12 pole line trip

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue Jul 19 09:34:34 EDT 2016

On Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 7:40 AM, Jim wrote:

> I am planning a trip to follow the roadbed of the 12 pole line from Lenore
> to Wayne to see what might be left from the N&W.  I believe Dingess tunnel
> was built by the railroad, and on Google Maps there looks like another
> tunnel a couple miles South of Breeden that may have been N&W.

Dig into the list archives (http://list.nwhs.org/pipermail/nw-mailing-list/)
back in 2009 (for at least one thread, I'm sure there are more) on "N&W in
1910 -- Dingess tunnel" for a discussion about the 12-Pole Line. Gordon
Hamilton posted this message about the line with links to the You Tube
video of a motorcycle ride on the highway that was built on the right of

Bruce in Blacksburg


The six-mile grade of one percent or more against loaded coal trains on the
original single-track Twelve Pole mainline extended completely through the
3327-foot-long Dingess Tunnel. The single-track Big Sandy Low Grade Line
was opened in December 1904 and was 24.20 miles shorter than the Twelve
Pole line. The N&W completed double tracking of the Big Sandy line in 1925
and then abandoned the 54.49 miles of the Twelve Pole line between Lenore
and Wayne on September 2, 1933. The N&W's 1933 Annual Report states,
"Removal of the rails, ties and other items of value on this line was
completed in November, 1933, and 53.78 miles of abandoned right-of-way were
conveyed to the State of West Virginia for highway purposes." For those who
may have missed the links where they were first posted here, one can
experience a motorcycle ride on the state road over the old Twelve Pole
line including Dingess and Breeden tunnels by checking out the following:



Gordon Hamilton
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