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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jun 30 08:18:38 EDT 2011

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with ten of the
Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. I told the Brethren about
a special Independence Day celebration at the Virginia Museum of
Transportation, next Monday, July 4. A dollar will be donated from each
admission toward painting the Museum's N&W EMD SD-45 #1776 to her
original glory and colors. This locomotive was originally painted red,
white and blue during the mid-1970's to celebrate the nation's
Bicentennial of freedom and demonstrate the N&W's commitment to
America's strong future. The new paint job will cost about $10,000. If
you can not make it to Roanoke on Monday, you may donate at www.vmt.org
or call 540-342-5670.

>From last week and the extra flag holder on FM and EL-C VGN
locomotives: I went to the N&W (and VGN) Historical Society Archives and
looked up something I had just entered into the system this month: The
"Specification No. E-68 for six 2400 HP DE-RS FM Trainmasters #69-74".
These specs were approved by VGN Superintendent MP, Electrical Engineer
and Mechanical Engineer. On page 17 was the spec for the "normal" four
flag brackets as well as one (extra) for "Blue Flag Bracket": "One blue
flag bracket to be provided at each end of locomotive. Bracket to be
located to give plain view of flag from engineer's seat in cab. Bracket
per Virginian Drawing No. 3207-A. Located in accordance with Virginian
standard". Russell McDaniel attended the session last night and
remembered traveling to Wisconsin to make sure all these units were
"delivered as specified".

The ebay sales this time includes 90+ VGN photos for $134.66; VGN RWY
torch for $45.00; VGN spike setter tool for $37.57, and a VGN Safety
First sign with bullet holes for $510.00.

The Jewel from the Past is from April 28, 2005: "We discussed the United
Way giving by VGN employees. It was called the Community Fund then.
'Ruf' Wingfield said one time after the work was caught-up, Gibson, Fink
and Deyerly were playing knock rummy in the lunch room. Trainmaster
Howard Cooper came into the Yard Office. 'Ruf' was pulling 'guard duty'
but before he could warn the others, Cooper said 'No Rufus, sit down, I
will handle this'. He went into the lunch room and got a Community Fund
donation from all the 'knockers'".

Passed around was a 6-3-2011 photo from railpictures.net of a French
interlocking plant showing a female worker pulling one of the levers to
line up a movement. I asked Harry Bundy if the original Norfolk Southern
or VGN ever had any workers like this and he responded: "Yes they did,
Linda U. Morrisette; her seniority date was 1-1-1943 and she was the
agent at Caden, NC and was referred to as "Miss Caden, a very polished
lady". Harry also added that Russell McDaniel's brother, Hastel was
Signal Supervisor of the Norfolk Terminal for NS and "he left me some
advice: When you throw the cross-over don't snatch the lever, treat it
as if it were a woman's leg. It worked". Our own Landon Gregory worked
in a VGN interlocking plant and pulled the levers in West Tower at NS
Junction, Suffolk.
To see the photo passed which now has almost 9,000 hits go to:

Also passed around was a photo I posted on this site in 2008 of
"Cornbread" Victory's "Tom" the rooster, crowing at a road crossing(see
Skip's Photos). A response from this photo was posted this week from
"Virginian 96", son of Carl "Spread" Lovern, VGN Yardmaster, who was in
the photo.

Russell McDaniel and Raymond East discussed a VGN Roadmaster Jones.
Seems there was a VGN road engineer known as "Speed King" Vernon who
Jones knew all too well. Jones commented "I had to clean up after "Speed
King" after almost every trip he made". Jones also told of one VGN Agent
who would always pick up a shovel, broom or scythe when he heard Jones
motor car approaching. McDaniel said Jones said of the Agent "Any man
who works that much without sweating, must be sick".

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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