N&W in 1909--Tunnel cost

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Sun Apr 12 11:37:07 EDT 2009

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
July 18, 1909

Sun Never Rises on that Part of N. & W. Road Which is in Kentucky. Bridge at Each Portal

There are very few people who are aware that Kentucky has some interest in the Norfolk and Western railroad. People who travel over Tug river division [sic] almost daily do so without noting the fact that there is a short piece of the line located in that state and think that all the while they are traveling in West Virginia.
The strange feature in the case is that the piece of line which passes through Kentucky has never yet enjoyed any sunshine as it is entirely under the ground. It includes what is known as the Hatfield tunnel located a short distance west of Matewan and which is about five hundred feet long. At that point there is a short bend in Tug river and the river is bridged. So high is the point of ground where the bridge reaches the Kentucky side that the tunnel became necessary, and as soon as the track passes through the mountain another bridge spans the river to the West Virginia side again. About the center of the lower bridge the state line is indicated on the bridge by iron plates or markers.
The short portion of the road in Kentucky has been valued for taxation at the sum of $20,000 [About $440,000 today per CPI.]
[It may have been the N&W Magazine some years ago that had a small item stating that a freight shipment from Matewan, WV to Williamson, WV, about nine miles had to move under ICC interstate rates because it went through Kentucky in the tunnel.]

Gordon Hamilton
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