"Taking Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jan 14 08:27:28 EST 2010

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with eleven of the
Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. Attending for the first time
was an N&W Radford Division road engineer friend of the Brethren, John
Adkins. John had the Waste Line Express (Trash Train) that daily runs from
Roanoke west, on the old Virginian to the Bradshaw Connection, and down the
spur to the state-of-the-art land fill for Roanoke. Some say this is the
"best run on the NS system".

Passed around was Virginian Railway Company Employee Time Table No. 13
taking effect Sunday, May 11, 1930 at 12:01 o’clock A. M. This is a
system-wide timetable from Sewells Point to Deepwater and all branches and
sub-divisions of the VGN Norfolk and New River Divisions. This is a copy of
the original, recently donated to the N&W Archives by Eddie Mooneyham.

At "show and tell" I showed my latest purchase from the local antique pool,
an early Railway Express badge (pin back) number 2530. Landon and I
discussed several Library of VA donated items found while working on Right
of Way Purchases of land by the Virginian, starting in 1903, that we
entered into the Archives System last week. One involved a piece of land on
the Guyandot River near the mouth of Pinnacle Creek owned by Levi Lusk. Mr
Lusk informed the VGN Chief Engineer that "the N&W have a wye crossing our
line on this property, but have not as yet purchased the right of way and
Mr. Lusk told Mr. Hines that he would sell this tract to the (Deepwater)
railway for $1,000". Several more letters recorded many "midnight" and
"keep this quite" deals where the Right of Way was purchased by the VGN
"right under the N&W noses". Also we observed many land deals made at that
time where the VGN purchased land from the Hatfield family (Carl, Lewis and
Laura Hatfield), of the famous Hatfield and McCoy Feuds. I wonder if there
were any firearms involved at the these sales...

There was a lot of discussion about articles in the Roanoke paper this week
about VDOT holding up the Station Project because they did not approve of
the bidding process. The local VDOT and our sponsor, the City of Roanoke,
passed on the bid process but one lady in the VDOT contract department in
Richmond took exception "by a glitch". The project may have to be rebid.
More on this later. Ironically, the Monday "Roanoke Times" "100 years ago
today" had a snippet "The new passenger station of the Virginian railway on
the line of the railway just east of Jefferson street is rapidly nearing
completion". This indicates that the completed station was not opened until

The ebay report this time includes: Slide of VGN 2-6-6-2 #906 $18.75; 1910
tall globe "VIRGINIAN" lantern (complete)$1,077.82 with 34 bids; 1910 VGN
Public Timetable $115.27 and a set of three VGN passes and one VGN Safety
First Pin for $57.00.

Beginning with this report, and since we have a lot of new readers lately,
I will from time to time reprint significant or unusual items from long
past previous reports. In keeping with the railroad theme, I will call them
"Jewels from the Past", just like the jewels in a "Railroad Approved"
pocket watch. This week's "Jewel from the Past": April 7, 2004, Landon
Gregory asked us if we knew what the dispatchers and operators did to keep
train orders dry when it was raining? The train orders were wrapped in
waxed paper before they were attached to the hoop or stick to "transmit"
them to the train crews.

Rufus Wingfield appeared last night with one foot bandaged up in an unusual
manner. He had blistered his left heel with a heating pad, which his doctor
confiscated. His doctor's bandage did not allow Ruf to make the trip and
Take Twenty with us, so he improvised and "redressed his wound". He had a
bedroom slipper covered with an ace bandage held on by rubber bands and
duct tape. The only thing missing was gorilla glue, so we took up a
collection for him to get some...

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon

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