THE BUFFALO CREEK & GAULEY RR
The Buffalo Creek & Gauley was owned by the Elk River Coal & Lumber Co. and ran 18.6 miles from Dundon to Widen. It followed the Buffalo Creek for it's entire length, crossing it several times. The track was laid on a ledge cut out of the hillside. In many places there was no place to stand beside the track without falling in the creek. For that reason there are few photos of the trains back in the woods. The vast majority of photos were taken in the towns or at the few places a road crossed the tracks. As suggested by this drawing which was made by tracing a diagram published in an ERC&L newsletter, there were few roads. Besides Rte. 11 shown going to Widen, it was possible to drive to Cressmont.
The primary purpose of the BC&G was to move empty hoppers from the interchange with the B&O at Dundon to the Rich Run Mine at Widen and return loads from the mine to the interchange. The BC&G also moved supplies to the mine and other locations along the line as well as transporting finished lumber from the mill at Swandale to the B&O for interchange.
Summary of FINANCIALS - 1950
The following statistics were taken from the 1950 BC&G RR Co. ANNUAL REPORT:
TOTAL REVENUE $315,363
Maintenance of Track and Structures $123,000
Locomotive Repair 30,567
Car Repair 4,077
Train Crew Salaries 35,240 Fuel for Trains 16,339
TOTAL EXPENSES $285,090
GROSS INCOME $30,273
NET OPERATING INCOME $12,280
The information on revenue distributions reinforces the fact that the BC&G was a coal hauling railroad.
This infomation is from the 1950 BC&G RR Co. ANNUAL REPORT, with my comments. 250 working days per year were assumed for the calculations.
Total Locomotive Miles Traveled: 14,434 About 360 round trips per year or 120 trips for each of 3 engines
Tons of Coal Burned by Locomotives 2,760 About 380 pounds of coal per mile
Cost of Fuel Coal per Ton $5.58 About $1.00 per mile for coal
Car Loads of Coal Interchanged 15,265 Average of 60+ cars per day
Tons of Coal Interchanges 903,706 Consistent with stated mine output of about 1 million tons
Car Loads of Lumber Interchanged 290* About 1 per work day
Car Loads of Explosives Moved 12 About one per month
Car Loads of Lumber Terminating On Line 19 Lumber shipped to Cressmont, Widen or Dundon
Car Loads of Gasoline Terminating On Line 30 Gasoline shipped to somewhere on line
Loaded Car Miles 290,484 This was an "empties in...
Empty Car Miles 289,814 ...loads out railroad!
Passenger Car Miles 14,434 Note this is the same as the Total Lomotive Miles Traveled
Caboose Miles 0 Passenger was used as the caboose in 1950, apparently
Total Passenger Moved 1,826 Works out to just over 7 passengers per day!
* This number was reported as 300-400 in Warden's 1962 article in RAILROAD magazine, so it didn't drop off much in 12 years
Summary of MOVEMENTS - 1950
Data on employment from the 1950 BC&G RR Co. ANNUAL REPORT. These are averages for the year, according to the report.
Summary of PERSONNEL - 1950
Road Freight Engineers 2
Road Freight Firemen 2
Road Freight Brakemen/Flagmen 5
Road Freight Conductors 2
TOTAL TRAIN CREW MEMBERS 11 They basically all worked every day!
Average Hourly Straight Time Pay for Engineers $1.56
Average Hourly Overtme Pay For Engineers $2.30
Average Hourly Straight Time Pay for Conductors $1.51
Average Hourly Overtime Pay for Conductors $2.49
The irregularly shaped outline is the boundry of the Elk River Coal & Lumber Company property
This is Richard Manning who served as Superintendent of the railroad during it's final years. It appears he assumed the position after the sale of the BC&G in 1958, but he had been in the employ of J.G. Bradley for a number of years in lesser positions on the railroad.
He was very accommodating to railfans who visited the railroad when steam was disappearing from other lines.