Hansford to Kingston

The Kanawha and Pocahontas Railroad

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This picture shows Burnwell, WV, with the Paint Creek Branch of the K&P clearly in view. Photo from Kanawha County Images, A Bicentennial History 1788-1988, by Stan Cohen. Photo by Richard McClintock.

The Kanawha and Pocahontas Railroad Company was incorporated in 1898 by the Charles Pratt Company in the interest of hauling away coal that was mined from the property owned by Charles Pratt. The line was constructed in 1902 as a 3-foot gauge railroad, and originated as a branch off the mainline of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway at what was called Paint Creek Junction. It followed Paint Creek 14 miles up to Kingston, crossing the Kanawha-Fayette county line about one mile south of Burnwell.

In 1904, the entire line was leased to the C&O, and came under ownership of that company in 1914. Henceforth, it was known as The Paint Creek Branch.

It is not known when it was abandoned.

Thanks to Richard McClintock for contributing information about this route.

The last train I saw on the Paint Creek Branch was in 1987. It was during the time period of circa 1990 that the track was removed.

Danny Robie
Kannapolis, NC
11/20/2008

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Is this the branch that follows the West Virginia Turnpike up the Paint Creek valley? I have been looking for pictures or descriptions of how the RR and the turnpike shared this narrow valley.

Pete
Kernersville, NC
3/25/2009

[Pete, you are correct, it does follow the WVT. I should have a map published for this route soon, so check back!  —Greg Harrison]

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Just for reference I believe the tracks were finally removed around 1996. I only know this because I remember seeing salvage crews along the branch during a trip home from vacation that year.

Adam Burns
St. Marys, WV
8/22/2009

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One railroad was where the road is today and the other is were old Paint Creek Sub was.

Alex Allen
Wayland, KY
7/22/2011

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The route still partially exists today as a rail trail right beside the WV Turnpike. From the lower end of Paint Creek running right beside the I77/I64 highway.

Jonathan Miller
Nitro, WV
7/11/2012

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