N&W in 1909--Double track

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Sat Apr 11 17:41:21 EDT 2009

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
July 17, 1909

General Manager Maher Says It will be Finished by End of Next Year--Other Improvements

President L. E. Johnson, of the Norfolk & Western, accompanied by N. E. Maher, general manager, C. S. Churchill, chief engineer, and W. H. Lewis, superintendent of motive power, passed through Bluefield last night on a special returning from an inspection trip west to Cincinnati.
Mr. Maher, to whom President Johnson referred the Daily Telegraph man for information regarding the object of the trip, said it was a tour of inspection on account of the opening of the double track west of Welch, a distance of twelve miles through the tunnel district. The company has been three and a half years in constructing this track, since the rock work was extremely heavy, and the time required was much greater than under ordinary circumstances. The new track was opened to traffic last night and in a couple of weeks more, Mr. Maher says, three more miles of double track reaching Huger will be completed.
"We are pushing the double track," said Mr. Maher, "just as rapidly as circumstances will admit. By the end of the present year we expect to have the system double tracked west, all except thirty-eight miles and by the end of next year there will be a double track from Bluefield to Columbus. We are double tracking also in the Dismal Swamp region in the Norfolk district, but outside of this, the main work in this direction is being done west. The work is being crowded just as rapidly as conditions will permit, and if no unforeseen drawbacks occur the system will be furnished with double track as stated."
Mr. Maher was a former resident of Bluefield, having been connected with the Norfolk & Western in the capacity of division superintendent before he was called higher. He was the center of attraction when the special made a brief stop at the passenger station. The old time railroaders crowded around him, and showed by their actions that they hold him in loving remembrance.
The special left at about 7 o'clock to make a through run to Roanoke. The party was accompanied to Bluefield by G. P. Johnson, general superintendent, and Division Superintendent Becker.
Gordon Hamilton
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