N&W in 1910--Mallets

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Fri Apr 16 12:07:48 EDT 2010

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
October 29, 1910

Local Railroad Men Wondering What Will be Effect of Cold Weather On Big Engines
The local railroad men are wondering what will be the effect of the cold weather on the new large Mallet engines which are in use on this division. A cold spell is the time when the road foreman of engines has his troubles but they are even less than those of the man at the throttle who has to watch every little leak and ???* of his engine for fear the frost will get in its work. Train dispatchers have to keep their eyes continually on the thermometer and barometer to see how trains should be loaded. The unusual altitude of this city, compared with the 600 feet above the sea level of Williamson keeps those men continually on the jump and they have to always be on the lookout for cold snaps and their dire results.
A railroad man said yesterday that November is one of the hardest months in the year on engines. He holds that the acid from the leaves which fall into the water have a peculiar action on the mud rings in the boilers and even attack the flues with the result that engines give a great deal of trouble. Then again the changeable weather, frost one day and balmy the next, keeps the engineers on the jump all the time.
The Mallet engines are slow moving monsters, and on this account the weather test is one which will be of interest not only to the local railroad men but to those who are connected with other roads. This winter, which prophets predict will be severe, will test out the Mallets as mountain carriers.
[*Word indistinct on microfilm.]
Gordon Hamilton
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