N&W in 1911--New pumps

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Thu Jun 30 22:44:52 EDT 2011

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
November 16, 1911

New Pumps Finished
Pocahontas division railroad officials spent the greater part of the day in Graham yesterday overseeing the final finishing touches to the completion of the installation of the big pumps which will be put in commission this morning. The work of installing this mammoth piece of machinery has been a big job and Master Carpenter J. R. Anderson breathed a breath of relief when he saw the machinists hammer in the last connecting bolt last night. One of the pumps will be started up this morning and either of the two pumps is guaranteed to push through the sixteen-inch main from Graham to Bluefield three million gallons of Bluestone water daily in the event that quantity should be required to supply the demands at Bluefield shops. Two pumps were installed with a capacity of three million gallons daily for each but only one of them will be operated while the second will be used as an emergency pump. The pumps weight nine tons each and are by far the largest in use on the Norfolk and Western road. They were designed especially for Graham, and were manufactured by the J. H. McGowan Pump Company of Cincinnati. The McGowan people had the designs drawn by one of their expert mechanical engineers who came here several months ago for the purpose. It was necessary to enlarge for the fine pumping station here in the "Y" for the accommodation of the new machinery and it is understood the entire outlay of money used in putting in the new pumps totaled upwards of $17,000*. Several years ago when the railroad first began receiving its Bluefield water supply from Graham a ten-inch pipe was laid from Bluestone river here to Bluefield. As the business of the road increased, however, and with the innovation of the modern type of locomotives the old arrangements soon became entirely inadequate, and the ten inch water main gave way to a sixteen inch pipe with new pumps added, until the final installment of the McGowan pumps which go into use this morning and are said to be equal to those in service on any American railway.

*The sentence doesn't make much sense, but that's the way it read. The "Y" was the wye track arrangement with the main line forming one side, the Clinch Valley line forming another side and a connection between the two forming the third side.
Gordon Hamilton
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