Bill Box

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Oct 13 16:10:08 EDT 2015

Mr. Bundy,

You are more familiar with sales & marketing than me.  I don't know when
the "permit system" began.  All I can tell you is when I hire in 1973 when
ever we serviced a mine the conductor would get waybills for the loads from
the mine and write up a wheel report to be given to the yard clerk on
arrival in Williamson.  For eastbound coal trains, out of Williamson, the
bills rode with the head-end brakeman to Bluefield and dropped off at the
east yard office as they passed by.  Many times the bills for a coal train
were about the size of a brick and weighed about the same.  When I was
working waybills were required before a load could be moved from a mine,
even short loads (raw coal moving from one load out to a different mine for
washing). If there was no bill for the particular car it stayed at the
mine until billed.
 Coal waybills were also often referred to as "bills" or "tags".  Maybe a
misuse of words or terms over the years?
I have attached waybills from 1957 for coal moved from the mine to
Williamson for weighing and Contract Tidewater bills from 1985 for
shipping.  I am sure the Tidewater bills are permits since the have a class
& number designation.
This may help us understand the difference in operations by dates (years)
from what you are saying and what I experienced.

-Jeff Hensley.


Need an explanation here.  Never had to contend with a mine tag,
so I don't know what their purpose was.  In the era before the
"permit system", coal could be shipped to Lamberts Point without
ever having been sold.   Once at Lamberts Point, these so-called
"rollers" didn't start accruing demurrage for 10 days (for merchandise
traffic it was 2 days), so agents had time to sell the coal while en
route and for 10 days after arrival before the charges started.  My
impression was these cars had no waybill, only the cardboard mine
tag stapled to the side of the car. Any thoughts on mine tags ?
                                                       Harry Bundy
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