Webster Springs/E85.1 (miles from Elk River Jct.)

1915 and 2011 topo maps

The West Virgina Midland Railway by Don Hensley

Webster Springs now known as "Addison" was a Train-Order Office on the WM and also had a 15 car sidetrack. The West Virginia Midland Railway originally built the trackage here but was narrow guage. When the line was taken over by the WM, standard guage was installed but the narrow quage remained also into Bergoo. Back at Webster Springs the WM served a coal tipple that was more of a truck dump into a conveyor system that was capable of loading two tracks. The WM later delivered cars of stone to Webster Springs for the highway department.

On November 4-5, 1985, Hurricane “Juan” washed out several sections of the WM's Laurel Subdivision track between Bergoo and Curtin. At that time, the last active customer on the Bergoo to Webster Springs section was the Pardee & Curtin lumber mill at Barton (Curtin). Shortly after that, the Elk River Sewell Coal Company (a subsidiary of Westmoreland Coal) began negotiations with the WM to acquire the line from Bergoo to Webster Springs.

Negotiations took place over the next few months and on May 15, 1986, an agreement was reached whereby Elk River Sewell acquired the portion of the Laurel Subdivision between MP 73.70 near Bergoo and MP 86.17 at Webster Springs. As part of the sale agreement, ERS also acquired two Chessie GP-9's (C&O 6098, in C&O paint and C&O 6170, in Chessie System paint).

Since ERS never incorporated the railroad as a separate subsidiary (the 'Bergoo & Western' name was purely fictional), it remained a private rail line (non common carrier), and as such, it couldn't serve any other customers (not that there were any to be had). Therefore, the B&W operation consisted mostly of switching the Elk River Sewell mine operation at Bergoo and assembling the cars into trains for the WM crews out of Laurel Bank to pick up.

At the beginning, the two units remained in the Chessie era paint, but were eventually painted and lettered for the fictional 'Bergoo & Western' line. ERS also built an enginehouse at Bergoo where the two GP's were stored when not in use.

I don't think the line into Webster Springs was ever operated over by the Bergoo & Western due to several washouts and the only source or revenue was at Curtin (East Barton).

After the end of operations at Bergoo a CSX crew was sent on July 5, 1994 to remove the two GP9's. The GP's were later wrecked in Macon, GA. in August 2000 and subsequently scrapped.

(info by Ron Stafford)

Darren Talbert photographed the former WM trackage hidden in the weeds as it ran east across the road from Webster Springs towards Curtin in Nov. 2012. The second photo is looking west from the same location and road but much earlier and shows WM's old Webster Springs freight station in 1937. Notice the narrow guage rail in the center of the standerd guage track. The narrow guage was used by the West Virgina Midland Railway. (thanks to Darren Talbert, Mike Yetter, and Warren Hart for photos)

Looking west from about the road into the WM's Webster Springs Yard and at the freight house in November 2012. (Darren Talbert photo)

The WM's new freight house was this replacement brick freight station. Darren Talbert photographed the building in Nov. 2012 during renovation. The seconnd photo was taken of the same structure but in 1948. (thanks to Mike Yetter and Warren Hart for photo)

The tracks are still down in these 2008 photos at Webster Springs. Here the Webster Springs Freight Depot still stands in the trees. It is impossible to get a good photo of thew building during the summer months. (Blair Williamson photos)

Two photos of the interior of the Webster Springs Freight Depot in 2008. There was a freight room, office, two bathrooms, and a closet. (Blair Williamson photos)

Two photos from Nov. 2012 taken by Darren Talbert, the first of a very old railroad car body in the small yard at Webster Springs. The second photo appears to be at track showing throught the gravel that looks to be a leg of a wye due to the severe curverature of the track. If not a wye, perhaps the track to the freight house doors and platform?

Looking at what appears to be the track that ran behind the WM freight house that was used at the door at the back of the building and the outside platform. Looks as if the platform now has a ramp installed for a business of some sort. (Darren Talbert photo)

The old abandoned Turner Coal Company, Sewell #2 tipple at Webster Springs photographed by Warren Hart. Notice the WM switch stand in the weeds near the tipple. I believe this tipple was located here near the freight house in Webster Springs, perhaps someone knows exactly where this photo was taken? (thanks to Russ Miller for identifying photo)

Looking east into the small yard and west away from the yard at Webster Spings. Nice to see an old WM switch stand still in the ground. Hope it remains where it is but is restored rather than removed for scrap. (Darren Talbert photos)

Two photos, the first looking east towards the yard and switch stand seen in the previous photo. The second photo is looking west towards the WM Webster Springs bridge that takes the railroad to Back Fork Jct. (Darren Talbert photos)

This photo is looking west at the bridge at Webster Springs. Notice how big the tree is at the rail and bridge in this Nov. 2012 by Darren Talbert. It looks as if no trains have been by this spot in years by the thickness of that tree.

Looking east onto the bridge then back west from the bridge towards Back Fork Jct. which was a switchback on the opposite side of the road in the second photo. (Darren Talbert photos)

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