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Eastern Railroad Discussion > CSX Kenova WV to Elkhorn City, KY

Date: 11/06/19 15:54
CSX Kenova WV to Elkhorn City, KY
Author: 611Doug

My son and I are going to take a railfan trip on the ex C&O Big Sandy next spring to celebrate his graduation from college.   I would appreciate any all information on this line.  Traffic amounts, lodging, bridges/tunnels to check out.  Would a 4 wheel drive vehicle by useful.  My son is particulary interested in any remaining C&O signals.  Any information would be appreciated.
Doug Freas

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/07/19 16:06 by 611Doug.

Date: 11/07/19 03:25
Re: CSX Kenova WV to Elkins City KY
Author: KimHeusel

I think you mean Elkhorn City KY., which is the southern end of the former C&O and the beginning of the old Clinchfield. The Elkins City name may have confused some readers and be why there have been no responses yet. Just a guess. Hope you have a wonderful trip with your son.

Kim Heusel

Date: 11/07/19 14:33
Re: CSX Kenova WV to Elkins City KY
Author: Baxtersta

Have a great trip, it is a wonderful area. But don't expect to see much traffic since not much moves on that line. The most reliable trains are the daily freights, 693 and 692.  693 frequently comes out of Russell in the early afternoon, putting it down through Paintesville in late afternoon.  692 typically comes through over night.  Coal trains are the willd card -- on any given day there may be none or several.  There is a local based in Paintsville but I don't beleive he works every day.  
Four wheel drive is not necessary but a scanner is definitely helpful. If you have a sun locator app it could be help because the line really twists and turns south of Louisa. You will want maps to reference.  Cell tower coverage is generally okay so you can access maps on devices.  
Once out of the I-64 / Ashland area, planning your lodging ahead is a good idea. Towns with motels include Louisa, Paintsville and Prestonburg.  I don't believe that Elkhorn City has much left in the way of eateries or lodging.  But Breaks Interstate Park is fine, both lodging and camping.  
US 23 is four lane most of the way but even off of it most roads are okay.  
Even if you don't see trains, there are plenty of classic signals in use.  Here is an example at Dawkins -- https://www.flickr.com/photos/8491213@N04/49013959361.  Keep in mind that the line is an east - west railroad.  Some of the accessbile signals are at West End Louisa, RB Cabin (south of Louisa), Bobbs, Thelma, Paintsville, Dawkins, Auxier, Emma and west of Shelby.  Yards of interest are at Paintsville, Martin and Shelby.  (The latter town name is Shelbiana.)  Coal train are typically crewed at the latter two.  
Hoepfully you will get some other responces.  If I have some more time, I'll add to this.  Of PM me.  

Date: 11/07/19 18:57
Re: CSX Kenova WV to Elkins City KY
Author: engineerinvirginia

There are no jobs going on duty at Martin anymore...the one C&O crew that services the EB&V goes on duty at Paintsville....Martin Yard looks frightfully empty, though it will occasionally store cars. Trains originating at Hazard and due to go west may stop at Martin for a crew change, but that will be a Russell crew either deadheading from Russell or emerging from whichever lodging they use now in the Pikeville/Shelbiana area. Shelby yard may be a bit more active but they only have oh...three mine run shifters per day and who knows where they may go each day......There's still activitiy on the Coal Run Subdivision and the SV&E AS far as the EB&V sub I think only Rapid Loader is active at Deane Mountain...I loaded many a train there as well as all the idled loadouts on the EB&V.....I go down there once in while and just think of the past. 

Date: 11/08/19 07:11
Re: CSX Kenova WV to Elkins City KY
Author: msullivan93

Created a new account on this god forsaken site to chime in. As others have said, Q693 and Q692 are your best bet. Q693 goes on anywhere between 1400 and 1600 at Russell, which puts them in Shelby around 2000-2100. Q692 leaves Kingsport around noon and gets in to Shelby around the same time. Then you have empties for Martin/Hazard, Coal Run, and Shelby (mostly McClure, I think Myra is idled now, not sure if Damron Fork is loading, haven't seen a train there in forever) plus you'll have loads for Brice, Terrell, and sometimes Cross SC, and the occasional ethanol or grain train. Q693 sets cars off in Paintsville for the industries there and the BIDS terminal in Martin, served by the Paintsville local. Crew runs are Russell-Shelby, Russell-Martin, and Martin-Hazard, I have never known of a Hazard-Russell pool, as those are two different senority districts I believe. Occasionally shifters will take cares from Shelby to Martin if they are going to Hazard. On a good day, you'll see upwards of 10-12 movements in 24 hours, which is better than it was two years ago.

For signal locations, here's the currently known locations with C&O signals: Leach (inside Marathon Refinery, no access), Calgon, LW Cabin (now automatics), WD Cabin (east end double track), West and East end Louisa on the main line, RB Cabin, Torchlight (Main 1 west), CH Cabin, the intermediates at the 41.5, GC Cabin, SK Cabin, BU Cabin, West Paintsville, Dawkins, American Standard, Johns Creek, OX Cabin eastward, West end Ivel, Pauley, Big Shoal, Coal Run Jct, Pauley, East Pauley, FO Cabin, Fords Branch, and West end Shelby. Beyond Shelby is the Kingsport Subdivision now, but the C&O section still has some signals, and the CRR section has a bowlful as well.. There is also signals on the extension to Martin at Arkansas (West end Martin) and I believe the intermediates are as well. No signs of replacement anytime soon.

Radio channels used: 008 (160.230) for C&O Road, Catlettsburg to Shelby and Beaver Jct to Martin, 014 (160.320) for LE Dispatcher between the same. South of Shelby, the Clinchfield road channel is 066 (161.100) for road and 094 (161.520) for FG Dispatcher. Martin Yard is on 084 (161.370) as well as the line west of there, and the dispatcher channel is I believe 094 (161.520) if you luck out on a westbound leaving town. Note, there are ATCS files for the Big Sandy Sub but ATCS has been dead for several years now, everything is on digital codeline (satellite/cellular) but they can still be a good guide.

I'll see if I can put together a map of the control points on Google Maps, to see if that will help you out. I also have a Broadcastify feed near Catlettsburg that covers from Big Sandy Junction to around Louisa, depending on conditions. "Norfolk Southern and CSX Tri-State Area Railroads" under Kentucky - Boyd on your favorite scanner app, or at https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/24411


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