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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Mon Apr 12 10:18:48 EDT 2010

Thanks also for your illuminating reply. A minor correction to what I indicated earlier, for others not familiar with the territory: The VGN and SAL are not parallel east of Algren, but they diverge at a shallow angle from there. However, from my observation in recent years, the lines are close enough together between Sunray and Algren to be in sight of one another in a few spots.

Your tale of engineer S. H. Kirby’s incident made me wince at “…had a westbound BA on a hopper train.” I’m glad he survived to tell about it later. Do you have any more information on that wreck?

-David Rice

Strictly from memory, but I believe the engine involved was #506.
Photos from the Suffolk newspaper showed that the BA, ahem,
briefly occupied the diamond, then turned over after the collision
S.H.Kirby was the engineer that brought the last No. 3 into Roanoke.
His son runs an insurance agency in Victoria.

About the VGN east of Algren -- sometime ask yourself, if anything
happened to Bridge VII, how would NS get coal to Lamberts Point ?
There has been one instance I recall, where a ship struck the bridge.
Remember that when the VGN was still intact all the way to Virso,
it was possible to (and N&W frequently did) route coal to the piers
via the Jarratt District. In fact, early one morning N&W ran a 300
car hopper train west of the Jarratt District. N&W (or NS) did
consider building a connection between a point east of Juniper and
the former VGN near Sunray. So what if Bridge V goes out ?
I haven't figured that one out, but it would probably involve hauling
the train backward. Harry Bundy

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