"Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon
NW Mailing List
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Thu Apr 16 07:07:04 EDT 2015
Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with four of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway, on federal tax filing deadline day
this year. Gordon Hamilton told us about an article he is writing for the
N&W (and VGN) Historical society publication "The Arrow" about operating
VGN Squareheads. Look for that one in the next issue.
The ebay report this time includes that following VGN items sold: A VGN
RWY brakeman lantern Justrite #213 for $53.13; 10 Railway skeleton keys
form "passenger train cars off the VGN RWY in Victoria, VA" for $7.99; and
a VGN RWY Railway Route 20 matchbook set for $20.53.
I showed the Brethren a letter to the letter from the roanoke times
4/12/15 paper by Steve Davidson "Roanoke has two rail stations" promoting
our VGN Station as a candidate for the Amtrak station when passenger
service comes back to Roanoke in two years. "Perhaps the rebuilt but
unoccupied station that sits within walking distance of the most important
and exciting development in the city , the Carillon complex". Thanks Steve
for the good word!
For Show and Tell I took the 2014 Norfolk Southern Annual Report. This
one lists NS with $33 billion assets and a net income in 2014 of $2
billion. The operating ration is down from 2013 from 71.0 to 69.2. The
big news is that intermodal traffic was 22% over coal with 21%. Other
income was from hauling, in order: chemicals, metals/construction,
agriculture/consumer and government, automotive and paper/clay/forest
products. The average wage cost per employee was $76,000 plus $35,000
benefits. NS has 4,265 owned locomotives and 71,301 freight cars. One
thing that sorta jumped out when one of the Brethren perused it was that
CSX is actually listed as NS' greatest competitor. One sad note, this will
the last NS annual report lists Roanoke, VA as a "Regional Office".
The Jewel from the Past is from July 17, 2008: "I asked about the VGN
BX-1 auto box cars that are the recent topic on VGN and N&W sites. Tom
"Cornbread" Victory said he was the one who ordered a 1946 Plymouth from
Fulton Motors in Roanoke and was called when it came in to observe its
unloading at the yard. Cornbread said the track going to the unloading ramp
was called 'Baker Track' because the trucking company that hauled the new
cars from the VGN facility was Baker Brothers Transfer. He remembers six
box cars would be unloaded at a time. Rufus Wingfield recalled switching
the 'Baker Track" several times during a shift, and as many as 25 of these
BX-1s coming in, on a single train."
Then there's this: After 35 years of marriage, a husband and wife came in
for counseling. When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a
passionate, painful tirade listing every problem they had ever had in the
years they had been married. On and on and on: neglect, lack of intimacy,
emptiness, loneliness, feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire laundry
list of unmet needs she had endured. Finally, after allowing this for a
sufficient length of time, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and
after asking the wife to stand, embraced and kissed her passionately as her
husband watched with a raised eyebrow. The woman shut up and quietly sat
down as though in a daze. The therapist turned to the husband and said,
"this is what your wife needs at least 3 times a week. Can you do this?"
"Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Fridays, I
Time to pull the pin on this one!
Departing Now from V248,
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