Virginian in 1911--Jenny's Gap

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Sat Jun 18 21:08:34 EDT 2011

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
November 4, 1911

Chesapeake and Ohio Preparing to Build Extension Down Slab Creek in Wyoming County
It is currently reported in Wyoming county that the Chesapeake and Ohio is to build a railroad down Slab Creek in that county and that steel rails are now being delivered for the completion of the line, which was graded several years ago. The reports, which appear to have some foundation, state that the arrangement has been made by the Chesapeake and Ohio with the Virginian Railway whereby both roads will use the Jenny's Gap tunnel, making it possible for the Chesapeake and Ohio to connect up the Buffalo branch in Logan county with the Slab Creek branch, thereby opening up a very large coal territory and giving the Chesapeake and Ohio an excellent grade on which to deliver coal to Huntington, via the Guyandotte Valley branch.
The construction of the Jenny's Gap tunnel by the Chesapeake and Ohio, together with a large amount of other railroad construction by that line several years ago, which was later on torn up when the courts decided that the Virginian was the owner of the Jenny's Gap tunnel, has always been a thorn in the side of the Chesapeake and Ohio management. To be forced to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a railroad line and then have all that work done for nothing was too much for the line, and it is reasonable to suppose that it would be open to any proposition whereby the money spent for grading could be put to good use by the laying of steel, and this especially in view of the fact that the road would be able to practically accomplish the very things it started out to do when the building of the Virginian became a reality.
If the branches are extended, and there appears to be a good reason to believe that they will be, the Chesapeake and Ohio will be tremendously heavy coal shippers within the next five years, if it is able to take care of all the territory it has developed or is now developing.
The building of the line would mean the commencement of coal operating on a larger scale in Wyoming county, said by coal men to be the county which will make the biggest showing of any West Virginia county during the next ten years.

[For a excellent account of the Virginian vs. Chesapeake and Ohio legal maneuvering over Jenny's Gap, see "The Battle for Jenny's Gap" by Ed Wiley in the March/April 2001 issue of The Arrow. I'm thinking the C&O never used Jenny's Gap tunnel, but how about it Virginian authorities?]

Gordon Hamilton
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