Healthy Discussion

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Tue Apr 18 21:04:35 EDT 2006

I have never treferred to the N&W as being anything other than what
it is, the N&W.
I have endured cheap shots on this site such as "Auntie's Clothsline" and
ACL passenger diesels called "purple peopleaters". I just considered the
source and didn't get bent out of shape about it. Now you tell me.
Who is denigrating what ?

I am sorry I showed my ignorance by mis-spelling the word "Powhatan."
Shame on me for not being perfect. Please forgive an 83 year old who was
firing locomotives when you were but a gleam in your father's eye.

I Did Not refer to Cincinnati as a deadend point. I was speaking
about Norfolk being a deadend point, which I STILL maintain was the case
for passengers traveling to Norfolk There were six steam railroads operating
passenger service into and out of Norfolk, but guess what. Five of them, the
N&W, the VGN, The ACL, the Seaboard, and the Atlantic Danville operated
only to the west back to Suffolk, Va. The only exception being the Norfolk
Southern which had one daily departure at 7:00 AM for it's all-day trek to
Raleigh, N.C. Anyone destined for eastern North Carolina points would
detrain on the N&W at Petersburg and change to either the ACL or Seaboard.

In South Rocky Mount, N.C. at one time we had 42 south end engine
crews marked up in the freight pool.
All doubleheading of passenger trains and extra sections of passenger trains
were engine crews out of the freight pool. Indeed, some of the crews were
making nearly all of their monthly mileage working passenger trains instead
of freight trains. With the addition of two or three name trains that
operated only during the winter season from November until April, we had
around a dozen regular southbound name trains and their extra sections along
with their northbound counterparts daily. How can anyone seriously mention
the N&W and ACL in the same breath when it came to passenger volumn.
And one again, those name trains DID NOT carry mail or express to make
money. The two exceptions that I remember were the Havana Special, Nos.
75 and 76, and the Palmetto Nos. 77 and 78. Most of those Florida trains
had only one car not carrying passengers, and that was the baggage car right
behind the engines. Having worked on these trains I couldn't help but notice
the train consist. You describe the Arrow as a "through" train and then
list a total of ten stops between Norfolk and Cincinnati.

When I worked some of those Florida trains we never stopped turning a wheel for
the entire 172 miles between Rocky Mount and Florence, unless we had a
steam locomotive which meant stopping at the coaling tower at Milan yard to
service the locomotive. Again mind you, I am not bragging, but
merely pointing out
the importance of passenger service on the ACL. I am sure the
service provided
by the N&W was sufficient to meet the needs of the people who needed that
east-west service. I am also aware of the problems faced by the N&W in
having to operate through the mountains. Bill Sellers

More information about the NW-Mailing-List mailing list