Pocahontas (passenger train)

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Train No. 4, the Pocahontas, passes near Bluefield, West Virginia on June 25, 1950.
"Drumhead" logos such as this often adorned the ends of observation cars on the Pocahontas.

The Pocahontas was one of the named passenger trains of the Norfolk and Western Railway. Its route ran from Norfolk, Virginia to Cincinnati, Ohio.

The most famous power of the N&W were the "J"s. They were the pride of the N&W, pulling crack passenger trains such as the Cavalier, Powhatan Arrow, and the Pocahontas, as well as ferrying the Southern Railway's Tennessean between Lynchburg, Virginia and Bristol, Tennessee. One test proved that a "J" could pull fifteen cars at 100 mph along one section of flat, straight track in eastern Virginia. The only unit left of this class is Norfolk & Western 611.

In April, 1946 the N&W ordered ten 56-seat coaches from Pullman-Standard for the Powhatan Arrow and the Pocahontas. The cars were delivered in 1949. They were smooth-sided and delivered in Tuscan Red & Black. The cars were numbered 531 to 540. Of the 10 cars, 8 may still be in some type of operation. Several of these cars were used in the Norfolk Southern Steam Program. [1] The N&W streamlined/lightweight trains were originally painted as follows: sides, ends and skirts ("Tuscan Red"), roofs ("Dark Brown"), with Trucks ("Pullman Green") and lettering/striping ("Gold Leaf").

Around the early 1950s the lettering/striping was changed to imitation gold. The roofs when repainted in the 50s changed to black as were the trucks. The heavyweights were painted the same but did not carry train name logos or striping.[2] N&W "officially" adopted blue at the end of 1965. The repaints were not all done right away. [3]

May 1, 1971 was the final run for N&W train No. 4, the Pocahontas; it was also N&W's last regularly scheduled-passenger train. [4]

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