Coal Traffic through Farm

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sat Aug 21 14:14:30 EDT 2021

The railroad was a transporter. Coal was sold by the individual operators on their own or to coal brokers so the railroad moved the coal east or west based on who the coal was sold to. Coal coming off of the branch lines and main line mines moved in both directions. Steam coal and metallurgical coal went in both directions for domestic and overseas markets. 


Captive mines from coal companies such as United States Steel and Kingston Pocahontas normally shipped their coal west, but Pocahontas Fuel Company with its multiple mines on Pocahontas Branch, North Fork Branch, Tug Fork Branch, Dry Fork Branch and the main line shipped its coal east and west depending on who it had been sold to


Alex Schust


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Subject: Coal Traffic through Farm


Hi all. The article on Farm in the last edition of The Arrow - along with the “High Noon” series - has done a good job describing how complex coal traffic and operations were. 


Time for a naive question. The Farm article talks about eastbound coal going uphill toward Eckman, with the same crews bringing westbound coal back down to Farm and beyond.


It may have been stated in the Pocohantas Division “High Noon” article, but what was the purpose of loaded coal crossing paths? I assume different characteristics for different markets?


Matt Goodman

Columbus, Ohio, US

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