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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Sep 1 09:45:45 EDT 2011

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with nine of the
Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. Attending with us for the
first time were Mike and Fran Shockley from Peoria, Illinois. Mike is a
member of the Virginian Nation who reads this report every Thursday, and
an avid rail fan with a large HO layout. So avid, that when he
introduced himself to me and the Brethren, he presented a business card
entitled "N&W Guyandotte Division, Serving Virginians Through Three
Eras". Mike is from Rocky Mount, VA and is visiting for a Virginia Tech
Reunion, and came in early to "Take Twenty" with the Brethren.

For "Show and Tell" I brought Virginian Railway AFE (Authorization for
Expenditure) #1226 from April 23, 1922, which authorized elimination of
two road crossings in Hamilton, WV, MP 423.5, complete with a track
chart showing the crossings involved. I wanted the Brethren to see how
the VGN kept track of major projects. This AFE was signed by the VGN
President, General Manager, Assistant and Chief Engineer. Recently, a
friend of mine sent an article that was in "Norfolk Southern World" in
the 1980s showing me receiving an Outstanding Safety Employee award from
R. F. Dunlap, N&W President. I also brought this to pass around and the
Brethren were amused at the photo of such a young version of their
"fearless leader".

Passed also was an email sent to all Norfolk Southern employees August
24, 2011 at 18:58:56 entitled "What to do if we experience further
tremors". This item was sent to me by our good friend Eddie Mooneyham
and stated "NS system indicated no injuries to our transportation
infrastructure, but as a precaution, NS is operating trains within 100
miles of the epicenter at restricted speeds until all tracks and bridges
are inspected". Further instruction said "Once the shaking is over and
it is safe to do so, return to your normal work station". Hope all of
you made it through the earthquake OK! Also passed around was the August
2011 "NRHS News".

We talked about an upcoming "Road Trip". The Brethren are invited to
Monday's Open House at Shaffers Crossing Locomotive Shop from 10 AM to 2
PM. The Labor Day event will feature shop tours and rides on two
cabooses pulled by the Roanoke Chapter, NRHS, 1000 HP Alco T-6 Switcher
#41. If you are in Roanoke on Monday, this would be a great opportunity
to visit one of the best railway locomotive maintenance shops in the US.
Mike Shockley actually had a "rush" when I invited him and Fran to be
with us.

I got a call from a friend who purchased Aubrey Wiley's 2011 Virginian
Railway calendar with a question about the cover photo. The picture
shows VGN EL-2b #127 pusher and a VGN C-10 caboose on the Garwood
trestle. The VGN herald on the left side of the unit next to the caboose
seems to be "painted over". Anybody know why?

The Virginia Museum of Transportation announced the installation of an
electric vehicle charging station at the museum. This is the first one
in downtown Roanoke. When completed, the charging station will accept
credit cards for payment. It was donated by the Eaton Corp., installed
by Davis H. Elliot, with support provided by Roanoke headquartered
Advance Auto Parts.

Last night, it was a treat to see how much Mike and Fran Shockley
enjoyed hearing the Brethren tell some of their stories. This prompted
me to share this Jewel from the Past, from June 2, 2005: "Frank
Breedlove said one night a brakeman dropped his lantern off the top of a
coal car next to a car peck. He asked him to throw it back up to him. A
call boy, who was reporting to work, told the yardmaster that he had
just seen an amazing event. He said he 'saw a fellow fall off a coal car
and immediately jump flatfooted back up on it'".

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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