N&W in 1908 -- Rain, slides

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Sep 4 22:04:29 EDT 2008

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
April 1, 1908

Recent Heavy Rains Playing Havoc With Roadbed of the Norfolk & Western
The recent heavy rains are playing havoc along the Norfolk and Western west of this city. No less than a dozen landslides were reported yesterday in cuts at different places throughout the coal fields and passenger and freight trains were thrown hours behind their schedules. As the rains have not yet ceased, the company expects to hear of other and even more serious cases than those reported. All trains have been ordered to run at a reduced speed and extra track-walkers have been put in many places with orders to be extremely careful and vigilant.
The worst slide yet reported is said to be near Merrimac [This is not Merrimac, VA, where the N&W Blacksburg Br. crossed over the Virginian, but is Merrimac, WV, some 5 miles east of Williamson.] and others, each requiring at least eight hours work to be removed, have occurred near Hatfield, Dry Fork, War Eagle, Lindsay, Wilmore, Thacker, Matewan and Wilsondale.
Yesterday afternoon about a hundred unemployed Italian and negro laborers were picked up around the city, put on a special train and hurried to the coal fields to assist in clearing the tracks. To this train also was attached private car No. 4 [blurred; best interpretation shown] which carried Gen. Supt. Geo. P. Johnson and Division Supt. E. S. Becker [was "W. S. Becker" in a previous article] to the scenes of the slides in order that they might personally direct the work.
The further progress of passenger trains Nos. 15 and 7 was cut off soon after they left Bluefield yesterday morning and they, like east bound trains No. 8 and 16, were considerable delayed.
A late report received here last night was to the effect that Tug river is on a rampage and is rising rapidly.
[Stay tuned for follow-up articles.]

Gordon Hamilton
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