Have a CSX question

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sun Feb 27 15:08:53 EST 2005

Only one train, huh ?  Well here are two more scenarios.
1-  CSX has single-tracked portions of the line between Richmond  and
     Newport News.  If the maintenance of way  forces are working in one
     of those single-track sections, trains can be  called so as not to
      interfere with the track work.  You  didn't see any Amtrak trains
      either ?
2-   Coal is cyclical.  When times are good and the ships  are hauling
      high revenue goods, coal may be a  fill-in.  But when the economy
      turns down, there are ships that'll haul  coal at rock bottom rates
      just to get a load.  In the 70's, it  wasn't unusual to have 50 ships 
      in queue for the piers.   Virginia had even suggested building a pier at
      Port  Norfolk (on the NF&D).   Cooler heads prevailed, however.  One
      firm, Allah of Ohio, routed coal via  N&W-Southern to the NC State
      Pier at Morehead City, where hoppers  were bottom-dumped.  To cross
      the Neuse River, only 70-ton hoppers could  be used.  The coal trains
      would roll down the middle of Hancock Street  in New Bern and rattle
      the chandeliers in the recently renovated  Tryon Palace.  Then, just as
      quickly as the surge of coal had started, it  came to an end.  Maybe
      coal is at the other end of the  cycle.   
                                                   Harry Bundy
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