Some 44 years and change after Tom Sink's recently-posted photo, I found myself at the same location, only I was surrounded by silent relics of a bygone era instead of in the midst of a bustling mountain-top railroad scene. The C&O's A Cabin was crouched next to the tracks, morosely watching modern CSX trains roar past while mumbling half-intelligible tales of the good ol' days gone by. The signals on the cantilever had long ago darkened and been turned to the side as though to say to passing crews, "move on, nothing to see here." Missing was the classic crossbuck, replaced by a bright and noisy crossing gate. Not missing on this autumn evening was the drama of mountain railroading: The ever-increasing roar of a pack of GEs sturggling to lift an eastbound train those last few feet from Alleghany Tunnel to the summit, the slowly-brightening glow from the headlights as the train seemingly took forever to approach, the faintly-heard ding-ding-ding of the crossing's bells announcing that, indeed, the train was making progress towards its goal. A Cabin may no longer be an important link between the coal fields and tidewater, but the never-ending battle between railroads and nature continues to be fought below its shuttered windows every day, an experience which can still be witnessed by those who journey to this quiet gap in the mountains.
A continuously growing album of photos that IMHO reveal the awesome and seldom seen beauty of railroads from the dimming of day to dawn's early light! From dusk to dawn, trains roll on! (I'm still finding sunset to sunrise surprises!)