N&W Potts Valley Branch

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed Oct 14 11:55:39 EDT 2015

I am researching for a book I am writing dealing with the Potts Valley
Branch of the N&W Railway.  I have gathered much information and am eager
to learn as much as possible about this line.  I am very new to "railroad
speech" and if I do not understand or ask you what you meant, I mean it
with the utmost respect.

There was an article written by Mr. Will Sarvis in 1995 about the Potts
Line and the Tri-State Incline lumber company.  This company ran a single
car inline from the bottom of Potts Mountain near Johns Creek to the top of
the mountain and then down the other side in an area called Ray's Siding.
This incline operation was one of only a few that did NOT used a
cantilevered system of 2 cars, but used 2 steam winches tied to trunks.

In his article, Mr. Savis indicated that the incline was not straight, but
included a few curves, one as large as 75% curvature. To keep the cars
aligned to the track he stated that the company used pulleys in the curves
to guide the cable which was attached to the cars.

My question that I have for you guys is this:

How did they get the cable off the pulley as the car came upon the pulley?
If there was too much tension, then the car would stop at the pulley.

Was there an attachment that went around the pulleys with the cable and
thus the cable would be a loop instead of a single length?

I am sure this is easy for you guys, but I can't quite grasp how it was
done, or how it looked and it would make a great piece to add into the book.

Thanks in advance.

Jeremy Hatcher
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