Yard operations

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Mon Sep 10 06:51:24 EDT 2007

Just to add a little information on the east yard at Bluefield --
There were two main tracks on the south side. On the
north side, there was a track known as the Radford Division
pull-in and most hopper train were routed that way. In
between were five derail-equipped yard tracks where coal
trains were made up, plus an engine running track.

At the yard office, coal would be classified and car riders
would mount the cars to tie hand brakes as the car came
to the east end. The car riders were brought back to
the yard office on a motor car. Correct me Abe Burnett,
but I believe each track had to have 25 hand brakes tied up.
A Radford Division crew would couple to a track, get an
air test, knock off hand brakes, and double to another
track. On one trip I made, the crew went on duty at 12:01 PM
and it was 4:30 PM before the drag left Bluefield. Was this
arrangement there in the late '30's ? I'm not sure.
Harry Bundy

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