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Elmore, West Virginia

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Virginian Railway's engine house at Elmore, ca. 1925
1910 map of Elmore and vicinity
1925 map of Elmore and vicinity
1967 map of Elmore and vicinity
Elevation drawing of Virginian Railway's coaling and sanding station at Elmore, WV

Following the completion of the Virginian Railway (VGN), Elmore became an important staging area for the railroad. Here, the railroad built a long, narrow yard at Elmore along the bench of the hillside along the Guyandotte River. Due to the rapid growth in coal traffic on the line, the Virginian soon enlarged the yard and built a shop complex that was completed in 1914. A double-track was also completed between Mullins and Taft, a distance of 5 miles, that extended through Elmore yard.

The shop complex included a five-stall enginehouse with an annex containing a machine shop, storehouse and wash room, a power station and an oil house, all of brick construction on concrete foundations; a 140-foot long reinforced concrete ash pit, a 200,000-gallon steel water tank, three water columns, and a 400-ton concrete coaling and sanding station. In order to make these improvements it was necessary to divert the Guyandotte and build in the bed of the old channel.

By 1921, all eastbound loaded cars from both the main line west of Elmore and the Winding Gulf branch, as well as west-bound empties destined for the coal mines, were received at Elmore yard where they were made up into trains and dispatched. During this era, an average of 6-7 heavy "drag" trains in addition to local and merchandise freights and two passenger trains were dispatched eastward each day over Clark's Gap hill daily with approximately the same number of trains moving west. Practically all of the Virginian's freight traffic at this time was coal originating from mines located between Deepwater and Elmore.


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