N&W in 1904 -- Jumped Track

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sat Dec 1 10:46:23 EST 2007

I guess I never realized that the railroads have ALWAYS had such problems
with vandals. I remember reading about kids who derailed a Conrail freight
train in the 80's by pulling all the spikes out of the ties and taking out
the bolts that connected the rails; if I'm not mistaken, a couple of
trainmen were badly hurt.

Of course, I was vacationing in the mountains of NC several years ago and
met an older guy who said that he and a friend, during the Great Depression,
would go and surreptitiously grease the rails of Southern's 5% climb up
Saluda mountain. The train would stall, he and his friend would "suddenly"
show up trackside and looking for work, and the railroad would pay him and
his friend to go "clean up the rails".

Mike Weeks

Charlotte, NC

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[mailto:nw-mailing-list-bounces at nwhs.org] On Behalf Of NW Mailing List
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2007 10:35 PM
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Subject: N&W in 1904 -- Jumped Track



A Small Boy Came Near Wrecking Passenger Train No. 4.


Willie Cleburn, an 8-year-old boy, came near wrecking passenger train
No. 4 Saturday at Wills, a station twenty-one miles east of this city. The
pony trucks of the engine were derailed and the train narrowly escaped being
wrecked. A piece of iron was placed on the track and caused the trouble.
Detective Baldwin sent one of his men to the scene Sunday, and it did not
take him long to ascertain the name of the culprit, and when questioned, the
little fellow said that he put the iron on the track "to see what the train
would do to it." The boy was too young to be arrested, and, in the presence
of the detective, his parents gave him such a sound flogging that it is safe
to say that he will place no more irons on the track. It will be remembered
that the recent wreck at Dunlow was caused in a similar manner by a little
girl, and one at Oakvale, about two weeks ago was caused by a small boy.
These little miscreants have cost the Norfolk and Western thousands of
dollars, and there should be some method devised to stop it.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

October 12, 1904

[Detective Baldwin would have been from the well-known Baldwin - Felts
Detective Agency based in Bluefield and involved in the 1920 Matewan (WV)
Massacre at the N&W station in which seven detectives and three townspeople
were killed. Dunlow (WV) was about half-way along the old Twelve-Pole line
between Naugatuck and Kenova. Oakvale is east of Bluefield and just west of

Gordon Hamilton

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