Late 40's re-alignment on Elkhorn grade

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Jul 8 21:41:24 EDT 2014

The Norfolk & Western Magazine had at least one article (maybe more) with pictures showing a number of the changes.

Jim Nichols 

On Tuesday, July 8, 2014 11:52 AM, NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at> wrote:

In preparation for discontinuing electric operations with the opening of the new Elkhorn tunnel in 1950, several miles on the heavy grade were re-aligned to reduce curvature and rise.  I have read at least one article (may have been in Railway Age) giving an overview of this work that spanned several years showing a few pictures/diagrams of a few of the places where new cuts were made, bridges eliminated, etc.  I would like to get more detailed information and/or photos of exactly what changes were made during this project e.g. creek re-routings, U.S. 52 re-routings, all the places where the line was relocated, any sidings/branches that were eliminated, etc. etc.  There is an old bridge at Landgraff on the opposite side of 52 from the present main that I assume was left from when the main was over there.  Also, down in Kyle bottom there are footers standing in someones front yard that again look like evidence of the old alignment.  I am especially
 interested in the changes at Switchback/Maybeury associated with new bridge and side swap up Barlow hollow.  It is still barely possible to see slide fence remnants (vertical rail segments) through the leaves/kudzoo to the North side of the present main near Switchback.  I assume the old main would have hugged the hill and been right next to this slide fence as it climbed past the power plant on its way to the old trestle.  I assume the Angel Branch would have left the main at some point along here, but would sure like to know exactly where.  Also, was there a siding associated with the power plant?
Any information on this transformation will be greatly appreciated.
Jim Cochran
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