Michael Abraham 500 pages softcover
From its inception in the 1880s, The Norfolk & Western Railway primarily carried freight, principally conveying coal from the central Appalachian coal fields in Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky to the eastern seaboard port of Norfolk and to Cincinnati for transfer to the steel mills and power plants of the Great Lakes region. But as a sideline, it always provided passenger service. A profitable, well-run company, N&W ensured its passenger service would be second to none.As World War II ended, N&W offered several named trains along its main line, including the Cavalier, the Pocahontas, and its daytime flagship the Powhatan Arrow. Pulled initially by the magnificent Class J steam locomotives that N&W manufactured at its Roanoke Shops, the Powhatan Arrow provided fast, luxurious, and memorable service for three decades before passenger service was discontinued, giving way to automobile and airplane travel nationwide The corridor traversed by the Powhatan Arrow is a wonderfully complex, geographically fascinating, socially diverse, and economically mixed path through Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio. The vicissitudes of time have endowed the communities along the way with a broad spectrum of fortunes, branching from prosperity to failure With railroads no longer carrying passengers, Michael Abraham duplicated the route as closely as possible by car, motorcycle, bicycle, and even canoe, gathering each areaï¾’s history and culture and profiling entrepreneurs, historians, railfans, and everyday people in this enlightening, humorous look at a swath of Americaï¾’s past, present, and future.