Pocahontas Division Book/ January 1956 wreck

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Fri Aug 24 16:57:42 EDT 2012

A little more on the subject. According to the fireman's testimony in the ICC report on the wreck, the engineer closed the throttle and applied the brakes (to full emergency) upon sight of the speed-restriction sign, which was 1,771 feet before the site of the wreck. My husband, a former engineer, thinks there was time for the brakes to fully apply before the wreck. With the train speed estimated at 53.6 mph (which is about the estimated overturning speed for a Class J locomotive) I can only wonder what the speed of the train was before the brakes were put in emergency and the throttle closed. With the fact that the engine slid down the bank some 300 feet away from the wreck point and took quite a few cars with her, the speed of the train may have been even higher, maybe up to 60-65 mph. I'm curious to see what former N&W employees and old engineers have to say about this. There is one more factor: that I have heard that there was fog providing difficulty in vision, which I'd like to confirm. Do any of you have anything to say on this?
Lois J. Ponton
ljpli at hotmail.com

To: nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Subject: Pocahontas Division Book/ January 1956 wreck
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2012 02:05:21 +0000
From: nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org

I will note on a few items in the new book on the Pocahontas Division by Mason Cooper. First, is that there was a source that said that 611 derailed her trailing truck in Roanoke not once, but three times. Noted also was the Willard family's suit against the N&W, but doubt that the family got anything from it, due to the high speed of the train at the time of the wreck. I am curious whether there is any record of any proceedings on this case, or was it settled out of court? I am also curious who in the Willard family who could have presented the suit, unless it was Walter's widow, Carrie Willard, as all three of Walter's brothers (Jim, John and J.W. (known as Spot)) were employed by the N&W. I would also welcome any discussion on the speed of the train at the time of the wreck (estimated as 53.6 mph by then-Pocahontas Division superintendent P. C. Wingo for the few miles between Devon and Cedar. )This all I am using for the final work on my book, Midnight on the Pocahontas, the first chapter of which I plan to preview in parts in the Arrow.
Lois J. Ponton
Friends of the 611
ljpli at hotmail.com

________________________________________ NW-Mailing-List at nwhs.org To change your subscription go to http://list.nwhs.org/mailman/options/nw-mailing-list Browse the NW-Mailing-List archives at http://list.nwhs.org/pipermail/nw-mailing-list/
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://six.pairlist.net/pipermail/nw-mailing-list/attachments/20120824/9c2a9bda/attachment.htm>

More information about the NW-Mailing-List mailing list