Train Speeds

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Mon Aug 2 10:41:25 EDT 2010

-----Original Message-----
From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>
To: nw-mailing-list <nw-mailing-list at>
Sent: Mon, Aug 2, 2010 9:07 am
Subject: Train Speeds

I heard today on a radio news program that 90mph trains have preliminary
pproval for some time in the future in Virginia! In the heyday of N&W
team operations, what were the average speeds of the Norfolk-Cincinnati
rains and those on the Shenandoah Division. Where and what were the top
ernie Hylton
or many years, TRAINS published a list of the USA's fastest
passenger trains. N&W's entry was always No. 25 (The Powhatan
Arrow) between Suffolk and Petersburg -- by recollection, it
averaged 62 MPH. But bear in mind this was the scheduled speed.
The maximum authorized speed, 79 mph, had been established by
the ICC. N&W attempted to have ICC increase the maximum speed,
but the ICC would not concede. Remember that a train cannot
pass a station ahead of the scheduled time. So if a train was
on schedule, there was no need to "make up time". But if a train
was late, the Poe to Kilby stretch was a good place to do it. In
many instances, the Class J's went over 100 MPH, though N&W was
reluctant to admit it. Harry Bundy

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