Connects with B&O(owner)at Tunneltown, W. Va.
11 miles from Kingwood, W Va. to Tunneltown, W Va.
The West Virginia Northern Railroad was formed on July 5th, 1899, from the former narrow gauge Tunnelton, Kingwood and Fairchance Railroad Co. The TK&P had been incorporated in 1892 and had built eleven miles of railroad between Tunnelton and Kingwood ,West Virginia, to tap the enormous amount of coal deposits found in the area. By World War II, the West Virginia Northern had 19 active mines along its route which would usually generate a 50 car coal train per day while being capable of producing as many as 200+ cars a day. The Northern would interchange these hoppers with the B&O Railroad at its small yard in Tunnelton, with the B&O in turn switching Tunnelton on an almost daily basis from M&K Junction to the east. Power for the WVN was provided by several steam consolidations until the railroad bought three diesel switchers in the 1950s, #50, #51 and #52. As a result of the Northern's early dieselization, B&O mechanics would often seek the railroads help in solving problems when the B&O finally bought its first diesels several years later. For the following four decades a West Virginia Northern coal switcher could usually be seen working the mines between Kingwood and Tunnelton or the interchange yard at Tunnelton. However, the coal market was in a major decline by the late 1980s resulting in many of the mines served by the railroad to cease operations or begin moving coal by truck. As a result of this lack of traffic, the West Virginia Northern ceased operations in March of 1991.


NumberMf'gr Model Date
50 EMD SW1200 1955
51 EMD SW1200 1955
52 EMD SW1200 1955

These units were equipped with dynamic brakes housed in a large box on hood near the cab


S.A. McCall