Pokey Autumn
October 26-28, 2012
(click on each image to see a larger version -- approximately 1440X900)

Our trip to the Pokey began on the Christiansburg District where we caught this Eastbound coal train at Robinson. Despite the forecast the sky was clear but a single cloud moved in to shade the shot just as the head end appeared!

Oct. 26, 2012

We heard an OCS was headed to Richlands so we decided to give chase. We got ahead of him at Oakvale but the train was being paced by security so we stayed well off the right-of-way.


The OCS from atop Cedar Bluff

From Richlands we followed up the Buchanan Branch toward Grundy and eventually on to the Pokey mainline. I'm always amazed by the coke operation at Dismal, this is the first time I've been able to catch a shot of the power there.

Dismal, Virginia

In the fading light we caught this Westbound pulling onto the Buch Storage tracks where he dropped off his train and continued on light to Williamson. With barely enough light to shoot a moving subject I then caught an Eastbound stack train on track 2.

Ought One

The weekend forecast was for varying degrees of rain so we decided to explore a bit. We started from Williamson Westward on the Kenova District where we caught this Eastbound lead by the "Creamsickle" in a heavy drizzle.

Kermit, WV
Oct. 27,2012

After a lot of roaming we found our way to the spot where the Gilbert Branch meets the Pokey Mainline. The rain had stopped but a heavy overcast greeted these two Westbounds. Across the tracks, on the access road next to the Tug River was the spot of my "accident." But that is another story...
5:00pm, Wharncliffe, WV

The next morning at the Ekhorn Inn I was slow getting started with my injured arm and little sleep. Nathan stuck his head in my room and just said "we better jump in the car and go" and I knew why without asking. We caught the pair above pushing a coal train up the grade to the Elkhorn Tunnel near Maybeury, WV. That's the head end on the left stopped at the Crozier signals.

Our luck of seeing three heritage units on this trip was the subject of joking speculation as this Eastbound train's headlight appeared around the curve. We began laughing as we discerned the "LV" on the nose of the lead unit.

Glen Lyn, VA

I tried for a broadside shot a bit farther on as he crossed the bridge onto the old Virginian Railway.

Narrows, VA

ISO 800 really wasn't enough for my last shot of the day -- the returning OCS flying under the old coaling tower at Vickers, VA


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Proud to be an American!
Mack Muir