Oral histories

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed Apr 19 22:42:19 EDT 2017


Thanks, but I'm just showing off. Credit for most of my information goes 
to the Company retirees I've had the privilege/pleasure to know and 
listen to. I share your deep interest in the era and region. As an 
industrial operation, the Pocahontas Division was simply amazing. 
Efforts continue to collect information per your suggestion while 
sources are still able, but I'm happy to contribute to the Mailing and 
Modeling Lists in the meantime. Posts to questions and photos (and 
you've found some gems) help distill what info I have or spur research 
for more.

Grant Carpenter

On 1/18/2017 6:21 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> Thanks to all who contributed to the IDing of the post-eletrification 
> shot of the US 52 crossing at Iaeger. Grant, you are a treasure trove 
> of Pokey operational knowledge that needs to be recorded 
> and disseminated.  Is there any way that I could entice you to share 
> some with the group?  If you would be willing to talk about this stuff 
> with a recording device on, I would certainly be willing to transcribe 
> it into articles for the Arrow.  If there is anything else I could do 
> to help get that gold out of your brain (Vulcan mind meld perhaps:^), 
> just let me know.  I 'm interested in every little detail about how 
> things worked and looked in the days of steam in this region and I'm 
> quite sure other Society members share this interest.
> Thanks again so much for sharing,
> Jiim
> On Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 2:56 PM, NW Mailing List 
> <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org <mailto:nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>> wrote:
>     Jim,
>     The shot is looking west at the US 52 grade crossing in Iaeger
>     near the western end of the electrified territory. The controlled
>     signals governed diverging movements over two main crossovers
>     ahead, plus the Hull Middle Track and the east leg of the wye onto
>     the Dry Fork Branch into Auville Yard. Post-1954 (thanks, Dave),
>     auxiliary tenders had been in service, so the lack of one
>     indicates this is likely an Elkhorn crew out of Bluefield
>     returning with Dry Fork east coal, likely 160 loads and a
>     Pocahontas Pusher (also out of Bluefield).
>     All N&W signals were either automatic or controlled. Eastward
>     automatics were numbered according to the nearest even tenth of a
>     milepost, westward nearest odd tenth. Controlled signals were
>     numbered according to the signal lever number and throw direction,
>     (L)eft or (R)ight. Iaeger Tower faced north, so levers were thrown
>     left to line westward signals, right to line eastward. The signal
>     levers had even numbers and the switch levers had odd numbers,
>     both in no particular order.
>     All N&W signals were either "Stop and Stay" or "Stop and Proceed"
>     signals. To be safe and sure, the "S" plate served as a permanent,
>     fixed aspect (immune to mechanical or electrical failure) to
>     designate a "Stop and Stay" signal. "S" plates were still in the
>     1960 signal diagrams, but a rule change by the 1980's (when?)
>     replaced them with "the absence of number plates."
>     Grant Carpenter
>     On 1/17/2017 2:42 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:
>>     FWIW, the car in the foreground is a 1954 Mercury.
>>     Dave Stephenson
>     On 1/15/2017 6:51 AM, NW Mailing List wrote:
>>     Can anyone help identify the location of this photo currently on
>>     Ebay:
>>     http://www.ebay.com/itm/ORIGINAL-NEGATIVE-Neg-A740-1950s-N-W-Norfolk-Western-Articulated-Steam-Coal-/272519614252?hash=item3f736f4f2c:g:HScAAOSwnHZYd6rk
>>     <http://www.ebay.com/itm/ORIGINAL-NEGATIVE-Neg-A740-1950s-N-W-Norfolk-Western-Articulated-Steam-Coal-/272519614252?hash=item3f736f4f2c:g:HScAAOSwnHZYd6rk>
>>     Note the grade crossing with road paralleling the tracks to the
>>     rear of the train.  Catenary support with "stop and stay" signals
>>     would seem to indicate sidings to the rear of the train.
>>     The "38L/S" and "40L/S" labels under the signals, I believe had
>>     something to do with corresponding "levers" in a switch tower or
>>     by this time electric switches on the control panel used to
>>     select a specific route through and interlocking plant.  Did the
>>     "S" refer to a switch?  I would welcome all information on these
>>     designations from you signal guys out there, especially gospodeen
>>     Abe.
>>     Jim Cochran

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