N&W, Virginian in 1911--NYC RR

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Sat Oct 2 22:48:20 EDT 2010

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
March 24, 1911

New York Central Officials Passing Over Norfolk and Western Not Communicative
A special train consisting of a New York Central engine and a New York Central private car was delivered to the Norfolk and Western at 9:30 o'clock yesterday morning at Kenova and after making a daylight trip over the road to Matoaka was delivered to the Virginian Railway at 5:30 last evening. General Superintendent Geo. P. Johnson, of the Norfolk and Western, was with the train while it was on the Norfolk and Western, and John Mastin, road foreman of engines, acted as pilot.
The party on board the train did not show any desire to meet people and while they were continually on the lookout, watching the wonderful Pocahontas division, they merely noted facts and asked for explanations, which were given.
It is understood that the party, which has been making a trip over the roads of West Virginia, is really out on an inspection tour of the Virginian Railway, which it has been frequently reported the New York Central has been after. Reports also state that the Norfolk and Western may dispose of the old Twelve Pole line, or Big Sandy branch, to the New York Central, which line will extend the Virginian to the properties of the United States Coal and Oil Company and the Island Creek Railroad Company. The Big Sandy branch of the Norfolk and Western could be made an outlet for the Virginian by which that road could ship coal to Kenova and from there to Columbus. It has never been the policy of the Norfolk and Western to let its railroad out piecemeal and it is improbable that such a plan will be adopted now. The old line was originally built for the purpose of securing tonnage, and there is as much tonnage along the line now as there was in its earlier days, so it would hardly appear that the road is for sale. Moreover, the United States Coal and Oil people have long wanted an outlet over the Norfolk and Western's old line to Kenova and from time to time it has been reported that the extension would be built. Nothing definite has ever appeared on the maps of the Norfolk and Western to show that such a plan would be carried out shortly.
It is much more probable that the New York Central is interested in the Norfolk and Western only from the fact that it operates cheaply in spite of good salaries and mountainous country. In these days when the interstate commerce commission is deciding whether rates shall be raised or not on questions of capitalizations it is interesting to the New York Central to know how the Norfolk and Western can operate so cheaply and still pass over the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains. Their interest in the operation of the Norfolk and Western becomes still more apparent when it is said that for some time it has been reported on every hand in and out of financial circles that the Virginian Railway will eventually pass into the hands of the New York Central.
The officials of the New York Central have made trips over various West Virginia coal carrying roads during the past few days and their trip over the Norfolk and Western gives them an easy access to the Virginian, on which whey may remain for several days with a view to studying the conditions on the line.
Unusual care has been exercised to keep the party to itself and visitors have not been encouraged, so it can readily be seen that the party on board the train is studying conditions for its own benefit and that of the New York Central.
[A NYC RR engine on the N&W? Also, how would the special train from the West be turned in order to head up the Bluestone Branch to Matoaka?]

Gordon Hamilton
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