Self fuel satisfaction

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Thu Apr 25 19:42:29 EDT 2013


Coal came from on-line mines in West Virginia. In the early years the
locomotives were fueled directly from the mines from small coaling trestles.
Between 1912 and 1917 the N&W built a number of large coaling trestles at
the mines and signed long term contracts with the coal companies. The N&W
also developed its own coal mines. Large coal trestles were built at
Keystone, Caples (Farm), Mohawk in McDowell County.

When the Pocahontas coalfield was opened the N&W created the Pocahontas Coal
Company to act as a general agent for the coal mines. All of the original
mines sold their coal to the Pocahontas Coal Company at a set price. The N&W
bought coal at a discounted price. Pocahontas Coal Company sold the coal and
paid the mines. Around 1895 the mine owners and the N&W got into a pricing
dispute and the N&W canceled the charter of the Pocahontas Coal Company. The
mine owners chartered a new company run by the owners to be the general coal
agent for the mines. This lasted until about 1908 when the newer mine owners
(after 1900) wanted to control their own sales.

After the demise of the second general coal agency the N&W dealt directly
with the mine owners with payment made directly to the mine owners..

The N&W had its own coal mine supplying the coal dock at Williamson and
developed other mines in the area.
Payments were made as contract payments to the mine owners.

Coal contracts, coal docks and mines are covered in some detail in "Billion
Dollar Coalfield" and "N&W Pocahontas Division" available from NWHS

The attached images show the N&W contract with the Standard Pocahontas Coal
Company operating at Caples in 1913 and the coal trestle that was built by
the N&W at Caples. "Billion Dollar Coalfield" has a better partial view of
the coal trestle.

Alex Schust

Moderator: Photo

-----Original Message-----
From: nw-mailing-list-bounces at
[mailto:nw-mailing-list-bounces at] On Behalf Of NW Mailing List
Sent: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 8:08 PM
To: nw-mailing-list at
Subject: Self fuel satisfaction

I have pondered this question for a very long time, and would like to throw
it into the pot.
The N&W was a coal hauler, that used coal to power its own locomotives, and
I'm sure many other things such as heating, electricity ect.
Where did this coal come from?
How was it delivered/divided up for its own usage, and where delivered to?
How was it paid for, and who got the payment for this coal?
Thank you for your time, and all the great info passed on from such
knowledgeable people, to those of us who are just inquisitive of OUR

Jeffrey Wood
N&W VGN Hist. Soc.
Southern Ohio Railway Enthusiast
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