N&W in 1904 -- Wreck Avoided

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Sat Dec 1 20:39:31 EST 2007

Disastrous Wreck Narrowly Avoided
The chapter of the Norfolk and Western's losses at the hands of the natives along its Kenova division is still being written. The latest catastrophe was the partial wrecking of another of its mammoth V passenger engines [4-6-0 type. Freight locos were Class V, but passenger locos were Class V1], from contact with a pile of rocks placed upon the track supposedly as revenge for the killing of a brindle calf.
The through passenger train struck this obstruction a few miles from Williamson early Wednesday morning. Going at the rate of forty miles an hour, Engineer J. Q. Payne saw a pile of boulders in time to avert a fatal wrecking of the train, but too late to keep from striking the obstruction with sufficient force to smash the forward end of the engine, which immediately left the rails. Fortunately the iron monster did not turn over, and the engineer as well as the passengers all escaped from injury.
Investigation disclosed that fact that the evening before a freight train hit the calf spoken of near this spot. The trainmen in looking back noticed a woman in the adjoining field brandishing a hoe at the train. She was joined in a moment by two men, presumably her sons, who shook their fists threatingly at the disappearing train. Detectives are working on the theory that these people are responsible for the obstructions.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
October 29, 1904

Gordon Hamilton
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