VGN #800

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Mon Apr 1 16:46:56 EDT 2019

My good friend the late Clyde Weatherly was the operator at JK Tower that morning and handed up the orders to the 800.  Weatherly said that the brakeman caught the orders because Dudding was already asleep braced against the cab window frame.  Weatherly also said that Dudding was known for enjoying the big city of Roanoke and getting his rest on his way home to Victoria.  This was the fireman’s first trip east; he fired the 800 west from Victoria and did not want to work it back but there was no one else in town.  After Weatherly got off work, he went to Stewartsville to the scene and it was not pretty.  I remember his description of Dudding’s remains which was graphic and not suitable for a family chat room.

- Ed King

From: NW Mailing List via NW-Mailing-List 
Sent: Monday, April 01, 2019 1:01 PM
To: NW Mailing List 
Cc: NW Mailing List 
Subject: VGN #800

I haven't seen a post on this subject yet today. I bring it to your attention because I believe it worthy to remember the souls lost on this day 78 years ago on our Virginian Railway.

At approximately 5:20 am on April 1, 1941 Engineer John (Goldie) Dudding, Fireman Meade Brown and Head Brakeman Hollie Harrison lost their lives when the mammoth 800, Class AE 2-10-10-2 blew up between Stewartsville and Goodview, VA.

The story has been recalled many times, so I will not go into details now. For more details you may go to H. Reid's VIRGINIAN RAILWAY, Kalmbach Publishing, 1961, pages 92-95.

Jeff Sanders

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