Ball's Hole Revisited

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sat Mar 6 22:11:16 EST 2021

John,If remember correctly, there was a dip (we called them "holes")* there where the grade went from downhill to uphill then back downhill. This caused problems with slack in the train running out over the Hump and breaking knuckles. (Disclaimer - This was not my territory and I'm commenting on something that may not be totally correct.)Jimmy LislePS - We also had a Ball's Hole on the Roanoke Dist. and I know exactly where it is. *Out on the road, the word "hole" had several different meanings. A dip in the track, no matter how long or deep, is one meaning.Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
-------- Original message --------From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at> Date: 3/6/21  8:59 PM  (GMT-05:00) To: nw-mailing-list at Subject: RE: Ball's Hole Revisited Jimmy, With Ken and Abram’s help (and a track chart that had the notation “BALLS HOLE” almost completely erased) Ball’s Hole was determined to be located at MP. 274.3 between Singer and Elliston. See red line marked across tracks below. Still wondering why “Ball’s Hole” has a wide reputation as being one of the most dangerous places on the N. & W. system” per the 1899 Salem Sentinel article that Bruce Harper found.  Why was this such a dangerous location? I’m also still trying to decipher if there was a separate “Ball’s” telegraph office and if so where was it located.      John Garner  From: NW Mailing List [mailto:nw-mailing-list at] Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 2:54 PMTo: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>Subject: RE: Ball's Hole Revisited I would think that a look at the track chart should bullseye the location. Jimmy Lisle   Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone  
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