Smith Mountain Lake and the VGN ?

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Wed Oct 6 15:49:59 EDT 2021


Your negotiation to tell about your near step into oblivion stimulated 
my porous memory about a similar mishap that occurred on the Pocahontas 
Division many decades ago.  The victim was Bluefield Master Mechanic 
Tucker (correct name?) who was on duty at a derailment when he boarded 
the wreck train dining car for a meal.  It was after dark, and he was 
unaware that the wreck train had moved while he was on board and that 
the diner was siting on a bridge.  So, when he stepped off in the 
darkness he fell to his death in the steam below (hopefully someone with 
with better memory/notes can supply corrections/more details).

Gordon Hamilton

On 10/6/2021 10:29 AM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> When Smith Mountain Lake was created, was any change of alignment or 
> grade necessary on the Virginian's Norfolk Division ?
> The largest "estuary" (if that is the right word) of the new lake 
> which the VGN seems to have crossed is at the mouth of Falling Creek, 
> about 3.5 miles west of Goodview.  Coordinates 37.2343, -79.7826.  The 
> bridge crossing this stream appears to be approximately 250 ft in 
> length, judging from the satellite imagery.
> I am wondering if that long bridge was original construction, or 
> something thrown up to accomodate the railroad subsequent to the 
> flooding of the valley during the creation of the lake.
> If there is an outpouring of Shiny Quarters from my fax, sent in by 
> generous patrons to support the Old Brakeman's Relief Fund, some day I 
> may write the story of my frist trip down the VGN's Norfolk Division, 
> and nearly stepping off the backwall of a bridge in the darkness.  
> T'was not a good night, at all...
> -- abram burnett
> Turnips Two Degrees Separated from Reality...
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