1958 - Steel Cutback Hurting N&W, Smith Reports
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Roanoke Times - January 30, 1958
Steel Cutback Hurting N&W, Smith Reports
Factors Cited, However, Which May Change Picture
A Big cutback in steel production has seriously hurt Norfolk and
Western Railway's volume of business, N&W President R. H. Smith said
Interviewed on "Business World", A WDBJ radio program, Smith said
that the N&W's business is "at least 20 per cent behind" business of
a year ago.
"One of the principal users of coal produced in our field is the
steel industry," he said, "and the steel mills are producing
approximately 30 per cent below last year's January level.
"But the steel people express optimism that there will soon be
some pickup in its activity, but that it will probably not reach last
year's level before late in 1958."
Coal exports have also fallen off, Smith said.
Despite the reduced demand for coal, he said, "We are quite
optimistic over the long time outlook for coal.". And, he added,
"Some tremendously big mines, tapping fine new coal veins, are under
construction on our railroad."
On another matter, he said
that there are "indication . . .
that they (N&W) will eventual-
ly" replace all steam locomo-
tives with diesels.
Smith who also is chairman of the Citizens Committee for Schools,
got in a plug for the $8 million bond issue which will be voted on March 11.
He said that "many of our schools are seriously over crowded." and
added that voting freeholders will know they are getting "a bargain"
when they realize that Roanoke industry will pay three-fourths of the
tax bill for additional facilities.
And industry, he said, will support the school program because
adequate school facilities are needed to provide "capable, alert,
intelligent, law-abiding citizens."
- Ron Davis, Roger Link
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