back in the day

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Feb 2 20:59:22 EST 2021

It would not have been on the mainline, but the trains coming out of
Coalwood, WV in the 30's and 40's didn't do anything special to build up
speed going downhill. Dad grew up in Coalwood and it was well known that
the afternoon train with about 100 full hoppers returning to Iaeger
(Auville Yard) would coast down to the mainline. Those trains would be much
quieter than normal and Dad said that you had to be careful or the train
would sneak up on you. This may be later than you are asking about, but I
suspect that the habits would not have changed.

Tom Fulton
Asheville, NC

On Tue, Feb 2, 2021 at 7:11 PM NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>

> When the G class was the predominant species roaming the coal fields, I
> would imagine that most of their time was spent slogging through their
> routine at speeds of less than 10 mph up the steep grades as was the case
> with their descendants.  My question is, does anyone have any information
> on the other end of the spectrum?  That is, when they were cruising
> downgrade like coming down from Elkhorn tunnel toward Maybeury what would
> be the highest speed they might achieve under normal circumstances?  Was
> the maximum speed limited by timetable or was it left to the engineer to
> make whatever speed he could while maintaining control of his train?
> Hard data, insight and speculation all welcome,
> Jim Cochran
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