A westbound CSX empty hopper train tops the hill at Big Cut, VA on former Southern trackage. This pronounced vertical curve goes from nearly 2 percent upgrade on the far side to nearly 1.9 percent downgrade on this side. The hoghead is still pullin' on 'em---but not for long, because the "Goose Neck" is just ahead. He'll notch back and go into dynamics and keep it there all the way to the bottom of this particular grade at Copper Creek. Big Cut was excavated for construction of the never-build Virginia & Kentucky Railroad before the Civil War. It was later to be used by the Triple C---the Charleston, Cincinnati & Chicago--but again, never built. Finally track was laid through the cut by the South Atlantic & Ohio Railroad around 1887-88, and it's rumbled to the passage of trains ever since.