Switchback v2.0

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Apr 22 22:52:14 EDT 2021


You're correct. Well, . . .

. . . As I recall from looking at this decades ago (my disclaimer), the 
alignment of the Elkhorn Branch beyond its junction switch at Switchback 
was to be obliterated by fill from the new mainline alignment. To 
maintain service to Angle Mine during construction, a second switch was 
cut into the old eastbound main upgrade just below the powerhouse.

This realignment of Elkhorn Branch, renamed Angle Spur, dropped below 
the old main to parallel what was to be the new westbound main (as shown 
in DS00125), then veered away along the hillside, short of what was to 
be the new Maybeury Bridge, and dropped down to the original branch 
alignment. When the new westbound main was laid coming off the bridge 
and parallel to the new spur, a crossover, in effect, was installed 
between the two tracks as the new junction.

The junction was referred to as "Angle" by crews, particularly westbound 
Elkhorn jobs who set off empties here (a lot) during the fifties. This 
was the first stop for a Vivian mine run out of Bluefield.

Apparently, APCo took advantage and what became a switchback after the 
old main was taken up, stayed in service as a spur to the substation. 
Photos from the 1920s in Alex's/Billion Dollar Coalfield/ seem to show a 
spur in the same location on a trailing-point switch off the westbound 
main about the time the transformer yard was built.

Grant Carpenter

On 4/21/2021 7:40 AM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> I am under the impression that Archives photo DS00125 shows a 
> connection that was created to a portion of the old main line (at the 
> higher elevation) during the 1950's re-alignment.  You can view what 
> is left of this if you zoom in on the substation area on Google Maps.  
> Can anyone confirm or refute?
> Jim Cochran

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