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Edition #26, March 15, 2006

Goin' to Sixty-Six

Photographer: Brian Plant

                                              Photo © 2005 by Brian Plant

Goiní to Sixty-Six

Pool Point, Kentucky. The north end of the Clinchfield is just minutes away, where the C&O's Big Sandy Subdivision intersected and handled business with the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio.

Today it is the same railroad, CSXT, but the change in predecessor companies is not forgotten. "Goin' to sixty-six," announces the head-end engineer to the crew of the "pusher man" as the train leaves C&O rails for CC&O rails. The steady stream of southward Kentucky coal for steam power plants in the South continues, no matter the time of day.

The moon shines down as the shutter is opened, the engineer calls "Clear South Elkhorn" over the radio as the sounds of the engines echo down the valley to the left. Then the train enters the tunnel, and it's quiet for a few moments. The headlights of the head-end illuminate the rock-lined tunnel. Before they can fully round the corner of the curved tunnel the shutter is closed. I sit back and feel the scene before me for a moment, then get back to the photography I've traveled great distances to do. Later, I wonder to myself if the crew feels the same excitement I do from the oft-repeated phrase, "Goin to sixty-six".

Brian Plant

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