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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Past & Present: Coopers, WV

Date: 10/22/09 18:45
Past & Present: Coopers, WV
Author: varailfan

One of the many scenic and well known locations on the former N&W mainline in Southern West Virginia is Coopers. Nestled just 10 miles west of Bluefield, the feature that has attracts railroad photographers to this location is a 682' bridge that soars over the tiny hamlet, a signature landmark on the famed NS Pocahontas Division.

In the first image, photographer Doug Wonders has captured a westbound manifest starting across Coopers Trestle in October 1985. The motive power consist is NS SD45 No. 1778, an N&W six-axle GE (C30-7 or C36-7), Southern SD40-2, and another N&W SD45. Having just exited Coopers Tunnel, the train will soon enter the famous Elkhorn Tunnel, one mile to the west. Although hard to spot, take note of the N&W color position light signal above the first car. This installation was removed sometime in the early 1990's and certainly added some N&W flare to the scene at Coopers.

Fast forward 24 years to October 18, 2009 as we witness westbound NS intermodal No. 233 soaring across the mammoth structure. The NS predecessor paint schemes are long gone as are all of the locomotives in the previous photo, minus the SD40-2. As exhibited in this scene, a plethora of GE widecab locomotives have taken the reigns on the former N&W as the dominant motive power. The house previously seen in the bottom right corner burned down around 1989 and the area is now overgrown with brush. In the foreground is the remnants of the N&W's Bluestone Branch, which while now abandoned, is frequently used for car storage east of Coopers.

Jeff Hawkins


Date: 10/22/09 18:55
Re: Past & Present: Coopers, WV
Author: JET

Jeff -

You have a winner there.

John Troxler

Date: 10/22/09 20:47
Re: Past & Present: Coopers, WV
Author: NH2006

JET Wrote:
> Jeff -
> You have a winner there.

Indeed, I think this one of the best I've seen....

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