Huger Middle Track

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Mon Oct 30 08:41:21 EDT 2017

Thanks Grant.  This is exactly the information I needed.  It's great to have access to the knowledge base of this list.

Carl Woods
Richmond, VA

From: NW-Mailing-List [mailto:nw-mailing-list-bounces at] On Behalf Of NW Mailing List
Sent: Friday, October 27, 2017 11:59 AM
To: nw-mailing-list at
Subject: Huger Middle Track

Mr. Woods,

Huger Middle Track has been and appears to still be used as a storage track. I'm not sure how this is currently worked, but based on this and similar locations in the past, the track arrangement suggests westbounds can set off empty hoppers by a trailing-point move from the #2 (former westbound) main and eastbounds can pick up loads by a trailing-point move from the #1 (former eastbound) main. The mine run can show up as just a light engine and swap empties for loads between the middle track and outlet track.

Ironically, this middle track used to have an unusually elaborate arrangement on the west end and was kept busy serving three adjacent tipples. I believe the one current tipple is referred to as "Maitland" and is on the site of the former Lake Superior Coal Co., Operation #3, next to the westbound main. The former Maitland Colliery was on the same side just to the west past the next curve and the former Lake Superior #4 was across from #3, next to the eastbound main.

The middle track's west end had the usual crossover to the westbound main, but had a double crossover to the eastbound main, just west of the #4 outlet switch. Both Superior tipples only shipped west (lake) coal, so the double crossover made it easy to pull loads directly from #4 outlet across the eastbound main to the westbound. The mine run could set them over into the middle track along with loads from #3 for westbound River crews to pick up on their return to Williamson. River crews could also pull loads directly from the two Superior tipples if the middle track was full or if a tipple might get blocked off.

Maitland loaded raw coal and when it shipped east to Bluestone, the mine run would shove these "short" loads into the east end of Huger for eastbound Elkhorn crews to pick up on their way back to Bluefield. When the mine run worked out of Eckman, they could also return with east loads for forwarding from Eckman Yard and free up more capacity at Huger.

Westbound Elkhorn crews set off empties in Huger for the mine run to deliver all three tipples.

When the lakes froze over, Superior stopped shipping and stockpiled coal. The resulting capacity in the middle track was used for storing coal from other tipples.

Grant Carpenter

On 10/18/2017 5:13 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:
Just west of Huger tunnel a center track comes off main #1 then connects to main #2 about 3,000' to the west.  I find it unusual since it's not connected to both mains at both ends like most of the center sidings.  Can anyone explain this arrangement and how the track is used?  Is it just a storage track?  The satellite image on google maps shows some hoppers parked there.

Here's the satellite image that shows the track:

Carl Woods
Richmond, VA

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