Huger Middle Track

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Fri Oct 27 11:59:27 EDT 2017

Mr. Woods,

Huger Middle Track has been and appears to still be used as a storage 
track. I'm not sure how this is currently worked, but based on this and 
similar locations in the past, the track arrangement suggests westbounds 
can set off empty hoppers by a trailing-point move from the #2 (former 
westbound) main and eastbounds can pick up loads by a trailing-point 
move from the #1 (former eastbound) main. The mine run can show up as 
just a light engine and swap empties for loads between the middle track 
and outlet track.

Ironically, this middle track used to have an unusually elaborate 
arrangement on the west end and was kept busy serving three adjacent 
tipples. I believe the one current tipple is referred to as "Maitland" 
and is on the site of the former Lake Superior Coal Co., Operation #3, 
next to the westbound main. The former Maitland Colliery was on the same 
side just to the west past the next curve and the former Lake Superior 
#4 was across from #3, next to the eastbound main.

The middle track's west end had the usual crossover to the westbound 
main, but had a double crossover to the eastbound main, just west of the 
#4 outlet switch. Both Superior tipples only shipped west (lake) coal, 
so the double crossover made it easy to pull loads directly from #4 
outlet across the eastbound main to the westbound. The mine run could 
set them over into the middle track along with loads from #3 for 
westbound River crews to pick up on their return to Williamson. River 
crews could also pull loads directly from the two Superior tipples if 
the middle track was full or if a tipple might get blocked off.

Maitland loaded raw coal and when it shipped east to Bluestone, the mine 
run would shove these "short" loads into the east end of Huger for 
eastbound Elkhorn crews to pick up on their way back to Bluefield. When 
the mine run worked out of Eckman, they could also return with east 
loads for forwarding from Eckman Yard and free up more capacity at Huger.

Westbound Elkhorn crews set off empties in Huger for the mine run to 
deliver all three tipples.

When the lakes froze over, Superior stopped shipping and stockpiled 
coal. The resulting capacity in the middle track was used for storing 
coal from other tipples.

Grant Carpenter

On 10/18/2017 5:13 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> Just west of Huger tunnel a center track comes off main #1 then 
> connects to main #2 about 3,000’ to the west.  I find it unusual since 
> it’s not connected to both mains at both ends like most of the center 
> sidings.  Can anyone explain this arrangement and how the track is 
> used?  Is it just a storage track?  The satellite image on google maps 
> shows some hoppers parked there.
> Here's the satellite image that shows the track:
> Carl Woods
> Richmond, VA

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