N&W in 1908 -- New branch, station

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Fri Sep 12 22:31:32 EDT 2008

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
May 16, 1908

New Branch Line
The Norfolk & Western will on Monday [May 18, 1908] run over the Honaker branch its first passenger train. The branch line which is a little over five miles long was purchased about a year ago by the Norfolk & Western from the Clinch Valley Barytes* Company. When the line was first purchased the bridges were too weak to bear heavy traffic, but the line has been strengthened throughout and trains will be run in regular schedule hereafter at 12:11, p. m. and 5:04 p. m. for Blackford and intermediate stations and corresponding trains will leave Blackford for Honaker at 10:15 a. m. and 4:10 p. m.

[*Dictionary definition: "barytes: Barium sulphate, BaS04. A dense mineral (RD 4.5) used in the manufacture of paint, textiles and drilling mud...." This line was known as the Honaker Branch, and in spite of the "strengthening" it was restricted to lighter locomotives such as the Class G1 2-8-0 in later years when the principal traffic was cattle from Blackford to market. This weight restriction was the reason that Class G1 N&W 6 lived on to end up in the Virginia Museum of Transportation and Class G1 N&W 7 survived for display in a Bluefield park. The 6 and 7 were built in 1897]
New Station At Raven
The new passenger station at Raven is nearing completion and will be open to the public within a few days. The building is a second class combination freight and passenger depot, and is a great improvement on the old station. The building, which is constructed of wood, will cost between $1,200 and $1,500.
Gordon Hamilton
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