N&W General Office - 1890 - Dr. Scheer's Image

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Sat Dec 10 14:50:16 EST 2022

Abram scribbles very precisely, including the serifs.


Craig Close   BORHS/C&A Live Steam/FoGFLP/HFRHS

Balimer Merlan

OK: Far West Catonsville

Or: Greater Oella


From: NW-Mailing-List <nw-mailing-list-bounces at nwhs.org> On Behalf Of NW Mailing List
Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2022 10:14 AM
To: N&W Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
Subject: Re: N&W General Office - 1890 - Dr. Scheer's Image


Thank you, Dr. Scheer, for posting the image giving the early view from Hotel Roanoke. 


A few disjointed obser-vayshuns, if I may be permitted : 


1.  I once read (or perhaps heard) which office in that lovely old General Office Building was occupied by the President of the Railroad.  (The "C-Suite," in today's parlance.)  Does anyone know? 


2.  It is interesting to see crossing gates in use that early.  Manually cranked, of course, as the N&W would not experiment with electric track circuits for several more decades.  Being of the curious sort, I wonder about who was charged with operating the gates...? 


3.  Notice how far westward, toward Jefferson Street, the passenger shelter of the Union Depot extends. 


4.  As many times as I have been at or through the present station area, I have always wondered about the exact, precise spot on which the original Union Depot sat, down between the tracks.  And about the commensurate question, where was the Zero point at that Depot, from which footages and mileages were taken westerly, for the Radford Division ?  I.e. where is the point reckoned as the beginning point of the Radford Division, somewhere in that area ?  (My theory is that the engineers used the center line of the Union Depot as that starting point, but so much is only my own unfounded conjecture.) 


5.  One other tangential observation, if'n ye will permit my rambling excursus.  The telegraph call for the Shenandoah Division Train Dispatcher was UD.  Wonder why?   


At the time the SVRR was completed, the division offices and the Train Dispatcher  were located in the jointly-occupied Cumberland Valley/Shenandoah Valley RR Union Depot at Hagerstown, with telegraph call UD.  (See N&W Magazine, June 1926, vol. 4, no. 6, page 439, article entitled Relics of the Early Era, which concerns completion of the telegraph wire on the SV RR on May 31, 1882.   Also see N&W Magazine, January 1930, vol. 8, no. 1, p. 64, article by correspondent J. P. Slifer.)  


When the new N&W Roanoke station was built 1902/03, the old Union Depot was demolished and the Shenandoah Division offices were moved to the second floor of the Park Street office building at "West" Roanoke, and kept the telegraph call UD.  When the Park Street building burned on March 1, 1934, the Shenandoah Division offices were hastily moved to the Freight Station on Commerce Street, still with the office call UD.  And that is the way things remained until the whole kit-and-caboodle went down in that ugly, draconian funeral pyre of 1982. 


The net result was that the Shenandoah Division offices and Train Dispatcher had been situated in four locations within 52 years, all of them using the office call UD. 


As a reward for your patience, there is an image file attached.  It shows an eastward view of the original Union Depot at Roanoke, taken from somewhere near the corner of Jefferson Street and Norfolk Avenue.  This was a small image I found in a book in the Virginia Room of the Roanoke Library, about 1960.  I placed the book on a window sill for lighting, and used a hand-held 35mm camera to photograph the image.  Unfortunately, I have long since forgotten the name of the book. 


A second bonus attachment is a PDF of my little scribblings on telegraph calls of the Shenandoah Division, revision of 5-13-2021. 


-- abram burnett, 

Our Turnips come with AES 256 VPN Encryption 



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