Nora to Neece Creek

The Nora Spur

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The oldest of the Clinchfield Railroad's branch lines, the Nora Spur was started in 1925 and, after a series of additions and extensions over the ensuing years, made it to the Blue Diamond mine by late 1943. It served a number of mines in the area for its entire existence.

The Blue Diamond mine shuttered in 1989, and the tracks between it and Neece Creek were removed in 1996, with the rest of the line abandoned in 2008.

The tracks still exist from Nora Junction (in Nora, VA) to their present-day end at Neece Creek.

Thanks to Chase Freeman for contributing information about this route.

This line served the Lambert Dock. I don't have any info on the Lambert Dock. The Wohlford Tipple was constucted in May of 1948 by W.T Wholford under the name of Banner Docking Co. It was an on-and-off again operation. In the years before its closure, it loaded raw coal for the Moss No.1 Preparation Plant. It and the Moss One closed at the same time 1989 (as far as I know). Wholford used to be at MP N2.6 and had a 8 car sidetrack. Next was Clinchfield's Open Fork No.1. It was built in 1962 and had a 35 car sidetrack. It closed in 1987 and Open Fork 2 took over what was left of the production. Open Fork No.2 was built in 1967 and had a 30 car loading track. It finally called the quits in 1989. Clinchfield Coal Co's Kilgore Creek Tipple was built in 1979 and had a four track yard. Kilgore Creek had a pair of dinky locomotives. Clinchfield Coal Co' No. 014 was an EMD F7 and CCC No. 359 is a EMD NW2. Both were saved and went to the Tennessee Railroad Museum. Kilgore Creek closed in 1989. Blue Diamond open in 1943 and was later purchased by Virginia, Iron, Coal & Coke inc. Blue Diamond closed in 1989. The rails Neece Creek to Blue Diamond were ripped up in 1996. United Wellmore Coal Company's Neece Creek Preparation Plant was the last to go in December of 2008. I have one picture of the existing track.

Chase Freeman
Koenig, VA
10/25/2011

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While it's true that the Clinchfield Coal Co.'S F7a #014 was saved, the same cannot be said for the NW2 #359. It was scrapped on site at Kilgore Creek.

Ron Stafford
Edinboro, PA
7/4/2012

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I was part of the crew whom worked for Tampa International Crosstie Sales during the 1996 removal of tracks mentioned above. I live and grew up a couple miles up the road, what we call Betty B Hollow.

A very fond memory of mine was working down there, and in particular, an old locomotive from the Clinchfield Railroad sat in the bottom. Somehow, it was devised to get the ol gal in rolling condition and we rolled her out of her spot to hit the Neece Creek line. I recall some photographers on site as we all were aboard the locomotive and they were taking pictures of us riding her out for her last haul before heading to a museum somewhere.

We were informed that our photos were to be in some kind of a magazine or a magazine cover related to trains, locomotives and the like.

Ever since our finishing of the job, I have searched in vain for the photo of us all aboard the front of the locomotive as she headed out.

Any help would be greatly appreciated on helping me find this photo or magazine. In particular, I would love to know where she finally ended up.

The locomotive was part of the load out up I suppose the Kilgore Creek Tipple that was part of the Betty B operations.

Warren Meade
Coeburn, Virginia, Dickenson Co., VA
11/10/2013

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