RailPictures.Net Photo: NS 8361 Norfolk Southern GE ES44DC at Sophia, West Virginia by Michael Sullivan
 
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Photo Location Map Locomotive Details Location/Date of Photo


Norfolk Southern (more..)
GE ES44DC (more..)
NS Winding Gulf Branch - Loop Junction (more..)
Sophia, West Virginia, USA (more..)
October 13, 2015
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
NS 8361 (more..)
U94 (more..)
Mike Sullivan (more..)
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Remarks & Notes 
Affinity Mine run U94 is making all of 10 miles per hour up the 2% grade of the Winding Gulf Branch at Loop Junction, just over the hill from Sophia, WV and United Coal Company's Affinity Mine near Pemberton.

At one time, the Winding Gulf branch ran from Gulf Junction near Elmore, through Amigo (where the Stone Coal Branch splits off to East Gulf mine) Tams (the start of dark territory) Stotesbury, over the C&O's Raleigh, Southwestern, & Winding Gulf Branch (twice) here at Loop Junction, and through Sophia to Pemberton, where it crosses the C&O again to get to Bowyer. Today, the C&O line below is now abandoned from Pemberton west (where trackage rights over the Winding Gulf for CSX trains to load at Amigo is in effect) and the Winding Gulf is out of service east of Pemberton.

Before too long, shots like these may not be possible as both the railroads and mines continue to close up shop due to the weak Appalachian coal market, with crews & lines taken out of service across West Virginia & Tennesse, and more potential cuts to come.
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