Healthy Discussion

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Tue Apr 18 23:12:59 EDT 2006


I think that the point is that this is an N&W list so maybe a discussion
of the ACL would be better served on another list? Just my opinion !!

Walt Gay
ex-SCL car knocker

----- Original Message -----
From: <nw-mailing-list at>
To: <nw-mailing-list at>
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 9:04 PM
Subject: Healthy Discussion

> 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


> passenger service into and out of Norfolk, but guess what. Five of them,


> N&W, the VGN, The ACL, the Seaboard, and the Atlantic Danville


> only to the west back to Suffolk, Va. The only exception being the


> 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



> 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


> were engine crews out of the freight pool. Indeed, some of the crews were

> making nearly all of their monthly mileage working passenger trains


> 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


> with their northbound counterparts daily. How can anyone seriously


> 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


> had only one car not carrying passengers, and that was the baggage car


> behind the engines. Having worked on these trains I couldn't help but


> 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


> 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



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