Norfolk Southern and Virginia's Natural Tunnel State Park are hosting a Railroad Day for members of the community to learn about safety near railroad tracks and facilities and to enjoy the history and beauty of the area.
The event will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, July 13, at Natural Tunnel, 1420 Natural Tunnel Parkway.
Norfolk Southern's Virginian Railway Heritage Locomotive will be staged inside the opening of the 850-foot tunnel. Casey Thomason, NS' acclaimed photographer, will conduct a workshop on safe, creative, and legal ways to photograph trains.
Also on site will be an Operation Lifesaver unit accompanied by a volunteer who will discuss highway-rail safety and trespasser awareness.
Guests will have the opportunity to take guided tours through the tunnel from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tony Scales, certified geologist and author of "Nature's Marvel in Stone," will discuss how the tunnel was created and how it has evolved over the years.
The Natural Tunnel is part of the Appalachian Mountains located in Scott County. The Commonwealth of Virginia acquired the park in 1967 and opened it to the public in 1971. In 1890, the South Atlantic and Ohio Railroad laid the first railroad tracks through the tunnel, which later were acquired by NS' predecessor Southern Railway. The tracks now serve as NS' main line on the Central Division, connecting Knoxville with the coal region of Southwestern Virginia.
Parking will cost $3 per vehicle, and the chairlift fee will be $3 per person. For more information about the park, visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation's premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal, automotive, and industrial products.
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