The Fields Creek Coal Dock is a disused rail-to-barge operation along the Kanawha River in central West Virginia.
The Winifrede Mining & Manufacturing Company was established in February 1850 to mine coal along Fields Creek in central West Virginia. 1 3 A narrow-gauge railroad was constructed in 1851-52 to haul coals from the mines to a rail-to-barge facility on the Kanawha River, with mining operations beginning in 1853. 3 Operations were curtailed because of the Civil War in 1858.
The Winifrede Coal & Railroad Company resumed mining operations in 1882. 2 Now funded by capitalists from Philadelphia, 2 Winifrede upgraded their railroad to standard-gauge and constructed a new barge loading facility along the Kanawha. 1 The Winifrede mines ceased operations once again in the 1920s because of decreased demand and labor issues.
Winifrede Collieries reopened the railroad, mines, and transload operations in January 1931 3 and remained in operatuin until 1988. In 2000, Kanawha Eagle Coal, a joint venture between PEabody Energy and Patriot Coal, opened a new mine and transload operations once again reopened. 1 4 The rail-to-barge facility operated until 2013 as the company opted to interchange coal trains just with CSX. 1
- Robie, Dan. “Winifrede-Big Eagle Railroad.” WVNC Rails.
- “An Industrial Boom in the Great Kanawha Valley.” Weekly Register [Point Pleasant], 6 Sept. 1882, p. 2.
- Mason, Dick. “Run of Mine.” Beckley Post-Herald, 12 Mar. 1953, p. 8.
- “Kanawha Eagle Mine.” Global Energy Monitor Wiki, 30 Apr. 2021.