The Big Woods, Red River & Lombard Railroad (BWRR&L) is a former narrow gauge railroad in Powell and Menifee counties in Kentucky, constructed circa 1910 to access the virgin forests of the Red River valley.
TheBWRR&L was founded by J. Walter Hambrick of Huntington, West Virginia.3 Hambrick had begun his career by buying and selling timber at the age of 22, later organizing the Big Woods Lumber Company and the BWRR&L and eventually controlling 6,000 acres of land and 13 miles of railroad.
The original western terminus of the BWRR&L was at Lombard at the junction with the Kentucky Union Railway, which was later relocated one-half mile east to Nada.1 From there, the railroad snaked up Moreland Branch and crossed under Tunnel Ridge with a 900 feet tunnel. The Nada Tunnel, constructed from December 1910 to September 1911, measured 13 feet wide by 12 feet high. Only one fatality was recorded during its construction when a construction worker attempted to thaw frozen dynamite by setting it near a fire.2
A 25-ton and a 35-ton Climax locomotive was used to haul logs from the Red River valley through the tunnel to a saw mill 15 miles west in Clay City.2 The first load of logs, however, became jammed in the tunnel and had to be dynamited loose. The Nada Tunnel was then enlarged to accommodate larger loads.
North of the tunnel, the BWRR&L descended into the Red River valley and proceeded east to Big Woods in Menifee County.1 An extension was once proposed, as the land was said to be underlaid with coal, along with about 232,000 additional acres of timber, but no work was ever started.3