Fwd: [VirginianRailwayEnthusiasts] "Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren

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Thu Dec 2 08:40:01 EST 2010


To: VirginianRailwayEnthusiasts at yahoogroups.com
From: "skipsalmonvgn" <gkholine at cox.net>
Date: Thu, 02 Dec 2010 13:10:28 -0000
Subject: [VirginianRailwayEnthusiasts] "Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren

Last night, on the 51st anniversary of the December 1, 1959 merger of the Norfolk & Western Railway and the Virginian Railway, I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with nine of the Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. One of the Brethren "bagged another buck" this week with his car. Ken McLain hit one in Salem and showed the Brethren the unusual key to his brand new Buick.

We discussed our Thanksgiving dinners and I told the Brethren about sitting at the dining room table at my oldest son's farm in Franklin county eating Thanksgiving turkey while watching about 18 of his cousins parading across Scott's field.

Passed around was the January 2011 issue of "Trains" which highlights the "stepping back into the ring" of "one-time diesel champ" EMD. This article announced that Norfolk Southern "recently announced it will purchase 100 SD70ACes". My, and several of the Brethren's favorite page was #11 "Diesels only a mother could love". Shown in this group is the GE P42 Amtrak current "main dog" designed by Cesar Vergara that most of the rail folds I know agree belongs in this catagory. Also listed were the EMD GP40-FH-2 (commuter), CF7 (GP30 on steroids), and GE BQ23-7 (Hammerhead). One locomotive that might make this next list next time is the newly modified wide cab NS SD60E #6900. This nose reminds me of a black and white cocker spaniel I once had named "Jet". To see this loco go to:


Most of the Brethren agreed that the VGN diesels would fall in a catagory of "diesels only a road foreman of engines could love" and decided that the uggliest of the VGN diesels were the EMD ones in the tug boat "W. R. Coe".

I got several replies from last week's report. Rea Brown added his favorite part of the movie "Christmas Story" when he identified with the Chinese cooks, serving a duck, while trying to sing "Roy to the rorald". Jimmy Lisle remembered working a train near Weaver's Bluff (MP H121.2). "We were easing up to a signal, waiting for 38Q to finish his work at Coors. As we came around to the signal, a BIG black bear had his front paws on the rail looking straight at us". Richard Shell was listening to his scanner at Nace, VA when a coal train was being doubled on the hill near Lithia. "I heard the head end crew radio to the man on the ground and say something like 'We just saw a cute little bear cub up here"... couple seconds later I heard, "Uhh...His momma might be around here somewhere..." The reply: "I've already climbed on top of the cars!".

The Jewel From the Past" is from December 2, 2004: "'Slim' Sowder told the story of a Mr. Church who worked at Sewells Point. He was an older black gentleman who had worked there since the yard was built. He worked in the ice house and kept his milk and other food in the coolers and lived in a shanty nearby. In the 50's one day, a storekeeper came down from Princeton and put locks on all of the ice house doors. When Mr. Church discovered this he got on a bus and went downtown to Headquarters and told Mr. King (VGN General Manager) about what had happened. Mr. King took Mr. Church back to Sewalls Point in his limousine and told a startled storekeeper 'I ought to throw that lock away; don't lock Mr. Church out of nothing'".

Scotty and Landon discussed the use of power on trains and the sometimes required cutting out or isolating of several units to prevent excessive power being used. I recalled that Ruf Wingfield once told me that the VGN didn't have that problem often because they assigned only minimum power and most trains were "regular runs".

I asked the Brethren a trivia question that they asked me to pass on to you. Who is a famous person who made many movies but only one TV commercial. The ad was for "Southern Maid" doughnuts. Who was he?

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon

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