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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu May 26 08:34:06 EDT 2016

Last night I had the honor of "Takin' Twenty" with six of the Brethren and
Friends of the Virginian Railway.  Attending with us was Harry Harmon,
former N&W Operator, who started his career in Roanoke at "KD" Tower.
Harry also knew me from our softball days when he played for one N&W team
and I played for the Roanoke Shops team.  He and Landon Gregory, former VGN
Operator and retired Chief Dispatcher Virginia Division NS, told story
after story about the operations of trains on the VGN and N&W.  They
embellished past times by sharing many aspects of the aspects.

 The buzz of the night was from a May 20, 2016 news release by the Kanawha
River Railroad:  "The Kanawha River Railroad (KNWA), a subsidiary of Watco
Transportation Services, LLC (WTS) has reached a definitive agreement with
Norfolk Southern Corporation to lease and increase operations on 309 miles
of rail line in Ohio and West Virginia. The lines run from Refugee, OH to
Alloy, WV  and Cornelia, WV to Mullens, WV.  The KNWA plans to begin the
process of seeking approval of the transaction from the Surface
Transportation Board today, and expects to begin operations in July of
2016".  Of course this was heavy news for the former Virginian men.  This
means that the rail line they worked for will soon be operated by a short
line but the question is how far will this use come south?

 The Jewel from the Past is from February 5, 2009:  "I passed a photo off
the internet of a recently killed nine foot, 97 pound North Carolina rattle
snake.  This prompted Rufus Wingfield and others to tell snake killin'
stories of yore.  Ruf recalled VGN Brakeman Ohmer Duff shooting one six
times at his home once, and missing every shot, only to have his wife kill
it with a hoe.  Raymond East said "there are only two kinds of snakes I
dislike: big ones and little ones".  I recall Slick Inge once telling us
about finding a big one in a VGN phone box."

 I told the Brethren about going to a lab on Wednesday and approving
repairs to the concrete tablet we have that is now in pieces, that came
from the Narrows Power Plant.  This tabled which has " VIRGINIAN" cut into
the 82" long piece will be the center piece for our landscaping at the
restored Virginian Station in Roanoke.  I will post a photo on  this site
under "Skip's Photos" showing the repair.  We are on schedule to have an
occupancy permit sometime in June and will keep you posted on our opening.

 For Show and Tell, I took Summer 2016 issue of "Classic Trains" for the
Brethren to peruse.  Most was about Penn Central and Conrail.

 Then there's this:  A Northern millionaire bought a large estate near a
tiny whistle-stop in Lunenburg County. From Sears Roebuck he ordered a
prefabricated chicken coop and when he received word that it had arrived,
set out in a truck with his butler to bring it home.  No one was about when
he spied the coop along the right of way, and he soon had it loaded on the
truck.  Half a mile up the road they passed a little man who had "Station
Agent" written on his cap.  He took one look and shouted, "Stop.  What do
you think you got on that truck?"  "My new chicken coop,"  explained the
millionaire.  "Chicken coop my eye," cried the Station Agent, "that's
Nutbush Station".

 Time to pull the pin on this one!

 Departing Now from V248,

 Skip Salmon

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