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View Full Version : Tunnel Exploration, UP Grime, and a Major Golf Foxtrot


cmherndon
01-29-2006, 06:12 PM
A few weeks ago, a couple of friends and I hiked along the old CNO&TP right of way near Sloans Valley, KY to check out tunnels 7, 8, and 9. These were bypassed in 1963 by a line change about a half mile or so to the west. It was almost a surreal feeling walking through the old tunnels and hearing trains climb the hill towards Greenwood. I put a page together this morning which also includes a few photos from old Burnside. You can check it out by clicking the link below.

http://www.cmherndon.com/galleries/relics

For trains, keep reading...

The night before the aforementioned exploration, we also did some night photography of T19's power. They had an ex-Southern SD40-2 that week, and that's only the third time I can remember T19 having 6-axle power. I only had one shot that turned out halfway decent.

NS 3274 - Lawrenceburg, KY (http://www.cmherndon.com/galleries/rail/2006/01/ns3274lawrenceburgky010606.htm)

Also, during the day of the exploration, the sun managed to pop out through a few sucker holes here and there. We sat at Keno for a few minutes and managed to watch a few go by. 215 had a pair of UP motors. Not only did I shoot it, but the shot totally sucked as well. Even worse, I actually uploaded it for all the world to see. It is official: I need to have my head examined.

NS 215 - Keno, KY (http://www.cmherndon.com/galleries/rail/2006/01/ns215up4963kenoky010706.htm)

That's all I've got for this round. Be sure and check out the blog (http://www.cmherndon.com/blog) for more entertainment. Until next time, I hope y'all enjoy and thanks for looking!

fuente1
01-30-2006, 07:21 PM
Caleb, those photos are awesome and it looks like you guys found some really nice trinkets. This is the type of photography and exploration that we need more of in a world filled with boring Dash-9's. I wish RP had an area to post photos similar to those so that folks can see how railroading used to be. I cant even begin to imagine what the railroaders faced when going thru those tunnels with steam locomotives with open cabs back in the early days. Now ya know why bandanas were so popular! Beautiful ROW as well.

cmherndon
01-31-2006, 09:40 PM
Caleb, those photos are awesome and it looks like you guys found some really nice trinkets. This is the type of photography and exploration that we need more of in a world filled with boring Dash-9's.

Thanks. It's amazing that all that stuff (what little of it we did find) was still there seeing as the rails have been gone for over 40 years. We also found the remains of a telltale about 250' or so beyond the south portal of Tunnel 7. We could've carried it back to the truck with us, but that would've been a little cumbermsome for 6 mile hike. A GRS (General Railway Signal) relay was also found in the dirt near a pair of signal bases between Tunnels 7 and 8.

I'm a big history buff, so I thought the trip was a neat experience. We also did one of these last year and drove along the old right of way near New River, TN and found Tunnel 14. I added those shots to the page, as well as shots of Tunnels 23 and 24 at Nemo, TN.

I cant even begin to imagine what the railroaders faced when going thru those tunnels with steam locomotives with open cabs back in the early days. Now ya know why bandanas were so popular! Beautiful ROW as well.

I'd love to hear stories about that, but it's probably hard to find any railroaders from that era that are still alive. I have read that CNO&TP crews would wrap wet towels around their head when going through the longer tunnels to keep cool due to the temperatures rising over 100 degrees. It's a lot worse when you're in a tight space like that.

fuente1
01-31-2006, 09:43 PM
I bet those guys did have to wrap wet towels around their heads going thru those tunnels with steam! Especially considering the temperature inside a tunnel is generally pretty cool, when you get a big steamer in that small space I guess the temperature can rise very rapidly. Makes me laugh when a crew complains today about the AC not working in a new unit :lol: BTW I had a relative who was a fireman and then engineer who died on the CNO&TP in the early days, but thats a whole other story.