The Pocahontas Chronicles   Ieager To Williamson  by  Kevin Scanlon
The Norfolk Southernís Pocahontas Division mainline west of Iaeger to Williamson, WV can be a pretty remote part of the busy mainline. US 52 veers away from the tracks, which follow closely along the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River. Access is mostly from one-lane roads, sometimes dirt, to tiny towns and isolated homes. Town names are enough to draw me in for a look: Panther, Mohawk, War Eagle, Ought One, Vulcan, Old Joe and Matewan.

A favorite spot of mine is Ought One, where the mainline sweeps around a horseshoe curve. At the top point of the curve the Buchannon Branch joins by coming out of a single track tunnel, across a bridge over the Tug Fork with a wye at the mainline end. Imagine an inverted wine glass and you can visualize the track layout. Inside the horseshoe is a cleared area that I guess was a town site. A tiny cemetery is all that is left.

Kevin Scanlon
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