Rail on the Pocahontas Div

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Fri Apr 14 11:16:53 EDT 2023


I've heard mention of a 155lb test section on the Division, but never 
confirmed how much where.

Aside from the mix of 130/131/132lb rail on the main and branch lines, 
track charts show the next size down as 100lb rail elsewhere on spurs, 
some branchline sidings and end of track, except for the occasional 85lb 
tail; but, nothing in between. Not on the charts, I checked on three 
steam-era customer spurs west of Bluefield. All were still in and had 
100lb rail marked "1919 MARYLAND."

The 100lb rail height measures 5-1/2" that PECO code 60 rail makes for a 
nice fit. I'm working a large stash of code 81 rail by Right-O-Way, but 
an excellent flex track option is the PECO code 83. It is spot-on for 
N&W heavy track, including crosstie profile, length and spacing.


In addition to sections of 140lb rail on the eastbound main in Elkhorn 
Tunnel and at Powhatan, I noticed three short sections on the Buchanan 
Branch at Raitt, all located on curves.

Grant Carpenter

On 4/11/2023 8:20 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> Gentlemen,
> If I remember correctly, I think that there was a section of 155 lb 
> rail on Buchanan Branch between Devon and Hurley.  It seems I stumbled 
> onto it in the track chart one time when I was working “PD”.  I’m 
> thinking it was less than 10 miles, maybe more like 5 miles.  Another 
> interesting discussion—keep ‘em rolling.
> Thank Ya’n Out,
> Chris Dalton
> Bluefield, WV
>> On Apr 11, 2023, at 8:58 PM, NW Mailing List via NW-Mailing-List 
>> <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org> wrote:
>> -Dave: N&W had a 10-mile section of 155 lb. PS rail located on the 
>> Kenova District (I think, track chart not handy). It was removed in 
>> the late 1980s after the number-dummies concluded that the extra 
>> weight (and cost) didn't offer that much of a benefit.  Remember that 
>> 131 lb. rail had a major defect -- head and web separations.  By 
>> adding an extra lb. of steel at the head/web connection,  the now 132 
>> lb. rail reduced the derailments especially on curves.  H. Bundy
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