Arthur Tunnel and Old Line
NW Mailing List
nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue Jan 7 20:45:14 EST 2014
Thanks for the information. So, was the old alignment possibly used
as a detour around that tunnel while it was daylighted? I guess that
is the main question I have.
On 1/7/14, NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org> wrote:
> Here is some of the history about the original trackage and improvements in
> question at Arthur.
> The old road bed around the ridge is the original V&T route. Moving coal
> began in 1883 and it grew exponentially each year thereafter. By 1887 the
> old line had reached its capacity and the N&W Railroad began to increase
> capacity by making major line changes to lessen curvature and to reduce
> A major line relocation occurred from Vicker to Pelton (just west of
> Christiansburg). The old line had a severe grade from Grab Creek up to the
> high grould to reach Christiansburg. The new line had a more gradual grade
> of one percent from Vicker to the Alleghany Summit; this was completed by
> 1890. Line relocations occurred on the east side of Christainsburg
> Mountain, too. The map that Bruce gave shows the new line at Arthur was
> completed by the same time since it is dated 1890, and the new line
> eliminated curves and had a short tunnel on the new line.
> After the line relocations were underway, the railroad began double
> tracking. In 1890 annual report, it listed 34.5 miles being prepared for
> double tracking to increase capacity. In 1891 the 34.5 miles was double
> tracked which included 12.66 miles from Radford to Christiansburg, and 21.84
> miles from Roanoke to Elliston. This was the first double tracking on the
> In 1898 the line from Christiansburg to Elliston began being double tracked
> by the N&W Railway and was done in stages. By 1901, the double track had
> been extended from Elliston to Shawsville Tunnel and from Christiansburg to
> Montgomery. The 1901 annual report lists 4.76 miles of double track was
> added from Shawsville to Arthur and that the 150-foot tunnel at Arthur was
> converted to a deep cut double track. The double track on the eastern slope
> of Christiansburg Mountain was completed in 1905 with the completion of the
> second bore of Montgomery Tunnel.
> Bud Jeffries
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: NW Mailing List
> To: NW Mailing List
> Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2014 3:30 PM
> Subject: Arthur Tunnel and Old Line
> On Thu, Jan 2, 2014 at 10:56 AM, Al wrote:
> Can you send that topo directly? I get a 403 error.
> I dropped the maps I downloaded on my N&W site; see
> http://www.brucebharper.info/nwrwy/maps/maps.html for the PDF files from
> 1890, 1932, and 1937, along with the image I cut from the 1890 map that
> shows the three tunnels on the line.
> It would appear that the original V&T line went around the spur of the
> ridge at Arthur, then the tunnel was bored through the ridge, then the
> tunnel daylighted when the line was expanded from two tracks to three
> starting there and continuing west.
> Bruce in Blacksburg
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