[N&W] N&W Mailing List - Wreck Master replies

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue May 4 22:14:44 EDT 2004

Greg Harrod shares this with us:
I grew up in Victoria, Va. in the 1950's, so I guess I am somewhat qualified
to add "my two cents worth" to this discussion, since I witnessed the steam to
diesel transition.  My grandfather, W.R. Bloyd, was a Virginian engineer. He
would occasionally take me to the roundhouse to show me the steam locomotives
and after he retired on disability in 1954 after 31 years service, I would go
with him to the yard office and listen while he and his buddies told railroad
stories. (I recounted these childhood memories in a couple of articles in the
Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch in July and August 1997.) Among the things I
remember was that there was a work train consist that was parked on a siding
behind the roundhouse, or sometimes on another track adjacent to the
locomotive service facilities, but I don't recall a crane being a regular part
of that consist. But I do remember being fascinated by a steam shovel that was
there most of the time. Looking through all my Virginian books, photos, and a
few feet of 8mm color movie film shot in the Victoria yard in the summer of
1959, I can't find any trace of a crane. It may not have been something that
was kept at Victoria on a regular basis. Of all the railroad talk and stories
I heard from my grandfather and his fellow railroaders when I was growing up,
including frequent references to the Yardmaster, Trainmaster, Road Foreman of
Engines, Roundhouse Foreman, Superintendent, just to name some, I just don't
recall any of them mentioning a "wreckmaster."
Sad to say, the time to have asked questions like this was 15 or 20 years ago,
when a lot of the old Virginian gang were still living. As of this writing, I
doubt there are more than 6 or 7 of them still alive in Victoria.

Greg Harrod
Fredericksburg, Va. 

More information about the NW-Mailing-List mailing list