Mail transportation on the N&W Tug Fork Branch

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Thu Oct 22 12:24:18 EDT 2009

Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 19:55:20 -0400
From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>
Subject: N&W in 1910--Mail service

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
April 7, 1910

Inaugurated on Tug Fork Branch of Norfolk and Western

The Norfolk and Western has inaugurated a new mail service on the Tug Fork branch. Two mails a day now go to Anawalt and this service is greatly appreciated. The people along the Anawalt section now want an opportunity to get the train to lay over at Pageton or Anawalt at night instead of at Gary as they figure in this way they will be able to go to Welch or some other point and return the same day. An effort will also be made to get a local freight service on the line. There are eighteen or twenty mines on the Tug Fork branch and the coal companies along the line feel that enough business goes to and from these operations to warrant a local freight. It is likely that a petition will be prepared asking for such an extension of the local freight service.
[If there were no local freight service on Tug Fork branch how did these eighteen or so mines get the material for the tipples and mine material such as rails, cars, etc? As far as that goes how did any mines get started before the railroad reached the mine location?]

Gordon Hamilton

October 23, 2009

Hello, Gordon:

Wasn't "local freight" service primarily for carload and less-than-carload merchanidise freight? My recollection is that "mine runs" on the N&W were not considered local freight.

Regarding the mail service, the Railway Mail Service Third Division would have made a determination that mail volume and dispatches warranted mail being handled on a second train. Although there were frequent communications between a railroad's manager of mail (who also usually handled the express company service relationships, too) and the district RMS staff, the added service would have been initiated by the RMS, not the N&W.

Good morning,

Frank Scheer
f_scheer at

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