1907 - Complaint Against N. & W.

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Wed Nov 28 23:06:11 EST 2007

Roanoke Times - November 28, 1907


Coal Companies in Upper Clinch Valley Want Lower Rate

Tazewell, Va., Nov. 27 - Special. The coal companies operating in
the upper Clinch Valley Valley field in the vicinity of Raven and
Richlands, Va., have filed petitions with the Interstate Commerce
Commission against the Norfolk & Western Railway Company seeking to
reduce the freight rate on coal from their mines to the same rate
charged the operators in the Pocahontas field. For several years the
Norfolk & Western Railway Company has been charging ten cents more
per ton for hauling coal from the Clinch Valley field than from the
Pocahontas field, to the eastern markets.
The complainant companies claim their operations are situated
within forty-four miles of Bluefield, while there are operations in
the Pocahontas field situated as far as 87 miles from Bluefield, and
that the grades on the Clinch Valley division do not exceed 1 1-4 per
cent, while the grades on the Pocahontas division are as much as 2
1-2 per cent, and further charge that the Norfolk & Western Railway
Company is interested in the Pocahontas coal field -- the president
of the Norfolk & Western being also the president of the Pocahontas
Coal & Coke Company, which last mentioned company owns about 300,000
acres of coal lands in the Pocahontas field. The railway company
claims the excess freight rate is reasonable on account of the Clinch
Valley division being a branch line and having only light traffic as
compared with the main line running through the Pocahontas field, and
that it costs more to handle Clinch Valley freight.
The case is set for hearing at Roanoke, Va., on Monday December 2d
before Special Commissioner John H. Marble of Washington, D. C.
Harman & Pobst, of Tazewell, Va., and William A. Glasgow, Jr., of
Philadelphia, will represent the coal companies, while Joseph I.
Doran, Judge Holt and Lucien Cocke will represent the railway company.
The case is one of much importance to the operators and owners of
coal lands in the upper Clinch Valley coal field, and will be watched
with interest.


- Ron Davis, Roger Link

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