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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Aug 18 08:36:09 EDT 2011

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with ten of the
Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. Attending with me for the
first time was my youngest grandson, Ryan who is staying with us this
week. When I introduced him as the son of Victoria Virginia Inge,
related to our beloved Russell "Slick" Inge, he was "OK" with the
Brethren. Ryan told them about our adventures so far this week, and his
favorite lunch on Tuesday, of two Krispy Kreme cheeseburgers.

I am working on a script to go with our good friend Louis Newton's
1958-1962 film that I have had converted to DVD. Every time I view this
valuable piece of history, I see another gem. When the last westbound
under VGN wires passes Whitethorne, you can see an old Deepwater Rwy.
caboose used by the pusher crews. Also, when the train approaches the
VGN Narrows Power Plant, one stack is puffing out white smoke and the
other black smoke. Could the EL-C electric locomotive Louis was filming
from be causing this? I asked Russell R. McDaniel why this happened. His
answer was "both were supposed to be clear, or white, but sometimes when
first firing up a boiler, the stack has black smoke".

The Jewel from the Past is from May 26, 2005: "A photo I took of a
workman adding 4200 gallons of diesel fuel to an NS loco from a tank
truck (at South yard) was passed around. Seems that this is exactly the
same way the VGN fueled the Fairbanks-Morse diesels. Someone remembered
Fuel Oil and Equipment Company did the refueling. No one remembered any
"swimming pool" overflow catcher though, as shown in my recent photo.
(Now every overflow drop of fuel has to be accounted for). 'Ruf'
Wingfield told about 'Nookie'' Corning once calling the dispatcher from
a westbound, and reporting that their lone FM diesel was out of fuel
near Goodview. The dispatcher responded 'Tie down your train and to go
to Roanoke and get some'".

>From the N&W (and VGN) Historical Society Archives work day last week,
I passed around a response from a claim, submitted by a farmer to the
Deepwater Railway May 22, 1907: "For amount in full settlement of any
and all claims for one cow, belonging to J. A. Sauls, which was killed
by a train of the Deepwater Railway Company on November 24, 1906 near
Surveyor, West Virginia...$40.00"

Also passed was a quote from "A History of the City of Roanoke" by
Barnes in 1968: "Henry H. Rogers, a man who backed the Virginian
Railroad, was tendered a reception and dinner at Hotel Roanoke when he
arrived here April 5. Most prominent businessmen of Roanoke were
invited. Mark Twain was to be present but unable to do so. Rogers and
Twain bore a striking resemblance to each other. Mr. Rogers assured his
hosts that the Virginian would do great things for Roanoke'"

The August 2011 "NSBiz" also made the rounds. This issue highlights
"Trees and Trains" and tells of NS re-foresting of 10,000 acres in the
Mississippi Delta. Also NS has 272 hotels in 178 cities across the
network for crew lodging. An award was given for the reduction of these
to 157 active hotels that reserve rooms for train crews. Also NS now
encourages employees to patent new ideas to save the Company time and
money. Once such patent was made by our friend Bob Runyon for the NS
#999's (Battery Powered Electric Switcher) unique battery-management system.

Then there's this: "One day my Grandma was out, and my Grandpa was in
charge of me. I was maybe 3 years old. Someone had given me a little
'tea set' and it was my favorite toy. Grandpa was in the living room
engrossed in the evening news when I brought him a little cup of 'tea',
just water. After several cups, and lots of praise for such yummy tea,
my Grandma came home. After watching me present Grandpa a 'cup of tea'
she said to Grandpa, as only a grandmother would know, "Did it ever
occur to you that the only place she can reach water is in the toilet?"

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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