[N&W] Class J Scheduling

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu May 6 22:36:53 EDT 2004

[Rick Morrison writes:]

The November 1954 Trains magazine featured an article on N&W steam which 
they called "story of the year."
The article was by David P. Morgan.  At the conclusion of the article he 
followed the weekly cycle of a class J locomotive:

For a 4-8-4 to roll more that 15,000 miles a month, she must be put in a 
tight cycle.  The largest, which requires 7 J's to protect, goes like 
this:  the 4-8-4 leaves Roanoke at 12:45 a.m. Monday on No. 42 to Monroe 
(58 mi.), lays over 1 hr 55 min, and returns on No. 41 via Roanoke to 
Bristol (209 mi).  There she waits 3 hrs 25 min, then takes No. 10 to 
Roanoke, arriving there at 6:10 p.m. Monday after a 151 mile trip.  At 7:35 
p.m. she's off with No. 3 for Cincinnati (424 mi), arriving there at 7:45 
a.m. Tuesday.  A layover of 2 hrs 50 min and back to Roanoke on No. 
16.  Five hrs. 25 min. in HQ this time and then at 5:45 a.m. Wednesday the 
tireless 4-8-4 works No. 15 back to Cincinnati, lays over 3 hrs. 25 min., 
and leaves at 11:25 p.m. on No. 4 for Williamson (224 mi.)--arriving at 
5:20 a.m.; Thursday.  She waits 1 hr. 15 min. and goes to Roanoke with No. 
24, waits 3 hr. 10 min. and rolls to Norfolk (252 mi) with No. 26. Friday 
morning she begins her longest single lap--676 mi. to Cincinnati with No. 
25, stays there overnight and leaves 8:10 a.m. Saturday with No. 26 for 
Roanoke.  Then she has a breather of 6 hrs. 20 min. before beginning all 
over again. Thus in a 6 day week the J covers 3466 miles, or 577-1/2 miles 
a day.  At least two J's. 600 and 601 have topped the 2 million mile mark.

The ever prophetic David P. Morgan  opened his article saying that future 
historians as yet unborn will underline the words "diesel locomotive" and 
say, "Here is the tool with which the railroads averted blanket bankruptcy 
during the era of static rates and inflated costs after World War 
II."  Morgan goes on to say " They will point out that often those who 
resisted the diesel longest, dieselized the fastest."

Rick Morrison

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