N&W in 1910--Improvements
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Bluefield Daily Telegraph
January 28, 1910
$3,500,000 TO BE EXPENDED ON THIS DIVISION
Twenty-one Contractors Figuring on Work for Norfolk and Western
MANY SHARP CURVES ARE TO BE CUT OUT
Two Tunnels Will be Driven Between Kimball and Welch and Double Track, it is Learned, Will Be Laid at Once
TWO MILLIONS APPROPRIATED FOR DRY FORK CUT OFF
The Daily Telegraph stated recently that the Norfolk and Western is to let a number of contracts on February 1st for work on the Pocahontas and Scioto divisions. Following this statement it is now learned, unofficially, that the work on this division alone will amount to over $3,500,000 while the work on the Sciota division will reach $1,500,000. Two tunnels between Kimball and Welch will be built in addition to straightening the track at several points. Double track will be laid between West Vivian or Kimball and Huger, while a double track tunnel will be built in Kimball which will cut off from where the old station was located and pass through the hill at that point. This tunnel will pass very closely underneath the cemetery. At Big Four another tunnel will be built. The Dry Fork tunnel, which will be 4,700 feet long, will also be constructed. This will be a single track tunnel, and it is learned that there has been about $2,000,000 appropriated for work on the Dry Fork cut off which will eventually connect with the Clinch Valley division
At Kimball the company will extend its yards west, putting in several tracks which are known as classification tracks. Near Wyoming the company will build double track from Wyoming to mile post 435 and from mile post 445 1/2 to 447. A number of sharp curves will be cut out and if the original plan is followed tunnels will be constructed at Panther, Mount's Curve and Delorme. The tunnels are to be 1,200, 1,800 and 1,500 feet respectively. The Kimball tunnel, outside of approaches, will be about 900 feet in length while the Big Four tunnel without the approaches will be about 600 feet in length.
Twenty-one contracts have been figuring on the work and most of them were in this city yesterday morning and last night. They arrived at various times from the field and will leave here for Roanoke where they will submit their bids on the first of February when the contracts will either be let or turned down according to the bids which will be received.
The work which is to be done will be of the greatest importance to the Norfolk and Western, as it will straighten out many places in the line which are in first class condition but which now cost the company a great deal of money on account of the curves which are a continual wear on equipment and which require a heavy outlay to maintain. The most noticeable of all the improvements which have been made up to date on the road are those near Roderfield, or the present station, Claren; at Welch, where a tunnel allows the road to save a long haul on a continual curve; and between Hallsville and Hemphill, where two tunnels cut off quite a distance. There are a number of other places which were greatly and materially improved by the six tunnels which were built in 1907 and their effect on the earnings of the road has been apparent, inasmuch as they primarily saved mileage and then the ordinary wear which every one connected with a railroad knows is continual on a road cut up with curves. When the original plans of the company are complete the Norfolk and Western will be perhaps the best coal carrying road in the country. All of the proposed work in addition to many other improvements is being made without any great additional outlays and in face of an increased dividend.
[A 1910 operating timetable in the N&WHS Archives shows Wyoming to be about midway between Panther and Alnwick. Wyoming was the west end of the 12.8-mile double track whose east end was at Jim, which was 0.5 mi. west of Devon. A Pocahontas division track chart reveals that the proposed tunnels at Panther and Delorme were never built. The tunnel at Mount's Curve is doubtful as that name does not show up in the operating timetables of 1909 and 1910.]
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