Long trains rollin'

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Mon Aug 7 12:48:18 EDT 2006

I don't recall anything negative from the public standpoint. It generated a lot of business talk but it was understood that this was a test movement. The word I hear most that this was a test to see if super long movements would extend the market for Appalachian steam coal to beyond the Mississippi River.

I am sorry that I didn't get some good pictures, with Carlyle Tile bridges available as this movement came out of the Narrows east of Coal Grove and into a straight and then a sweeping curve there could have been some nice scenes.

It seems to me that the general feeling that day was that this movement required so much management effort that the entire division from Williamson to Portsmouth was shutdown until they were inside Portsmouth Yard.

Oakie G Ford

----- Original Message -----
From: nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
To: NW Mailing List
Sent: Sunday, August 06, 2006 10:21 PM
Subject: Re: Long trains rollin'

I've traveled Route 52 between Kenova and Williamson only a handful of times. On one occasion, I was lucky and got stopped at a grade crossing near Kimball just before the head end of a long coal train crossed the road. This particular train was well over 100 cars and I enjoyed this show for a long time (probably five minutes or more - he wasn't moving very fast). Since I was the first auto in line, I didn't notice until the train finally cleared the grade crossing that there was quite a line of vehicles behind me by then, and I seriously doubt that any of them enjoyed being stopped there like I did. Now I'm not sure what vehicle traffic was like in that part of WV in 1967, or whenever this 500 car train ran, but I'd be willing to bet that the railroad received a lot of complaints for completely tying up just about every town as it rolled through. Could a pubilcity stunt have turned into a public relations nightmare? Might something like this inspire some towns to pass ordinances regarding the lenght of time a train could tie up vehicle traffic at a grade crossing?

Bob Simpson
St. Paris, Ohio

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org wrote:
I was there, but don't recall the date, just a hot summer day.. Alongside
the double main at Coal Grove, OH. It was something else, 500 loads of WV
coal with ( I recall) 3 sets of power, front, midtrain and rear. I timed it
and it took 13 minutes and 33 seconds to clear the Ford Brothers (trucking)
crossing. What they did with it after arriving in Portsmouth, OH yard I
don't remember. On thing, they didn't try it again.

Oakie G. Ford

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