N&W in 1912--Double tracking

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Sun Oct 23 15:51:18 EDT 2011

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
February 14, 1912

Norfolk and Western to Spend Many Millions of Dollars for Needed Improvement
The initiative was taken yesterday in the double tracking of the Norfolk and Western railroad between Lynchburg and Norfolk. The Roanoke World reports that the first engineer corps was started out to make the preliminary survey.
This improvement will represent the expenditure of several million dollars and is the largest double tracking work ever undertaken by the Norfolk and Western. It will cover a distance of approximately 204 miles and will afford, when completed, splendid service for the through and rapid handling of passenger and freight traffic of the constantly increasing business of the company.
Some years ago a cut off was built that extended around the city limits of Lynchburg from Forest depot to Concord.* The construction of this piece of work eliminated to a large extent the heavy grades that were necessary to contend with and caused more or less delay to the operation of trains. It is the understanding that the preliminary survey will begin at Concord, which is twelve miles from Lynchburg, making the distance of the new double track about 192 miles.
An interesting matter in connection with the work is just what provision the engineers will decide on with regard to High Bridge. This structure is one of the highest in the country. It is located just east of Farmville, and was built before the war. It is possible that either the present structure will be enlarged or the line changed to the south of Farmville, so as to include the use of a bridge that would reduce the height of a new bridge, and possibly offer better facilities.**
This improvement entailing the enormous expense is particularly significant and speaks well for the Norfolk and Western system, coming as it does at this time. It is pointed out that several of the large trunk lines not only of the south but the middle west and northwest are curtailing expenses and operating appropriations are being reduced to the minimum. The ability of the Norfolk and Western to make the projected improvement is a flattering comment not only on the greatly augmented business of the system, but that the property is being handled to a great advantage, not only to the stockholders, but to the patrons all along the lines.

*The Lynchburg Belt Line, between Forest and Phoebe, was put into service April 6, 1908.
**Actually both a new High Bridge and a new line south of Farmville were constructed. The new High Bridge with concrete piers wide enough for two tracks and a steel superstructure for a single track was placed into service in 1914. The Farmville Belt Line, between Pamplin and Burkeville and located essentially on the alignment of the original survey of the South Side RR south of Farmville, was placed into service March 1, 1916, in effect giving a double track between Pamplin and Burkeville.
Gordon Hamilton
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