N&W in 1910--Bad luck

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Wed Feb 24 22:52:36 EST 2010

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
September 17, 1910

Outside Forces Seem to be Working to Add to Discomfiture of Road. Two Attempts to Wreck Train Reported
Bad luck continues to follow the Norfolk and Western train movement, and on the Tug Fork branch it looks as though outside forces were working to add to the discomfiture of the railroad employes. Yesterday, the passenger engine on the Bluestone local jumped the track between Bluestone and Coopers and delayed traffic for some time. No one was injured, however. On Bull mountain a truck on an east bound engine broke down, delaying traffic for considerable time. A negro [sic] brakeman earlier in the morning lost a foot at Carterton and last night was brought to St. Luke's hospital in this city, where his injuries were treated. Ordinary trouble delayed train No. 16 last night more than an hour, and both the eastbound Clinch Valley trains were late.
It is reported in this city that on Thursday two attempts were made to wreck passenger trains on the Tug Fork branch at Ream. The first attempt was made when train No. 2 went up the hollow. Brakeman McCulloch, who was on the rear of the train which was backing, noticed that a switch was thrown and he immediately applied his emergency brake, preventing the passenger train from plunging into three battleship cars standing on a siding at that point. Only a short time afterward the local train on the branch found the same switch misplaced and another wreck was avoided by the vigilance on the part of the train crew. The switch could not have been left open twice by freight crews as there were no freight crews up the hollow previous to either attempt at train wrecking. The lock on the switch had been taken off and thrown away, as it could not be found near the switch, thus further denoting the presence of train wreckers.
Yesterday, a shifter engine jumped the track at a point near Black Wolf and delayed passenger service for one hour and fifty minutes. Thursday night at Davy J. H. Cook, of Wyoming county, was killed while trying to alight from train No. 3 where he had just left his parents who were going west on the train. In addition to these mishaps there has been the usual run of minor injuries to equipment, and the fact that the railroad men have become acquainted with all of these troubles has keyed them up to the point where they are now working on their nerve.
["Precision Transportation" came later. Black Wolf, WV is on the Tug Fork Branch.]

Gordon Hamilton
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