N & W

A collection of information and personal research

Re-divisioning

In 1887, the Norfolk & Western Railroad consisted of two divisions of 214 miles each, divided at Lynchburg, each in charge of a Division Superintendent who reported to the General Manager. Each of these divisions was sub-divided, the Eastern Division at Petersburg, 83 miles from Norfolk, and the Western Division at Radford, about midway between Lynchburg and Bristol.

Because of the growth of the railroad, President F. J. Kimball made a number of recommendations to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, asking that the committee support the changes presented to the Board.

The biggest change, which cascaded into the other changes, was the Kimball proposal that the railroad be divided into five divisions: Eastern (from Norfolk to Crewe), Roanoke (from Crewe to Roanoke), New River (from Roanoke to Bluefields*), Western (Radford to Bristol), and Clinch Valley (from Bluefields to Norton). Due to the change, Kimball said, "The re-divisioning of the line will necessitate the construction at both Crewe and Bluefields, of an engine house, turn table, small repair shops, store house, office building, houses for employees, yards and sidings for the handling and making up of trains . . ." With the shift to Crewe, Petersburg and Lynchburg became less important as locations for roundhouses and shops. Once new facilities were built, it was proposed to tear down the shops and roundhouse at Lynchburg, which opened up land for a new passenger station.

In light of the increasing business on the railroad, Kimball also asked that "arrangements be made with the Roanoke Machine Works for the construction of 2 engines per month and 5 freight cars per day of the class for which at the moment there may be the most pressing necessity, the number of cars to be increased or decreased or work entirely suspended as the business of the Company may justify.

Kimball's report of November 16th, 1887, was submitted to the Executive Committee, which presented four resolutions to the Board of Directors for its consideration.

Kimball's report and the report of the Executive Committee are found in the N&W Historical Socitey archives at GOB East.
Kimball's Report (PDFs of each page)
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Executive Committee (PDFs)
Page 1
Page 2
Kimball's report (PDF, formatted in Word)
Executive Committee (PDF, formatted in Word)

*"Bluefields" is how the location is referred to throughout the documents.