Years ago I had a seasoned SCL Chief Dispatcher explain to me that there were three degrees of derailments. The "Aw Shucks" wasn't too bad. A little worse, but not totally devastating, was the "Defrucalty." Finally, the worst was the "Full Fledged Flaming Foul Up." The C&O derailment at Pearch, Va in Feb, 1976 falls in the latter category. Eastbound coal drags could easily be near 200 cars and when something went wrong, the result could be massive. In this instance, when the coal dust cleared, there were between 50 and 60 cars in a pile. Several weeks later, after the tracks had been restored, I visited the scene and photographed it from the only safe vantage point, a huge pile of coal and ballast. There were as many cars behind me as there were in front.