Clear Fork operations

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sun Dec 22 15:49:28 EST 2019

Grant, Any chance Tom’s Dad’s 91 year old memory may be thinking of double-headed M2a’s (4-8-0 Freight loco) rather than E2a’s (4-6-2 Passenger loco)? Not sure how long M2’s lasted on the Pokey.  John Garner


From: NW Mailing List [mailto:nw-mailing-list at] 
Sent: Friday, December 20, 2019 6:47 PM
To: nw-mailing-list at
Subject: Clear Fork operations


Mr. Fulton,

Thanks for the recollections. I have heard little of Clear Fork operations, especially before WWII. Beyond the era of Class M's, doubleheaders would have been unusual, and Class M's would have been more likely than Class E2a's. In another post, you mentioned two "medium locomotives" that might fit the Class Z1a/1b's, which were in routine service during your father's time frame.

By the 1950's, what would become First AB4 Mine Run out of Auville worked east on the main line to Spice Creek with a Class Y3 ("twenty hundred"). Typically, they would deliver empties on their way east and pull loads on their way back to Auville. East loads would be left on Gordon Siding or if over-length, the east end of Wilmore Middle Track, for an Elkhorn crew to pick up on their way back to Bluefield.

Grant Carpenter

On 11/13/2019 10:16 AM, NW Mailing List wrote:

Hello folks, 


I'm new to the list and the N&W Historical Society. I'm originally from Atlanta and live in Asheville now. But my father grew up in Coalwood, WV and Grandpa was the office manager for the Carter/Olga Coal company there. They tried to promote Grandpa to something like Executive Assistant to the General Manager, but Grandpa said that he didn't much like being considered anyone's assistant. :-)


Dad graduated Big Creek High School in War in 1947 so has lots of memories of some of the prime time for coal operations there. N&W used to pull about 100 empties into Coalwood each morning, spend time rearranging the full cars from the previous day, then haul those back down in the afternoon. There was a siding just after the spur came back into the main line to Iaeger and they dropped all of the eastbound cars there instead of hauling them into the yard at Iaeger.


My wife and I are just getting in modeling and I have also joined the modeling group. Long term I'm hoping to create a layout that models roughly the area from Bluefield up to Iaeger or perhaps even to Williamson in the 1950s.

One question I have is which locomotives were used to run the daily runs up to the mines. I think for Coalwood it was a Class E2A and they were run as a double header. But this is based on Dad's now 91 year old memory.





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