Vesuvius Re-visited.

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Thu Jan 5 05:49:30 EST 2006

Shoot, you should try being a 35 year old Penn Central fan around these guys! I can't think of a more hated railroad! I don't care, I've always been peculiar and different. Anyone who knows me can tell you that! That's why I have a passion for block signals, because so few people do. As for the ACL, I have no experience with it. In my neck of the woods, the N&W has been the only railroad around here since way before I was born. I'm not out to insult the ACL, or you, or anybody. All the roads, like all of us, have their own unique characteristics, and that's what makes life interesting.
Heck, my only experience with working trains was a two year stint with the Saltville Railroad in 1992-93 riding shotgun with the engineer as a brakeman/conductor/crossing guard! Your experiences give you a wealth of knowledge and wisdom I can never have.
Ben Blevins

nw-mailing-list at wrote:

I just like trains. N&W... PRR.... ACL... UP Big Boys.... shoot I have half
a dozen ACL hoppers on my mostly N&W layout that look just fine miced in
with N&W, VGN and C&O hoppers behind my Y's..... We all have our favorite
roads. If we all liked the same things it would be boring!

Bob Welsh

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2006 9:12 PM
Subject: Vesuvius Re-visited.

> Sad to say, I have temporarily misplaced the photos, but around 1990 while

> driving up Interstate 81 in Virginia I decided to re-trace some of the

> foot

> steps of O. Winston Link. In his book "Steam Steel And Stars" you will

> rcall

> the interior view f the general store in Vesuvius, Va., and the old

> gentleman

> outside putting gas in a convertible automobile as a northbound passenger

> train passes in the background on the doubletrack N&W in front of the

> store. I turned off I-81 to go over to Vesuvius and on the state road

> near

> Vesuvius on the right, I spotted an ACY covered hopper, minus trucks

> mounted about 15 or 18 feet high on two concrete piers with room for

> Virginia Dept. Of Highways dump trucks to drive underneath to receive

> gravel to spread on roads during icy weather. The top of the coverd

> hopper

> is located up against a steep fill where other trucks can dump gravel

> into

> the hopper to be dumped into the smaller dump trucks. Obviously I took a

> photo of that. To my surprise, although long closed, that general store

> building was still intact! That gravity gasoline pump in the Winston

> Link

> photo was still right there in the front of the building. I stood in the

> exact same spot that Link must have been standing when that photo was made

> and got a daytime shot of that gas tank. If only I could have had a

> N&W Mountain class "J look-alike" passsing in the background with a

> northbound passenger train headed for Stuart's Draft and Waynesboro to

> complete the scene. You see, I do have a warm spot for the N&W. Too

> bad some of you don't feel the same way about the ACL instead of making

> fun of it. If I do say so, A couple of ACL P-5-a or P-5-b Pacifics

> doubleheading a passenger or freight train was a sight to gladden the

> heart.

> In my case something to be a part of in that I would be the fireman on

> either the lead or second locomotive. If you really want a dirty job,

> try

> firing the second locomotive on a doubleheaded passenger train. You get

> to eat the smoke and cinders of both locomotives up to around 70 MPH.

> You don't need your coal pusher then, as the vibration at high speeds

> will shake down the coal pile until coal is ankle-deep n the deck of the

> locomotive. Been there, done that. Bill Sellers.


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