Polk Gap Tunnel

Polk Gap Tunnel

The Polk Gap Tunnel is located along the ex-Virginian Railway Glen Rogers Branch in West Virginia.


The Virginian Railway constructed the 14.8-mile Glen Rogers Branch in 1922-23 to service the vast underground coal mines operated by the Raleigh-Wyoming Mining Company at Glen Rogers and at Glen Morrison. The single-track line included a 2,463-foot tunnel at Polk Gap, a 242-foot tunnel at Milam, and a 302-foot crossing over Road Branch, a 515-foot trestle over Mire Branch, a 302-foot bridge over Low Gap Branch, and a 167-foot crossing over Milam Fork. 1

Much of the Glen Rogers Branch remained dormant after the mines at Glen Rogers closed in 1960, but it saw renewed interest when the Ranger Fuel Corporation opened its Beckley No. 1 mine at Bolt in November 1973 4 and its Beckley No. 2 mine at Sabine in October 1975. 2 Both mines had an estimated lifespan of 25 to 30 years 3 4 and once they were exhausted by the mid-1990s, the Glen Rogers Branch was mothballed awaiting either reuse or outright dismantlement.


Information

  • State: West Virginia
  • Route: Norfolk Southern Railway
  • Type: Tunnel
  • Status: Abandoned / Closed
  • Total Length: 2,463 feet

Sources

  1. VGN Track Charts c. 1967Multimodal Railways.
  2. “Machine Cuts Into Seam.” Beckley Post-Herald, 6 Oct. 1977, p. 11.
  3. Maurice, Johanna. “Massive New Mine Opens in Wyoming.” Beckley Post-Herald, 5 Oct. 1977, pp. 1-2.
  4. “Coal Mining Positions Available.” Beckley Post-Herald, 21 Oct. 1973, p. 34.

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