N&W in 1912--New branch line

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Thu Oct 13 22:05:41 EDT 2011

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
February 9, 1912

Norfolk and Western Extension Will Open Up Large Tract of Valuable Coal Land
A report reached here yesterday which received semi-official confirmation, to the effect that the Norfolk and Western and the Pond Creek Coal Company have forces of engineers at work on the extension of a branch line up Pond Creek into Kentucky for a distance of twenty miles. The engineers have secured the entire third floor of the Bank of Commerce building at Williamson, which will be used as headquarters.
The Pond Creek extension will extend back from near Williamson on the Kentucky side of the river towards Pikeville, which is but twenty-five miles from Williamson along the Pond Creek route, and over which route a star mail and hack line formerly made trips between the capital of Pike county in Kentucky, and Williamson, the county seat of Mingo county.
It is reported that the railroad will open up a large tract of land owned by the United States Coal and Oil Company and other people, the territory indirectly reached amounting to over 100,000 acres. In order to reach the Kentucky side of the river and extend the line it will be necessary to span Tug River with a bridge. The river is quite wide at the point of passage and will undoubtedly be crossed at an angle so the Williamson yard can be reached at a point which will permit of easy handling of the tonnage secured from the Kentucky side, which judging from the territory that will be tapped will be enormous and provide tonnage for many years to come, in addition to providing a route for further access into the coalfields of Pike county, Ky., which are only touched by the Norfolk and Western at this time.
[Mason Cooper's Pocahontas Division book, available in the NWHS Commissary, has information on the Pond Creek Branch.]

Gordon Hamilton
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