Making up time.... A half-century old Norfolk & Western "Mollie" charges northwest through the Virginia countryside with Train 202, the afternoon half of the daily mixed service on the line's Abingdon Branch. As usual, the schedule has been slipping throughout this chilly, gloomy fall day and Engineer Joe McNew and Fireman D.S. Nichols are taking advantage of some of the line's shallower grades and straighter sections to make up a little time as they make for home with some mostly empty freight cars, a few weary passengers and the mail. Yeah, the Abingdon Line was a railroad suspended in time...a sort of real-life Hooterville Cannonball. Mostly forgotten by railroad brass, it ran ancient equipment, it was always late, never profitable....and a lifeline for the tiny communities of rural Appalachia.