N&W in 1904 -- Operator Shortage

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed Dec 12 21:53:07 EST 2007

Stations on New Extension Can't be Opened Until Competent Agents Are Found
The completion of the Kenova and Big Sandy extension of the Norfolk and western, and the desire on the part of the managers of the system to begin immediate operations over this part of the line, have brought them face to face with a serious proposition, and one which threatens to interfere seriously with the early operation of the line. It is the purpose of the company to put in fourteen telegraph stations, five of which will have freight depots and ten of which will have ticket offices at which the operator will be supposed to act in the treble capacity of operator, freight agent and ticket agent.
In looking about for men to fill these places it is found that the demand for operators is far in excess of the supply available and great difficulty is being experienced in finding operators to man the various stations.
It is now the intention to transfer a number of the old men from the Twelve Pole Valley stations, since, when the new line is fully in operation, a number of the telegraph stations on the old line will be discontinued.
There are at present nine young men of Wayne county studying telegraphy at Lexington, Ky., and it is said that each has been promised a place with the Norfolk and Western as soon as he graduates.
It is believed by experienced railroad men that the expected relief promised by the building of the new line will be realized only in a small measure, since the increase in mining business in Mingo, Wayne, Mercer and McDowell counties will be fully commensurate with the increase in facilities.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
December 2, 1904

Gordon Hamilton
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