The Christy Creek Railroad 1920 – 1948

Hauling Clay From Christy Creek

Twenty-six years after the demise of the Triplett and Big Sandy, another railroad was built up Christy Creek from Rodburn. This was the 7.2 mile standard gauge line of the General Refractories Company, built to reach clay deposits at Old House Creek and Switman Branch mines. The line terminated in the area of Andy White Branch.

The clay was used in the making of fire brick at their Hitchins brick plant built in 1912, then one of the largest in the world.

Construction of the railroad began in 1919 and on December 20, 1920 the first load of clay was delivered using three locomotives, No. 1, a flat top boiler type in use for the first seven years, a second No. 1, a small 2-8-0 which remained in service until 1937, and No. 2, a Baldwin. For the next twenty-eight years the line provided a steady source of clay for the kilns in Carter County. After WWII, operational costs increased and the line lost profitability.

The line was discontinued, and the track abandoned and pulled starting in April of 1948.

Some roadbed in the area is built atop the old railbed, otherwise little of the original railbed is discernible.