Monday morning dawns early and bright. I leave the KY/VA border today and
head back north-east. I follow what's left of the old Guest River extension
of the Interstate RR out of town. There are quite a few active loaders both on
this line and the Norfolk & Western to the north. Alt. US-58 takes me to St.
Paul, and US-19 from there to Bluefield, WV.|
I catch an eastbound intermodal off the Pocahontas Division in Bluefield, West Virginia,
then continue to the yard in the eastern part of Bluefield, VA to catch some coal train action.
A loaded eastbound behind two wide-cab GEs slows on the southern running track and stops
before one of the bridges spanning the width of the yard. Meanwhile, looking east,
a westbound empty train is posing behind a set of good ol' Southern style high hood
units. Bluefield is an excellent place to watch the action on Norfolk Southern's
busy "Pokey" - check out the info on
After this fruitful interlude I continue on US-19 north. The road ascends
the delightful Appalachian Plateau and continues via Princeton to Beckley,
WV. Traversing what used to be a rich coal area gives a very good impression
of how times have changed, even though it's still as beautiful as ever. At Mt.
Hope I take a wrong turn and end up in the New River Valley at Prince instead
of Thurmond, my original goal (do you get the idea I'm good at getting lost?).
After paying a short visit to Quinnimont I return south and get onto I-64 for
a splendid drive out of the Plateau, surrounded by glorious autumn color.|
At Clifton Forge I leave the superslab and scout around the yard a little. It's
nearly empty and with the sun starting to set I head south on US-220 following the
James River Line. VA-43 takes me to Buchanan, a small place on Norfolk Southern's
Shenandoah Sub of the Virginia Divison. This will be my main objective for tomorrow;
all that's left for today is to tick off some northbound miles - I-81 quickly takes me
to Waynesburg where I stay for the night (the Days Inn is not one of the better motels