N&W in 1909--Various

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Mon Aug 3 17:49:38 EDT 2009

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
December 19, 1909

Three Cars Overturned
Three battleship*(1) coal cars were overturned yesterday afternoon at Ruth*(2) and Train No. 10 had to take the high grade*(3) at that point in order to make Bluefield on time. The wreck was cleared away by night.

New Interlocking Plant
The new interlocking plant at Welch, which has been under construction for some time, is completed and in use. The plant is a modern one, operated by electricity, with occasional motors along the track which give the Norfolk and Western the latest and most approved method of automatic signals at that point. The system is in use at both ends of the tunnel at Welch and is used to prevent trouble when trains are on both tunnel track and the station track.

Railroad Payday Monday
The Norfolk and Western checks arrived in the city last night and Monday will be payday on this end of the division. Turkey Gap was the only plant in the immediate field which paid off yesterday and the other plants will follow their custom of paying off on the day before Christmas.

Narrowly Escapes Death
Everett Buchanan, of this city, who is employed as a car repairer was brought to Bluefield last night on train No. 3 in an unconscious condition.*(4) Buchanan had gone to Oakvale to do some work and was returning to Bluefield on a freight train when he put his head out too far from between two freight cars as the train was passing the standpipe at that point. His head was badly injured and he was rendered unconscious. He had a very narrow escape from death. If when he fell from the car, he had tumbled underneath he could hardly have escaped being crushed under the train. Buchanan was taken to the Bluefield Sanitarium for treatment. He has no relatives here, his home being in North Carolina.

[*(1) Another use of the term "Battleship" coal cars. *(2) Ruth was at the east end of Elkhorn Tunnel where the double track from the east became single through the tunnel. *(3) The high grade was the newer westward track through Cooper Tunnel that avoided the sharp curves of the original single-track main line that was still being used at the eastward track. *(4) Another case of a train being used as an ambulance in those days.]

Gordon Hamilton
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