Why That Crazy Route Over Peak Creek Mountain ?

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sun Sep 24 15:42:59 EDT 2017

Could it have been knowledge of the coal and iron deposits in the mountains around Pulaski?

Andy Jennings

From: NW Mailing List 
Sent: Saturday, September 23, 2017 9:54 PM
To: N&W Mailing List 
Subject: Why That Crazy Route Over Peak Creek Mountain ?

Has anyone figured out why the Virginia & Tennessee made the crazy decision to go over top of Peak Creek Mountain on the Bristol Line, instead of staying in the floor of the valley, two miles to the southeast?

They could have laid their railroad right  along what is now Interstate 81, from Newbern to Wytheville, and avoided a mountain crossing with bad profile, bad alignment, and a tunnel, to boot, with probably the addition of about one route mile.

It is almost as if someone made the worst-possible choice on purpose.  That bad decision would have been a good thing for the railroad to have straightened out 1890-1920, when they were straightening out other engineering problems in their as-built lines.

You can't say they went over Peak Creek so they could "tap the trade" at Pulaski... because Pulaski didn't exist at the time the railroad was built (1856-1857) !

-- abram burnett
                  Sent to You from my Telegraph Key
Successor to the MAGNETIC TELEGRAPH LINE of 1844


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