Atlantic Coast Line R-1 4-8-4's

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Thu Sep 8 22:22:50 EDT 2005

Sounds to me like the ACL didn't like to buy good rail....

Jason Greene
Cumming, GA
----- Original Message -----
From: nw-mailing-list at
To: nw-mailing-list at
Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2005 9:00 AM
Subject: Re: Atlantic Coast Line R-1 4-8-4's

OK, Bill,
It's like an innocent by-stander once noted -- N&W employees will sit around
and complain, gripe, and find fault with the company, but let an outsider take
a swipe and it's good night nurse !

The 1800's were indeed handsome brutes (except for the 19th century arched
cab window). I suspect by now the mechanical maniacs have replied that
the 1800's had a design flaw -- the counterbalancing.

Passenger service ? ACL had a different clientele and much greater volume,
but to the people of say, Welch, WV, The Powhatan Arrow had just as much
pzazz as The Florida Special.

An N&W Safety Agent once told me that every railroad specializes in its own
brand of disaster. On the SAL, it was head-end collisions. On the old NS, it
was trestle collapses. As Jack Webb said, "just the facts, mam".

01/15/40 - Nahunta, GA. No. 70 - Eng 1800 derailed. 11 injured. CAUSE:
Broken 100# rail manufactured by Tennessee Coal & Iron (TC&I). Rolled in 1929.

So now ACL has a 260 ton locomotive bouncing up and down on 100# rail.

03/31/41 - O'Neal, GA. 3/71 Eng 1804 derailed. 14 inured. CAUSE: Broken
100# rail rolled in 1929 by TC&I (Rail broke into 12 pcs.)

11/27/41 - Hortense, GA - No. 91 Engs 504-501 (Diesel-electric) derailed. 2 killed-
77 injured. CAUSE: Broken 100# rail, rolled in 1929 by TC&I.

10/17/43 - Bellbluff, VA - 1/76 Eng 1565 derailed - 1 killed, 8 injured. CAUSE:
Broken 100# rail, rolled in 1924 by TC&I. Previous train had caused rail burn,
but MofW forces OK'd for service.

12/16/43 - Rennert, NC (north of Buie). No. 8 collided with No. 91. CAUSE:
Fireman failed to provide adequate flag protection after No. 91 derailed and
fouled northward main track. No. 8 was derailed account broken rail mfg. by
TC&I, rolled in 1939. 72 killed; 87 injured.

It's apparent that someone on ACL didn't get the message. From 1910 into 1970,
government investigations reveal that N&W accidents resulted in 97 fatalities. In
just one ACL incident, there were 72 deaths. That's 74% of all the fatalities on
the N&W..
Harry Bundy


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