Peavine train numbers

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Fri Sep 21 18:31:11 EDT 2018

I have been smarting ever since the N&W adopted the name "Powhatan 
Arrow" instead of the suggestion that I sent in as a contest entry, 
"Woodland Flyer."

Gordon Hamilton

On 9/21/2018 5:21 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> Jim is absolutely correct.
> The Pocahontas was named in a contest announced by Passenger Traffic 
> Manager W.C. Saunders in a circular issued regarding the new schedule 
> on October 7, 1926. It was announced that the suggestion selected by 
> the committee from either an employee or non-employee would be offered 
> a prize of $25 ($356 in today’s money!). By the end of the contest, 13 
> days later, an avalanche of suggestions buried Mr. Saunders’ office 
> with more than 2,000 letters that carried between 8,000 and 10,000 
> suggestions. The suggestions were numbered in the order received, 
> filed and at the end turned over to the committee appointed to select 
> a name (no mention of who was on the committee).
> It was announced that E.V. Perdew, City Ticket Agent at Petersburg was 
> the first to suggest the name as used.
> Just a bit less than 20 years later in March 1946, a similar contest 
> was announced to run for three weeks. This time the prize was to be 
> $500 ($6,851.79 in today’s money!) This time they received entries 
> from all over, places as far away as Tahoma, Washington, Los Angeles, 
> California and New York. There were over 140,000 entries, some 
> arriving via special delivery on the last day. This time the winner 
> was retired section man Leonard Scott of Dry Branch, Virginia with the 
> Powhatan Arrow. Ten additional $25 prizes were also awarded (nothing 
> to sneeze at, $342.59 in today’s money.
> One of Mr. Scott’s relatives is on the list and I am surprised he has 
> not chimed in.
> Ken
>> On Sep 21, 2018, at 2:35 PM, NW Mailing List 
>> <nw-mailing-list at <mailto:nw-mailing-list at>> wrote:
>> There were two different contests (one for each train, about 20 years 
>> apart). I don't remember who suggested "Pocahontas" but "Powhatan 
>> Arrow" was submitted by an adult male, I believe from Dry Fork, VA.
>> Jim Nichols
>> On Friday, September 21, 2018 12:56 PM, NW Mailing List via 
>> NW-Mailing-List <nw-mailing-list at 
>> <mailto:nw-mailing-list at>> wrote:
>> True story. I recently read the promotion of that contest in several 
>> of my dads 1930’s N&W Employee magazines, and reports on the same 
>> (and the eventual winners) in contemporaneous Circleville Herald 
>> newspaper articles.
>> Does that line up with your mother’s elementary school times?
>> Matt Goodman
>> Columbus, Ohio
>> Sent from my mobile
>> On Sep 21, 2018, at 8:32 AM, NW Mailing List 
>> <nw-mailing-list at <mailto:nw-mailing-list at>> wrote:
>> Good morning!
>> Various members of my family worked on the N & W, so I have heard 
>> stories all my life about the railroad.  One of the things my mother 
>> used to tell me that when she was in elementary school (in Welch, 
>> WV),  the railroad held a contest for the kids to help name the new 
>> trains.  That's when someone suggested the  Powatan Arrow and 
>> Pocohontas names, which the N & W adopted.
>> Now I know that family stories aren't always accurate, but they sure 
>> can be interesting,  if nothing else!
>> -Tracy Foutz
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