N&W in 1908--Wreck

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Fri Dec 26 20:51:26 EST 2008

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
December 25, 1908

Sixteen Gondolas Piled Up in a Cut at Ada--No one Badly Hurt

Yesterday morning about 10 o'clock a broken wheel on a Norfolk & Western coal car near Ada caused one of the biggest wrecks that the railroad has experienced during 1908. As a result of the smash sixteen gondolas were piled up in a cut at Ada and both the Roanoke and Bluefield wrecking crews were kept at work for several hours before one of the tracks could be cleared to allow the heavy Christmas traffic through.
Several hundreds tons of coal and coke were piled in the cut and eight of the cars were so badly smashed that they were hardly more than splinters. As many men as could be worked in the cut were rushed to the scene of the wreck and the Bluefield wrecker was assisted by the Roanoke train as soon as it could be gotten to the scene of the accident. Fortunately but one man was injured and he was so slightly injured that he was able to go on with his work at the wreck.
The Norfolk and Western management deserves much more credit than they will ever be given for the dispatch with which the wreckage was cleared away so that trains could be moved. Under ordinary circumstances the wreck of yesterday would have tied up any road for from twelve to twenty hours and not a single passenger could have been moved east or west. Six hours was all that the Norfolk and Western needed to clear away the most serious wreck of a year. And even before the wreck could be cleared away the road had made preparations to transfer passengers. It is really an accomplishment and the men behind the gun deserve a great deal of credit.
[Who said that railroads always get bad press?]

Gordon Hamilton
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