N&W in 1912--Coal traffic

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Wed Oct 26 22:23:57 EDT 2011

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
February 14, 1912

Norfolk and Western Hauled 1,687,948 Tons in January Despite Handicaps
Modern Machinery Installed in Mining Regions Makes it Possible to Take Care of Fuel Order With Minimum of Delay
In spite of a shortage of cars on the Norfolk and Western due to frequent embargoes by connecting railroads at Cincinnati and Columbus, and tidewater embargoes, resulting from the cold weather, ice and snow, the Norfolk and Western fields shipped 1,687,948 tons of coal during the month of January. This production was divided between Virginia and West Virginia, the West Virginia mines furnishing 1,524,835 tons of coal, while the Virginia mines shipped 163,113 net tons. The coke production for the month was 104,858 tons, on the West Virginia side, the Virginia figures not being available.
The car supply at this time is bad, coal at the western connecting lines having been embargoed since the latter part of last week, with the result that the operators have to depend on the returning cars from tidewater to supply the demand. At this time every shipping office in Bluefield, and that means practically the entire Norfolk and Western field, is behind in orders. Well informed coal men say there are 10,000 loaded cars in the neighborhood of Toledo, while other points have coal which cannot be moved, the result being that the northwest is in bad shape, it not being possible to ship any coal to Michigan ports. The western demand is very good if the cars could be sent out from the yards at Columbus and Cincinnati, while the New England demand is brisk and movement by tidewater easy, although it takes generalship on the part of the sailing agents to supply the trade and not load cars which have no immediate prospect of delivery.
The shipments for the month of January, in spite of car shortages and other impediments, show the value of the modern machinery which has been installed in the Pocahontas and adjoining regions, which permits of quick shipment of coal, with the result that with a good supply and an active demand as much coal can be shipped in three days as was formerly shipped in a week. The record for the month shows conclusively that Pocahontas coal can be shipped in almost any quantity at short notice, it not being necessary to wait for a long period of time to get any kind of order filled.

[The remaining paragraphs of this article discussed coal production in various time periods and by various producers and are omitted here except for the next paragraph, which is interesting because it shows how much of the coal was commercial and how much was company coal (locomotives, power houses, etc.)]

The shipments for January as reported by the comptroller of the Norfolk and Western are as follows in net tons:

Field Com'l Com'y
Pocahontas 1,014,810 95,599
Tug river 131,984 35,314
Thacker 165,179 49,523
Kenova 67,526 10,070
Clinch Valley 107,966 9,977
Total 1,487,465 200,483

Gordon Hamilton
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