N&W in 1909--Mate Creek Branch

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jan 15 16:29:53 EST 2009

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
January 31, 1909

Seven Mile Spur of Norfolk and Western Will Reach a New Coal Field

It was learned yesterday that the Norfolk and Western Railway company will shortly put a force of men to work on the Mate Creek branch near Matewan. The branch mentioned will extend about seven miles up Mate Creek to Logan county and there will reach an entirely new coal field into which it is understood that the Virginian railway has already sent engineers who have been surveying and securing rights of way into that body of coal, which is of a high grade.
It may not be possible to finish the line for over a year as a great deal of the work which will be done at this time will be preliminary work which will probably cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000. Nothing is known here of the plans of the railroad company and this is especially true at the time when the New York market is dealing to such an extent in Norfolk and Western stock that the local officials, and even the president, are unable to tell what a day will bring forth.
The Mate Creek extension, together with the work that is to be done on the Sciota division and which was mentioned in yesterday's Daily Telegraph (posted on N&W Mailing List 1/10/2009), should make the year 1909 a big year for the local railroad if the business and enrnings keep up to anywhere near a good average.
If, however, the tariff on coal should be removed it is hard to tell what would happen to West Virginia coals and railroads during the next four or five years, or until such time as the coal companies and railroad could develop an entirely new market in the west where they would have to compete with the Michigan coals, which are nearly as good as Pocahontas, and the coals from the northwest together with those from Indiana, Illlinois, Wisconsin and other states.
Gordon Hamilton
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