Streets of Coal Special Event - W8MOP




W8MOP - Streets of Coal Special Event Station


June 15, 2024

10am-4pm (EST)

1400-2000 (UTC)



When people think of West Virginia, they think of the beautiful mountains and the wonderful and diverse wildlife we offer. But have you ever wondered how West Virginia impacts people worldwide daily? Flip your light switch, and the light will come on. Adjust your thermostat, and your furnace or air conditioner does its job. Where does the power come from? Nearly 20% of all electricity is still generated by coal. Coal is also still responsible for making 70% of all steel worldwide. West Virginia stands front and center of coal production, with over 88 million tons of black gold mined out of our beautiful mountains by WV coal miners, some of the hardest-working and most dedicated people mankind has to offer. Transporting all of that coal from the hills and hollers of WV to the power plants and steel mills is a monumental task involving thousands of people. For over 150 years, rail has been the chief means of transporting West Virginia’s most precious resource. Today, two prominent rail companies haul our coal, CSX and Norfolk Southern. In southern West Virginia, Norfolk Southern is the black stallion that chugs and whistles, winding its way through the mountains. The East River Amateur Radio Club  (W8MOP) is headquartered in Bluefield, WV, with the Norfolk Southern Bluefield Rail Yard nearly within sight of our clubhouse window. Several members worked directly in or in support of our coal mines in Mercer County, and others worked for the railroad itself.

The Norfolk Southern Railroad has a rich history dating back over 150 years.

Initially, the Norfolk and Western Railroad was formed in 1838 in Roanoke, VA, and was known nearly from the beginning as “King Coal.” Also serving the Mercer County, West Virginia area was the Virginian Railway, also known as “The richest little railroad in the world,” formed in 1907 to transport West Virginia coal to Hampton Roads, Virginia. Our special event station is located at the Princeton, WV depot served by the Virginian Railroad, which has been restored into a beautiful railroad museum filled with artifacts from that bygone era. The Virginian was most noted for several electric locomotives supplied by The Virginian’s power plant in Narrows, VA, from 1922 until the mid-1950s. In 1959, the N&W railroad bought the Virginian railroad and maintained the N&W name until a merger in 1982 between the N&W and Southern Railways brought about the name change as it is known today, The Norfolk Southern Railroad. A lot has changed over the many years of transporting coal out of these mountains, but one thing remains: every time that whistle blows, we are reminded that there are still brave men and women underground risking their lives so we can enjoy our lives in comfort. Coal is West Virginia’s most precious resource and played an enormous role in building America.

Heaven has streets of gold. Almost Heaven, West Virginia, likewise has STREETS OF COAL.


June 15, 2024
10am-4pm (EST)
1400-2000 (UTC)

Find us on (or near):
14.250 MHZ USB
7.220 MHZ LSB

(details soon)

For QSL send SASE to:
Streets of Coal c/o ERARC
PO Box 1362
Bluefield, WV 24701-1362



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