Abandoned Rails


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Photo Gallery: N&W Pocahontas Branch

 

 

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Bluestone Junction

 

Today the only visible trace of the Pocahontas Branch at Bluestone are these rails buried in the dirt.  The mainline switch for the branch was located approximately where the orange construction barrel is seen in the distance.  

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (May 25, 2012)

 

 

Bluestone Junction

 

Visible in several early 20th Century photos of Bluestone is double blade semaphore that was located in this general area.  This concrete base at Bluestone is presumed to have once had a semaphore mounted on it. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (May 25, 2012)

 

 

Bluestone Junction

 

A short passing siding was located at Bluestone Junction.  It is believed to have been used by passenger trains coming off the branch and waiting to enter the mainline.  This view is looking south at the north end of the siding.  Although very hard to see, the switch is in the left foreground under all the leaves and dirt.  

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Bluestone Junction

 

Looking east towards Bluestone Junction with the Pocahontas Division mainline visible in the distance.  The mainline enters Coopers Tunnel approximately 1,300' west of Bridge 851 which spans the Bluestone River as seen in this photo.  Just east of the tunnel portal is the switch for the Bluestone Branch

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Bluestone Junction

 

This view is from the same location as the previous photo, but looking south towards Pocahontas. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Bluestone Junction

 

Looking east towards Bluestone Junction. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Bridge 852

 

Just around the curve from Bluestone is the first bridge encountered along the Pocahontas Branch.  Bridge 852 is the first of several structures that span Laurel Fork along the line.  This view is looking towards Pocahontas. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Bridge 852

 

Located on the north side of Bridge 852 is the original bridge identification marker.  One of the N&W's trademark "DO NOT WALK NOR TRESPASS ON THE BRIDGE" signs was at one time mounted on the metal post behind the bridge marker.

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Bridge 852

 

A look at Bridge 852 from the side showing the truss spans under the deck. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Bluestone Siding - South Switch

 

Looking south at the switch for the south end of the passing siding is located just north of Bridge 1151. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Bluestone Siding - South Switch

 

A close up view of the switch near Bridge 1151. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Bridge 1151

 

Located just north of Pocahontas Tunnel No. 1 is Bridge 1151.

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Bridge 1151

 

Looking north towards Bluestone at Bridge 1151.  As with Bridge 852, there were metal poles on each side of the bridge where the no trespassing signs were once located.  

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Pocahontas Tunnel No. 1

 

Peering into the rock cut leading to Pocahontas Tunnel No. 1.

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Pocahontas Tunnel No. 1

 

North portal of Pocahontas Tunnel No. 1.

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Pocahontas Tunnel No. 1

 

Looking out of the north portal of Pocahontas Tunnel No. 1.

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Pocahontas Tunnel No. 1

 

A look at the track inside the tunnel.

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Pocahontas Tunnel No. 1

 

These concrete supports were believed to have been installed to support the catenary inside the tunnel.  An identical set of support were located on the opposite side of the tracks. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Pocahontas Tunnel No. 1

 

Looking out of the south portal of Pocahontas Tunnel No. 1 towards Bridge 1152. Take note of all the rock that has fallen on the tracks over the years. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Pocahontas Tunnel No. 1

 

South portal of Pocahontas Tunnel No. 1.

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Pocahontas Tunnel No. 1

 

A detailed look at the tunnel identification plate affixed above the south portal of Pocahontas Tunnel No. 1.  There is no sign located at the north portal. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Bridge 1152

 

Bridge 1152 is one of two along the branch that still retain much of it's N&W signage.  Do not trespass signs still stand on each end of the bridge and the bridge identification maker is visible on the left. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Bridge 1152

 

"1152" is still visible on the bridge identification marker.  These concrete posts were originally painted black with white numbers. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Bridge 1152

 

Looking north at Bridge 1152 with the south portal of Tunnel 1 in the background. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Bridge 1152

 

A close up view of one of the N&W's distinctive no trespassing signs that were positioned at bridges throughout the system. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Wolfe

 

Looking south towards Pocahontas from Bridge 1152. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Bridge 1153

 

Along with Bridge 1152, Bridge 1153 also retains both of it's cast iron no trespassing signs. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Bridge 1153

 

Looking north across Bridge 1153 towards Bluestone. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Wolfe

 

A low angle view of the track in Wolfe. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Wolfe

 

Wolfe, West Virginia is an unincorporated town located on Route 102 between Bluestone and Pocahontas.  Originally the area was known as Wolfe's Bottom.  A post office was operated here until it was closed in 2011. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (October 19, 2009)

 

 

State Line Marker - Wolfe

 

The N&W utilized a very unique type of marker to identify where it's rails crossed a state line.  Just north of Pocahontas Tunnel No. 2 the branch crossed from Virginia into West Virginia.  For a detailed explanation of these makers, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.  

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (October 19, 2009)

 

 

State Line Marker - Wolfe

 

A closer look at the metal plates on which each county name was written on.  In this case "TAZEWELL CO." on the left side and "MERCER CO." on the right.  Unfortunately these particular signs have been weathered to the point where you can't make out the names anymore.

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (October 19, 2009)

 

 

Unknown Sign - Wolfe

 

Positioned between the state line marker and the tunnel portal was this wooden sign.  It is unknown exactly what it's purpose was. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (October 19, 2009)

 

 

Wolfe

 

This photograph was taken from atop Pocahontas Tunnel No. 2 looking towards Bluestone.  Route 102 passes directly above the tunnel and offers an excellent view of the area.  A keen eye will detect the state line marker on the left side of the tracks. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (October 19, 2009)

 

 

Pocahontas Tunnel No. 2

 

Originally a natural rock tunnel like Tunnel No. 1, Pocahontas Tunnel No. 2 was lined with concrete in 1915 as noted by the inscription above the portal.  Passing directly above the tunnel is Highway 102 as noted by the raillings.

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (October 19, 2009)

 

 

 

Pocahontas Tunnel No. 2

 

The two photos above show the north portal of Tunnel 2 minus the foliage.  It appears that a combination of rock slides and water drainage have taken a toll on the tracks and roadbed. 

 

Photos by Jeff Hawkins (December 29, 2012)

 

 

Pocahontas

 

The rails of the Pocahontas Branch end at Route 102 on the north side of Pocahontas.  The photographer is standing on the side of Route 102 looking towards Bluestone.  Visible in the distance is Bridge 1154 over Laurel Fork.  According to N&W track charts this was once a double track bridge and evidence of concrete supports found here support this. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (October 19, 2009)

 

 

Pocahontas

 

This US DOT/FRA crossing identification tag was still affixed to a pole at the former Route 102 grade crossing in Pocahontas. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (October 19, 2009)

 

 

Pocahontas

 

In this view of Pocahontas, Virginia we are looking south into town from where the Pocahontas Branch crossed Route 102.  The grassy area in the right side of the photo was where the yard was located.  Approximately 700' away in the center of the photograph is where the station used to stand. 

 

Photo by Jeff Hawkins (October 19, 2009)

 

 

 

Copyright 2002- | Jeff Hawkins

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