N&W in 1910--Growth of tonnage

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Fri Jan 15 12:01:45 EST 2010

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
August 6, 1910

Inauguration of Fast Local Freight Service Would Develop Greater Traffic
"Ten years ago," said a prominent railroad man last night, "the Norfolk and Western would be blocked from one end to the other if it was offered the tonnage it is handling now. This tonnage is being handled very rapidly and the increased equipment is proving a money saver every day. Another noticeable fact is that way sidings are kept clear of cars, showing that the railroad is in a position to take tonnage as fast as it is offered. By the end of next year," said the man, "the railroad will be in a position to handle an even greater tonnage than now, as the completion of double track will permit of the sending of trains in either direction with greater dispatch than is possible even now when the road seems to monthly add to its handling capacity."
The people of the outside country and many at home feel that the only commodity being handled on the road is coal but this is an error. The road is developing a through freight service which brings considerable traffic to the line and an effort is being made to divert tonnage via Norfolk from eastern markets so as to pay for sending trains back through this section.
Thousands of tons of express, however, are handled daily which should be shipped by express freight from Norfolk and by way freight into the field. The Norfolk and Western has never put on an active way freight with the result that a great deal of the business which under normal conditions should be handled by freight is and has been going by express. "If," said this gentleman, "the Norfolk and Western would put on a way freight to be made up in Bluefield or Graham, which could be operated on a schedule the same as passenger trains with the exception that time for switching would be allowed, a great deal of the express which is now handled by the Southern Express Company could be sent by freight at an added profit to the railroad company. An express freight leaving Norfolk should arrive in this city in the early morning so that plenty of time would be given to start a way freight out of this city early enough in the morning to serve all the towns in the field before noon. Such a freight train would prove profitable and in time a large enough freight business could be developed to warrant even greater expenditures in this field of freight endeavor."
Gordon Hamilton
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