Ball's Hole Revisited

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Mon Mar 8 09:18:26 EST 2021

Ran through there for twenty years and never knew anyone having a problem. Going west on a “regular“ 180 car hopper train or time freight I always was in notch 8 even if you got an Approach at Singer or the “Inspect Train” light was red at the bottom of the “hole”  I waited to start shutting down AFTER I was past the road crossing at TIE YARD HILL. Otherwise, if you started shutting off before that you would send the fellers on the cab through the front cupola windows. Going East on a Time Freight, you’d stretch them through. On Coal Trains dynamic brake and maybe a little air 

Chuck Akers
Roanoke, VA

> On Mar 8, 2021, at 7:06 AM, NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at> wrote:
> The human mind, along with the five senses inputting data, is an amazing computer isn’t it?  ‘Seat-of-the-pants’ shall we say.  Thanks!    John Garner
> From: NW Mailing List [mailto:nw-mailing-list at] 
> Sent: Sunday, March 7, 2021 5:08 PM
> To: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>
> Subject: Re: Ball's Hole Revisited
> On 3/7/2021 1:59 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> Jimmy, Those are interesting track charts with a bit of extra, non-traditional info included. Where’d you get them? Would take me a little getting used to because the East/West directions seems backwards. Thanks for sharing.  So what do you have to do to successfully handle a heavy train through a ‘hole’?  Any enlightenment would be welcome.    John Garner
> John,
>     What can I say? East is on the left and West is on the right. This is a standard NS track chart. As for handling a train through a hole, it all depends on the terrain. How long, deep, and what is on the other side all determine what you need to do. Train length, tonnage and makeup also are big factors on what to do. We had a lot of up & downs on the Valley, so, I can't explain each and every example. As I said before, the Radford Div. is not my baliwick, so, I cannot comment on how the men over there ran their trains.
> Jimmy Lisle
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