Arthur Tunnel and Old V&T Line

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Thu Jan 9 21:51:15 EST 2014

Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2014 20:45:14 -0500

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Subject: Re: Arthur Tunnel and Old Line

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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.


Ben Blevins


Based on Bruce's 1890 topo and google terrain maps it appears that the
original V&T line you walked was not a detour around the tunnel in the
Arthur area, but rather the original V&TRR single track grade that curved
around the south end of a fairly large hill or ridge (look directly across
the track from the 1500 ft designation) just west of the tunnel location.
Later this portion of the track west of the tunnel was straighten by cutting
through this hill/ridge w/o the use of a tunnel. I do not know if this
straightened right-of-way was originally laid as double track or single. The
1890 topo seems to me to show a single track right-of-way already on this
straightened alignment. The 150' Arthur Tunnel was located just east of
where Sparrow Rd approaches the current right of way. According to Bud's
information this single track tunnel (c.1853) was daylighted in 1901 to
become a double track right-of-way. If you walk the area today there is
clearly no evidence that a shoefly or detour track was used to accomplish
this task. So the tunnel never had a detour, and the 'detour' that you
walked was simply the original right-of-way built around (rather than
through) the end of a sizable ridge to save construction cost in 1853. As
best I can tell. Hope this helps.

John Garner

Newport, VA

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