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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jan 29 08:34:40 EST 2015

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with six of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway.  Most of the discussion was about the
headlines in Tuesday's Roanoke paper: "Norfolk Southern pulls 500 local
jobs; Employees to Norfolk and Atlanta'; NS building to be sold". Former
Virginian Railway Engineer Raymond East said "NS has pulled the pin on
Roanoke".  He also blamed the Obama administration's war on coal for the
demise.  Former VGN Operator Landon Gregory quoted local lawmakers in
Richmond "tying coal's struggles to the decision by NS to close the Roanoke
headquarters".  This removes Roanoke, built by N&W and VGN,  as a major
rail center and creates a large hole in the hearts of former employees and
rail fans in the area.  Ronnie Victory, son of Cornbread Victory recently
retired from NS and worked at the 23 year old 11-story NS building at 11
Franklin Road in Roanoke.  He says that "most of the jobs being moved to
Atlanta and Norfolk are near the $100,000 salary range. He also mentioned
that many who work there now have spouses who also work in Roanoke.  As a
side line to this, the local CBS TV station had a dateline of the major
rail events in Roanoke's history starting in 1881 when N&W was born as the
Norfolk and Western Railroad, stated that the N&W merged with the Virginian
Railway in 1952...  NS reported that intermodal brought in more revenue in
2014 than coal:  Intermodal $649,000,000 versus coal with $543,000,000.
What's next???

The ebay report this time has several great bargains:  "Virginian Railway
in Color" for $25; 1958 VGN RWY Annual Report for $16.50 and two H. Reid
first edition books for $19.99 and $20.

The Jewel from the Past is from May 29, 2008:  "We were discussing the fact
that many of the Brethren are either already 80 or will soon be 80.
Someone asked Cornbread what was his birthdate?  He answered 'August 16th'.
He was then asked 'What year?"  He answered 'Every one so far!'"

For Show and Tell I took the March "Trains" Magizine.  Page 6 has "Getting
the mail back on track" with "Almost two centuries after the federal
government first gave stagecoach contractors a $400 annual allowance to
move mail on trains, the U. S. Postal Service's internal watchdog is urging
kt to ship more mail by rail".  Page 25 has "This train delivers safety"
and CSX new slogan "Safety is a way of life".  Will NS have a "safety
train" soon? Page 66 "Ask Trains" question and answer page has two
interesting items.  One concerns an item in last week's report about poling
cars.  It shows one in operation and states that the ICC "did not prohibit
poling" and that the practice was used until it was discontinued in the
1960s.  The second question is about a Montana Rail Link local with a GP-35
"running backwards" (long hood forward) with an answer that yes, diesels
have the same power running forward or backward.  Did anyone tell N&W and
SOU that they were running ALL of their diesel backwards?

Then there's this:  Last week we talked about several of the Brethren
reaching the golden anniversary of marriage.  Someone sent me this:  A
fellow was bragging that he and his wife had been married for 49 years and
was asked what he was going to do to celebrate the 50th?  "I took her to
China for our 25th so I think I'll go get her for our 50th".

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://pairlist6.pair.net/pipermail/nw-mailing-list/attachments/20150129/33f82de7/attachment.html>

More information about the NW-Mailing-List mailing list