of good coal. It is believed, however, if there were neither of these commodities in evidence the road would be preserved for the double track purposes it will now will serve.
[The six-mile grade of one percent or more against loaded coal trains on the original single-track Twelve Pole mainline extended completely through the 3327-foot-long Dingess Tunnel. The single-track Big Sandy Low Grade Line was opened in December 1904 and was 24.20 miles shorter than the Twelve Pole line. The N&W completed double tracking of the Big Sandy line in 1925 and then abandoned the 54.49 miles of the Twelve Pole line between Lenore and Wayne on September 2, 1933. The N&W's 1933 Annual Report states, "Removal of the rails, ties and other items of value on this line was competed in November, 1933, and 53.78 miles of abandoned right-of-way were conveyed to the State of West Virginia for highway purposes." For those who may have missed the links where they were first posted here, one can experience a motorcycle ride on the state road over the old Twelve Pole line including Dingess and Breeden tunnels by checking out the following:
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