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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Aug 12 15:06:29 EDT 2010

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with eight of the
Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. Two of our "regulars",
Raymond East and Rufus Wingfield, are still out with health problems.
Please remember them in your prayers.

We discussed the recent passing of N&W President John P. Fishwick. I did
speak to VGN and N&W engineer Raymond East earlier yesterday and he
remembered spotting Mr. Fishwick's business car several times. Raymond
recalled that he "was a dyed-in-the-wool democrat". Others in our group
all agreed that Mr. Fishwick was a "no-nonsense" leader who looked after
the interest of the company as a whole, and have much respect for him
and his leadership.

The ebay report this times includes the following VGN items being sold:
Negative of "Winding Gulf" photo of 10/15/50 in Roanoke for $18.29;
Slide of #248 for $17.00; 1938 VGN Timetable for $33.71; Slide of EL-2B
#125 for $17.37; 1936 merger of VGN-V&W property log for $35.97; Slide
of FM #43 for $21.99; 1932 Photo of #298 at Victoria for $20.00; 1943
VGN Operating Rule Book for $28.27, a 1948 VGN Annual Report for $$15.00
and one that I was able to buy, a slide of VGN Train #4 crossing the
diamond at "JK" with an N&W coach on the rear, that I will share with
you later.

The Jewel from the Past is from August 12, 2004: "Tom Victory remembered
setting coal cars in the Radford Arsenal with electric locomotives and
having to use extra cars to lengthen the train because there were 'no
wires into the powder plant'. On one of the gasoline trains mentioned
last week, R. G. Demitte got 'tubs, buckets and jugs to catch leaking
gasoline from one of the cars'. Keith Sowder remembered riding in a
cattle car, standing up, when it was on a troop train while he was a
trooper. Several remembered seeing convoys of troops, trucks and other
military equipment using the Blue Ridge Parkway to transport war
material. Someone stated that the parkway was planned in a way to enable
a defense from the mountains".

I showed the Brethren a response from last week's report by Doug Bess of
Lithonia, GA. Doug said that he "saw the 500 car coal train pass by the
Kenova Depot" and "I did record the car numbers of all of the VGN
hoppers in the train". (I once counted the VGN hoppers in this
record-breaking train and I think there about 20). Also responding from
last week's report was Delbert K. Whitlow, who commented about the new
NS "Back into the Fire" steam program. Delbert remembered H. B. Reed who
worked in the N&W General Offices in Roanoke during the "old steam days"
and was hired in Princeton on the VGN before the merger.

For "Show and Tell" last night I showed the Brethren a recent video that
I made of the installation of a "railroad-style" bridge over the Roanoke
River that is to be part of the new Roanoke "Greenway" program. It
crosses the river near the old N&W Belt line in the west end of Wasena
Park in the city, and connects to the new Vick Thomas Park which is just
south of old Virginian Railway main line at 13th Street. Even though the
bridge is for "hikers, bikers and trikers", Glen McLain said "you could
run a coal train over this big thing".

I told the Brethren about Aubrey "Junkman" Wiley's new 2011 limited
quantity Virginian Calendars being on pre-sale reservation and several
are anxious to purchase one. These unique collector's items go quickly,
so I recommend reserving your copy ASAP.

While dining last night, the 6 O'Clock news was broadcast over our TV.
An article stated that the new Amtrak train out of Lynchburg has far
exceeded Amtrak's expectations with several times the ridership that was
anticipated. The anchor also implied that Amtrak is looking into
expanding this train. This gave me an opportunity to tell the Brethren
that tickets are now on sale for the Roanoke Chapter NRHS Fall Excursion
trains on November 6 from Roanoke (over old VGN) to Danville and return,
and November 7 to Bluefield and return. To get information about this
and purchase tickets, you can call the Chapter's phone 540 774 0611 or
go the Roanoke Chapter web site.

Someone commented about a recent vacation trip to a not-to-be-named city
and staying in a motel that was not exactly up to their standards. "It
was so bad that it wasn't even a Motel 6...hardly a good 4".

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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