N&W in 1910--Block system

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Mon Sep 28 20:37:20 EDT 2009

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
March 6, 1910

Norfolk and Western to Give Wharnecliffe, Lindsey and Alnwick Three Shifts of Telegraphers
As a result of the unfortunate series of freight wrecks during the past week it was reported yesterday that the Norfolk and Western has decided to place three shifts of telegraph operators at Wharnecliffe, Lindsey and Alnwick. While the extra operators will not prevent wrecks, they will assist the division office to keep track of trains and in this way materially assist the movement. As it is now, when a train leaves Jim, near Devon, it is lost until a report is received from it at the next telegraph office, which is quite a distance away. By putting back the three tricks the tracks can be closely watched with the result that if a train goes down, a report can be made on it without waiting for a train hand to walk to the station to advise the telegraph operator of what has occurred. It is also possible that an absolute block system may be put into effect, but nothing along this line has been done as yet. By adopting the absolute block system, engineers and conductors will be prevented from making fast runs between points where they have a well ballasted straight track.
They will be held up until they are advised that a train has left the block and in the way rear end collisions will be prevented.

Gordon Hamilton
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