Narrows Branch Question - Terminal Facilities at Narrows

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Jan 2 18:54:02 EST 2018


Drawing HS-H10260 in the NWHS archives appears to confirm much of what 
you surmised about the NRH&W RR at Narrows. The drawing is not dated, 
but the main track is labeled "New River, Holston and Western R.R." and 
the database listing has a drawing revised date "1926-06-03"

The point of switch off the N&W Eastbound main track to NRH&W is shown a 
few feet west of N&W MP N334 (and 739.8 feet west of the west end of the 
N&W bridge over Wolf Creek), but strangely to me the zero mile post for 
the NRH&W  is located 209 ft. east of that point of switch (maybe that 
was the clearance point??).  Because the switch to NRH&W was facing 
point off the eastbound N&W track I assume that the end of the NRH&W at 
Bastion would be timetable _/east/_ of Narrows.  At least that is the 
way I have used directions on the NRH&W here.

Just 12.5 ft. east of the NRH&W zero mile post was another point of 
switch creating two tracks for 1249.5 ft, point of switch to point of 
switch.  A "Motor Car Ho." was located just east of the end of the two 

Another 1147 ft. east of the end of two tracks was the point of switch 
of a track leading to the loco and car facilities.  A second switch 
created two tracks into the facilities, which were from east to west, 
Storehouse, Tank, Shops, 30-ft Turntable, Car Shed.  The distance 
between points of switch of the facilities track on the main track was 
875 ft.

Unfortunately, I don't have the answers to any of the other questions 
that you had about the NRH&W.

Gordon Hamilton

On 1/1/2018 6:25 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> As I understand it, the "Narrows Branch" came off the Main Line on a 
> facing point switch in the Eastbound main track, just west of the Wolf 
> Creek Bridge, west of Narrows depot. (All traces of it had been 
> obliterated by the time I hired in 1964.)
> The New River Holston & Western was operated as a self-standing 
> company from 1903 to 1919, which meant it had to have its own terminal 
> facilities at Narrows. The problem is that from the switch in the N&W 
> Main Line, the first half mile of the branch is that the line lies on 
> the west bank of Wolf Creek around a big bluff, with no room for an 
> ash pit, water tank, coal wharf and turn table or wye.  The first flat 
> spot of land which would afford room for such facilities, and a few 
> tracks, is at the big curve in present Park Drive, coordinates 
> 327.329  -80.8160, which is almost 6/10 mile from the NRH&W's junction 
> switch with the N&W.
> Does anyone know if this is, indeed, where the NRH&W had its terminal 
> facilities, yard tracks, engine service track and depot?   What became 
> of the old NRH&W depot at Narrows?
> Second question:  N&W took over the NRH&W in 1919.  Did the N&W 
> continue to work the branch with an engine and crew stationed 
> somewhere around Narrows, or did the engine and crew come out of some 
> other terminal (e.g. Radford) ?
> -- abram burnett
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