Questions about N&W's ORDER 19 in Operating Rules during 1920s, etc.

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Fri May 6 15:38:21 EDT 2011

For the purpose of framing my questions, the following language has been
excerpted from an ICC report, dated November 6, 1920. The entire report can
be read at:

TREAT, VA., ON OCTOBER 20, 1920.

Westbound local passenger train No. 37, enroute from Roanoke. Va. To
Bristol, Tenn… received 19 train order No. 56 reading:
"No, 14, engine 102, meet No. 37, engine 558 at Rural Retreat
and No. 41, engine 107 at Crockett, No. 14 take
siding at Crockett."
[Arriving at Rural Retreat at 8:40 a, m.], the east switch of the passing
siding having been opened, the train pulled in, stopping before the entire
train was clear to unload passengers and express. After it had completed
its work the train departed and had proceeded a distance of about 2000 feet
when, while running at a speed estimated to have been from 10 to 12 miles
per hour, it collided with train No. 14, also on the passing siding.
Eastbound train No. 14, enroute from Bristol, Tenn., to Roanoke,
Va...received a copy of 19 train order 56…Approaching the west switch of the passing
siding at Rural Retreat, automatic signal B-3502, located about 50 feet
west of the west switch, was found in the stop position. This indicated that
the main track was occupied between that point and the station. The train
was brought to a stop and then proceeded, stopping again just clear of the
switch. The switch was opened and the train took the siding [at about
8:40 a.m.). It had proceeded about 1600 feet and, while running at a speed
estimated to have been between 18 and 20 miles per hour, it collided with
train No. 37 at about 8:43 a.m.

QUESTION 1. I have a copy of an N&W Operating Rules handbook issued to
employees January 1, 1967. Am I right to assume that what appears to be a
commonly used "19 train order" in 1920 must was defined somewhere else, or no
longer in effect in 1967?.
QUESTION 2. Can someone provide me with the actual language of 19 train
order as it would have read in 1920 and explain how and when it was routinely
QUESTION 3. Would the tail end of No. 37 being still out on the main track
,east of the east switch, have caused signal B-3502 to automatically go
into the STOP position?
QUESTION 4. Can someone let me know how to pull up a copy of Tom Dressler’
s article on this head-on collision that was published in the Arrow –
perhaps the Jan/Feb 1996 issue? I already have an excellent photo and would
like to read the text of his report.

Don Jackson
_NWinNscale at aol.com_ (mailto:NWinNscale at
(540) 972-3138
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