more on Abingdon Branch pax cars

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sat May 16 17:06:39 EDT 2020

Could the extra coach be a relic of segregation, or a smoker/non-smoker 
accommodation? And maybe the crew did not want passengers in "their" car.


On 5/16/2020 10:28 AM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> Rick -
> In all my rides with my Grandfather on the express part of the combine 
> on the Branch I remember riding arch-roof combine # 11 and later the 
> #10. The coach 704 was up there for years.  I don’t know why they 
> would ever have three “passenger” cars on the branch, since they never 
> filled up the 704 that I know of.  the 1600s came later.
> With an M only good for 325 tons up to White Top it seems odd that 
> they would have three “passenger” cars since they soaked up about 30 
> or 35 tons each.
> - Ed King
> *From:* NW Mailing List
> *Sent:* Friday, May 15, 2020 10:55 PM
> *To:* NW Mailing List
> *Subject:* more on Abingdon Branch pax cars
> Here are photos from 1957 of the Abingdon branch mixed at Green Cove.  
> M 396 was the subject of the photographer, but I was able to determine 
> that the postal-baggage is BMg 10 and the coach is Pg 1600. 1600 and 
> 1601 were the only Pg coaches in 1957 which had coal stoves for branch 
> line service. Number 10 was the last BMg set up for US Mail service 
> (1961-62 drawing).  There are photos in books of a Ph coach on 
> 201-202, evidently as a substitute car.  I could only find that of the 
> Ph class, only 703 and 704 listed as "not air conditioned" on a 1952 
> drawing.  As for when two cars were replaced by a combine, I would 
> date that from when the US Mail contract ended.  Can anyone fill in 
> that date?  There is a photo in Ferrell's book, page 173 of  the train 
> with a combine which looks to be a BPe.  Somethng else is curious in 
> the photos. Does it look like there is enough space between the head 
> end car and the coach for another car? If you have Link's "Last Steam 
> Railroad in America" on page 78 there are three passenger cars in the 
> consist.
> When I acquired these negatives 30 years or more ago, I had only 
> printed one. I was always curious what the cans or barrels on 396's 
> pilot deck were.  Look at the other two  photos and figure out what 
> that was all about.  The photographer was W. Raymond Hicks.  I bought 
> all 20 or so of his N&W negs.  He was from Maryland and his B&O and WM 
> negatives numbered in the hundreds.
> --Rick Morrison
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