- 2100 Norfolk and Western Mainline Bluefield to Portsmouth, Ohio
Norfolk and Western once operated the largest fleet of articulated steam locomotives ever built.
It’s hard to believe that such a video could exist today. All featured N&W steam articulateds are operating in their original setting on their own tracks. Watch as the largest fleet of articulateds ever built operates on the western slope of the Norfolk and Western main line running between Bluefield and Portsmouth Ohio.
In the first half you see the agile A Class 2-6-6-4, between Williamson and Portsmouth, with a high speed manifest or rolling long strings of heavyweight passenger cars at 70 MPH; then, completely at ease, holding 10,000 tons of coal hoppers at a steady 40 MPH. When they hit the steep grades, some trains are triple headed.
The second half is devoted to the huge Y class 2-8-8-2 sluggers. These carry their enormous low pressure cylinders like overloaded grocery bags under each arm. Listen while the slow moving giants shake the Appalachians to their very roots on the heavy grades and tortuous curves of the Tug Fork.
Glorious sound by the master O. Winston Link: deep booming steamboat whistles and piercing screams. Watch as they chuff softly around the coal tipples in the narrow mountain yards. Then hang on to your chair as they come blasting onto the main. Not a single static shot, and no interviews.