The Norfolk & Western was in a hurry to enter the streamliner ranks after World War II, so once wartime restrictions had been lifted they rushed a collection of refurbished prewar equipment into service as the new Powhatan Arrow on April 26, 1946. The trains were pulled by N. & W.'s own streamlined Class J 4-8-4 steam locomotives. In 1949, however, the makeshift equipment was replaced by new smooth-sided lightweight coaches, diner, and tavern-lounge-observation from Pullman-Standard—still behind the Class Js.

From the pages of the Official Guide, August 1950

Norfolk & Western Railway herald
Powhatan Arrow train logo

The Powhatan Arrow

Norfolk & Western Railway
April 30, 1950

25 Train Number 26
Daily Miles Services Daily
7 25A Dp 0.0 Norfolk, VA (ET) C Ar 11 50P
7 48A 21.9 Suffolk, VA C 11 22P
21 Connecting Train Number (Atlantic Coast Line) 34
7 55A Dp 0.0 Richmond, VA Ar 11 05P
8 35A Ar 28.3 Petersburg, VA (Appomattox St.) Dp 10 25P
8 45A
80.9 Petersburg, VA (Appomattox St.) C M
10 25P
9 26A 118.2 Blackstone, VA C 9 42P
9 45A 128.8 Crewe, VA C 9 30P
10 11A 150.1 Farmville, VA C 8 59P
11 15A 199.7 Lynchburg, VA C
8 00P
35 Connecting Train Number 36
1 15P Dp 0.0 Lynchburg, VA Ar 6 00P
5 00P Ar 117.1 Durham, NC Dp 2 15P
12 25P Ar 252.3 Roanoke, VA C R Dp 6 55P
12 35P Dp Ar 6 45P
1 19P 284.9 Christiansburg, VA C 5 59P
2 07P 320.6 Pearisburg, VA C 5 08P
3 00P Ar 353.2 Bluefield, WV C Dp 4 20P
3 05P Dp Ar 4 15P
4 10P 387.4 Welch, WV C 3 03P
5 50P Ar 452.8 Williamson, WV C Dp 1 25P
5 55P Dp Ar 1 20P
7 37P 525.8 Kenova, WV C 11 35A
7 52P 537.8 Ironton, OH C 11 20A
8 25P Ar 565.0 Portsmouth, OH C Dp 10 50A
8 30P Dp Ar 10 45A
D10 44P 667.8 Cincinnati, OH (Norwood Sta.) C 8 40A
D10 53P 671.1 Cincinnati, OH (Winton Place) C 8 30A
11 05P Ar 676.6 Cincinnati, OH (Union Tml.) (ET) C R Dp 8 20A

Train 25 (Norfolk-Cincinnati): 17 stops, 15:40, 43.2 MPHTrain 26 (Cincinnati-Norfolk): 17 stops, 15:30, 43.7 MPH


Streamlined Coach train between Norfolk and Cincinnati.

All seats reserved without additional charge. Tavern Lounge-Observation and Dining Car. No checked baggage handled on this train.

Regularly assigned cars Air-Conditioned.

An illustration of streamliner-era scheduling which seems unreal to those of us born into the Amtrak era: That connection to Richmond from Petersburg. Yes, you read that right; the A.C.L. connecting train leaves at exactly the same time as the Powhatan Arrow. What's more, it was the last train of the day. Yet N. & W. was still confident enough that the connection would be made, after an all-day run, to list it as an official connection in their timetable. These days, on most Amtrak runs, we can't count on the train being within hours of schedule, let alone minutes. Isn't progress wonderful?