"Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu May 27 19:51:22 EDT 2010

Regarding the four new cars for the Salem Division of the Roanoke Railway
and Electric Company to be delivered in 1910, Jim Dalmas' 2006 book on the
Roanoke streetcars (available in the N&WHS Commissary) lists these cars as
No. 26 - 29, Brill Order No. 17152. They were semi-convertible cars,
meaning that the windows could be raised into the ceiling area to create an
semi-open car for summer operation. The interior of one of these cars,
showing the curved window tracks leading into the ceiling, is shown on p. 52
of Dalmas' book.

Gordon Hamilton

----- Original Message -----
From: "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
To: "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2010 8:10 AM
Subject: "Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon

> Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with seven of the

> Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. I showed the Brethren

> photos of the new banners provided by Ken Miller that I placed on the

> Roanoke Station announcing the 100 year anniversary of her opening. They

> are Virginian orange with a blue and white VGN logo and 1910-2010 dates.

> I also gave the Brethren the good news that we just got another $250,000

> grant for the Station's Restoration!


> Passed around also was the latest "Trains" magazine which has an article

> "Amtrak plans photo program" which outlines the new policy of Amtrak for

> rail fans to photograph trains from their platforms. Now you must

> "notify Amtrak officials BEFORE taking pictures".


> Speaking of pictures, I gave the Brethren the sad news that we have lost

> one of the most famous and best photographers of our time, August A.

> Thieme, Jr. August took the westbound last Saturday at the age of 84. I

> was fortunate to be a friend of his and spoke to him about his Virginian

> photographs on several occasions. My last meeting with him was at an N&W

> (and VGN) Historical Society Archives Work Session last year. I had the

> honor of helping him find some data that he needed as well as sharing a

> photo album of old VGN photos with him. I showed the Brethren two of his

> most famous photos that are in the Archives: A July 23, 1949 meeting of

> BA #507 with PA #212 at the Roanoke Station showing the original JK

> Tower and an August 4, 1947 photo of the Blue Ridge Stone 0-4-0T tank

> engine #32 at Blue Ridge, VA. He had promised me that he would try to be

> at our ribbon cutting ceremony of our Restored Station.....


> Also passed was an N&W magazine of November 1941 given to me by a good

> SCV friend last week. This edition has the brand new J Class #600 on the

> cover, posed at Roanoke Shops. It was the last magazine before the

> bombing of Pearl Harbor and our joining WWII. One article stood out,

> about how N&W had began using welded rail at main line crossings and

> stations.


> The ebay report this time includes the sale of: Slide of 2-8-8-2 VGN #

> 741 for $52.11; 1961 H. Reid hardback for $37.06; VGN Railway trust

> plate for $113.02; Slide of 212/507 for $30.00; and a 1921 Westinghouse

> Princeton to Roanoke air brake test train book for $52.79.


> I told the Brethren about last week's Norfolk Southern news release

> where they announced that NS has won the 21st consecutive E. H. Harriman

> Award for employee Safety. "2009 was the safest year EVER for

> railroads." NS won the gold; CSX the silver and UP the bronze. Ruf

> Wingfield remembered that about 1950 the VGN started their safety

> program by making C. W. Dowdy Superintendent of Safety. His office was

> in the Roanoke Yard Office Building. (Ruf is still in rehab and can not

> be in the meetings with us yet, so I talk to him every Wednesday, and

> give him a "briefing").


> The Jewel from the Past, like one in Jeff Sander's Walthers, Premier 23

> jewel Vanguard is from May 20, 2004: "Slick Inge said that there were a

> lot of brothers who worked for the Virginian. When the three Sowder

> brothers Basil, Wis, and Keith were assigned to work the same 3-11 shift

> in Roanoke, Mr. Strickland, Superintendent said 'I don't want this to

> happen; if there were a death in the family, I would have to shut the

> railway down'".


> A "Roanoke Times" last Monday "100 years ago today" snip-it was shown:

> "Two of the four new cars for the Salem division of the Roanoke Railway

> and Electric Company arrived yesterday morning over the Virginian and

> the big buff and lemon colored coaches attracted the attention of all

> who passed the station during the day". Wis Sowder remembered these

> street cars, and yes, he agreed that they were u-g-l-y.


> This prompted me to ask Wis, who is a gentleman farmer at Poages Mill, a

> question that I heard recently: What is a protractor? He answered "an

> instrument for measuring and laying out angles". NOT: It is an expensive

> John Deere.....


> Time to pull the pin on this one!


> Departing Now from V248,


> Skip Salmon


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