Origin of Switchback

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue Apr 20 03:11:04 EDT 2021

The origin of Switchback goes back to at least 1892, and presumably to
the original construction of the Elkhorn Extension.  Before the
Construction of the Ohio Extension, the branch down into Maybeury
would have been a true switchback off a dead-end branch instead of
just another branch off of a mainline track.

Archives drawing HS-H10236, N&W RR drawing 869, shows the word
"Switchback" twice. It is applied to the track down to the bottomlands
at Maybeury, in the same font as the words "Elkhorn Extension" and the
names of various other branches, and also applied to the location
between the switch diverges from the Elkhorn Extension main back up
-hollow and down-hill to the mines.
A small excerpt of the full drawing is attached.

Archives photo DS00125 is the same photo from the 2Q2014 issue of the
Arrow that Chris Dalton mentioned, for those not inclined to dig out
their back issues.
My thinking is that the track probably only reached the substation
level and not all the way up to the power plant.

I presume the power plant was directly fed by a nearby mine for its
entire active lifetime?.

Joe Shaw
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