N&W Cripple Creek Extension

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sat Nov 27 16:10:38 EST 2010

On Thu, Nov 25, 2010 at 10:21 AM, Jim wrote:

> Gordon


> Did you notice two and possibly 3 switchbacks on the map? Now if we could

> find N&W track charts for that time period they would fill in the rest of

> the story.


Did you say "track charts"? Go to
http://www.brucebharper.info/nwrwy/CrippleCreek.html for 1927 track charts
for the Ivanhoe to Speedwell portion of the North Carolina Branch, including
the Norma Branch. Note the change of web address, I maxed out the space
available to staff in the VT filebox system, so I moved to some server space
I have where I host some other web sites.

The track charts are probably second or third-generation copies of
blueprints made in the early '90s when Grant Carpenter and I and some of the
others in the Blacksburg bunch were chasing the last days of the North
Carolina Branch and tracking some of the old branches after the line shut
down. Someone had a contact in the N&W engineering department who had
legitimate access to the charts to make a copy. Depending on what has been
transferred to the historical society, the chart may be in a drawer
somewhere in the archives. I tried to clean up the negative photocopy and
convert it to a positive and sharpen it when I scanned the pages. I'll work
on scanning the rest of the chart as I can.

In the meantime, the track chart at Cripple Creek shows the short piece of
track that leads to the turntable shown on Dr. Randolph Chitwood's map and
the branch running behind the station. It also shows the Norma Branch
climbing quite a bit, with some 16-degree curves in there, with the N&W
portion ending just after crossing a 127-foot bridge, at an elevation of
2,287 feet.

Grant and I did manage to make it up that way and I remember seeing the
Raven Cliff furnace, but I don't remember going through Cripple Creek. I'll
have to dig out my slides from our trips down that way to add to the site,
to document the end of service on that line.

I'm ready for a road trip.

Bruce in Blacksburg
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