Record Train Loading Features Virginian Operation
Article from the May 27, 1921 edition of Railway Age entitled "Record Train Loading Features Virginian Operation" that described the methods used by the Virginian Railway to handle 8,000 to 9,000 ton trains during the regular course of operation of the line.
Article source: http://archive.org/details/railwayage70newy
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The following was also published in the May 27, 1914 issue, regarding the Virginian:
The Virginian Railway
The study of the operations of a railroad of such interesting characteristics as the Virginian Railway which appears on another page of this issue should prove of particular interest at this time for a number of reasons. The Virginian uses the heaviest equipment and the most powerful locomotives in use on any railroad. It was the first road to use the 120-ton coal cars and its 2-10-10-2 Mallet locomotives of 147,200 lb. tractive effort are as yet without an equal. In 1920, the Virginian led the railroads of the country in heavy train loading. Its net tons per train averaged for the year no less than 1,800, the second carrier in the list being the Bessemer & Lake Erie, which managed to secure an average of 1,764 net tons per train. This high average on the Virginian is being brought about by the operation of trains in regular service aggregating between 8,000 and 9,000 gross tons—trains of 90 to 100 cars being hauled over some districts with a single locomotive. Further than that, in an effort to show what the real possibilities in the situation might be, on Tuesday last a test train was run consisting of 100 of the new 120-ton cars and handled by one of the huge 2-10-10-2 Mallet locomotives, which train had an aggregate gross tonnage of no less than 16,000 gross tons. The full details of how the road secures its heavy train loading and more particularly how it managed to run a train of 16,000 gross tons will be found in "the article. Further than all these things, the Virginian was one of those few roads which earned in 1920 well over its standard return and guaranty; in fact, in 1920 its net railway operating income was nearly double that earned in 1919. The Virginian is a bituminous coal road almost exclusively, 92 per cent of its tonnage in 1920 being of that commodity. It was built for handling this coal as cheaply as possible, its engineering standards being such as to permit the heaviest possible train loading. The manner in which the road has realized upon the constantly expanding coal business which moves to its tidewater terminal at Hampton Roads is one of the most interesting features of American railroad operation.