A hopper with coal is ready to go. 1970 was the peak for N&W coal traffic, when the railway carried 90.6 million tons of coal. While coal was profitable, it was not always a source of revenue. Floods, miner strikes, and other labor disputes cut deeply into N&W's coal traffic. During the 1978 strike of BRAC, for example, the amount of coal hauled dropped to 47 million tons.
Images of Rail: Norfolk and Western Railway by Nelson Harris
Nelson Harris; Virginia Museum of Transportation
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unknown, “HNWR026,” Virginia Room Digital Collection, accessed December 3, 2023, http://www.virginiaroom.org/digital/document/HNWR026.