N&W in 1912--Runaway engine

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Sat Dec 24 21:01:08 EST 2011

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
March 6, 1912

Considerable Excitement Occasioned at Norton Monday Afternoon
Considerable excitement was caused at Norton Monday afternoon when a big freight engine broke loose, seemingly of its own accord, and ran at a rapid rate for ten hundred yards or more crashing into passenger engine No. 6, which was being switched to pull out a train to Bluefield. No one knows how the engine got started but it is believed that some boy opened the throttle, and finding that he was in trouble jumped off and let the engine go. The tender of the passenger engine was almost completely demolished. Both the tender and the engine were thrown from the track. The Virginia and Kentucky train was just leaving for Wise, Va., with fifteen or twenty passengers, and had it not been for the passenger engine between it and the big jack, more serious consequences might have resulted. The engineer of the passenger train jumped off when he saw what was happening. No one was injured.
[Engine No.6 was a Class G1 2-8-0 freight locomotive (Baldwin 1897)and would not normally have been used in passenger service. But, the afternoon passenger train out of Norton to Bluefield was No. 6, scheduled out at 2:05 p.m. and a Virginia and Kentucky train was scheduled out at 1:46 p.m., both according to the January 1910 Official Guide, so it is likely that the runaway occurred about 1:46 p.m. when the V&K train would have been leaving and the N&W passenger engine would have been moving toward its train. The reporter likely confused train No. 6 for engine No. 6.]

Gordon Hamilton
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