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New River Gorge is Thurmond. Jammed between the river and the mountainside, there is no room for a main street and the business buildings front the tracks. Less known is that for a time Thurmond made more money for the C&O than anywhere else on the railroad. In 1938 its engine terminal is the home to the Mallets and Consolida- tions that prowl the mine branches and marshall coal for the mainline trains to pick up. The place is still a moneymaker for the company and a mecca for railroad photographers who come to see big-time steam railroading. Still following the New River’s


THREE PHOTOS: BILL SCHAUMBURG


There is a continous stream of locomotives in and out of the Hinton engine facility, match- ing mainline trains one for one unless they need pushers to Alleghany. Above,Pacific 474’s tender has been filled and it is backing out to couple onto a westbound passenger train.


Branch, represented by a hidden track beyond the wye. In addition to coal, a daily passenger train comes down the


branch to make connections with the locals that stop here. Perhaps the best known town in the


banks, the line continues downgrade through the smoke-filled Sewell and its coke ovens that light the night sky with an orange glow. High above the ovens and workers’ shanty town, the narrow gauge Mann’s Creek Railroad brings coal down to a transfer tipple for the coke works. A portion of it is modeled in the trees. West of Sewell the river’s banks are not wide enough for two tracks and one main crosses the river. The big Kay- moor Mine is on the other side, then comes Hawk’s Nest and its famous overlook down the Gorge. At Hawk’s


RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN


47


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