Virginian in 1909--Ready

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Mon Feb 2 21:43:12 EST 2009

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
February 18, 1909

Rumor That Roads Will Reduce Coal Rates Disproved by Issuance of First Tariff Sheet

It is a singular co-incidence that the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio railroad and the Virginian railway, two of the finest and costliest railroads that have been built in the country in a decade, should have been ready for operation the same day. The first trains were run over both roads Monday [Feb. 15, 1909], and regular passenger schedules inaugurated.
The Norfolk Ledger Dispatch, of Monday, speaking of the Rogers railroad, says:
"The Virginian Railway, Henry H. Rogers, proprietor, inaugurated today a regular passenger train service between Norfolk and Roanoke, The first train going out at 10 o'clock this morning. To this train Vice-President and General Manager Raymond DuPuy's car was attached, Mr. DuPuy going out to inspect the road west of Roanoke. He is expected to return about Thursday night.
"For the present until the new track is thoroughly shaken down there will be run between Norfolk and Roanoke but one train each way, daily, and the service will not be fast, the distance, some 212 miles, being covered in eleven hours. The service will be accelerated later and it is expected to be first-class by about April 1 when the pier at Sewell's Point shall be completed and both freight and passenger services be up to expectations.
"The rumor which attained wide circulation, especially in coal trade circles, that the Virginian might, so soon as it should be in shape to haul coal, cut the existing rate, has been disproved by the issuance of the first tariff sheet. This is practically identical with that of the Norfolk and Western and Chesapeake and Ohio roads, which is $1.40 per ton of 2,240 pounds from Pocahontas and New River fields, f.o.b. vessel here.
"It also has been rumored that the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Railway was contemplating making a lower tariff on coal into the Carolinas than has prevailed, affecting somewhat the other roads here, but more especially the Southern Railway, which has been carrying a great deal of coal into the mill country.
"Those here who are likely to be best informed discredit this rumor. One road said that the road in question would hardly begin a battle such as this, the end of which no one could foretell. Another said that Norfolk will be the Atlantic coast distributing point for steam coal and nothing may be expected to happen to cause the contrary to be true. Another said Norfolk will be the Cardiff of America.
"It was the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio road which E. H. Harriman was reported to have inspected and to be suspected of designing to buy.
"The tariff now in effect is lower than that prevailing for some years, the rate having been reduced by the other coal roads from $1.60 per long ton as the Virginian Railway approached completion.
"The reduction of 20 cents a ton was of great moment to Norfolk, the receipts of coal here being nearly 3,000,000 of tons annually and the reduction therefore netting the port about $600,000 a year."
Gordon Hamilton
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