The most perfect locomotive

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Fri Sep 8 21:45:10 EDT 2006

My father told me on quite a few occasions when he was returning from Cincinati,OH to Chesapeake, Va. that while on Route 460 between Petersburg and Suffolk he would encounter the N&W passenger train with a class J and he would pace it in his Studebaker Commander at about 95 mph and he always commented how the J seemed to not be under any strain.

Stephen Daniel
Chesapeake, Va.
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From: nw-mailing-list at
To: nw-mailing-list at
Sent: Friday, September 08, 2006 8:14 AM
Subject: Re: The most perfect locomotive

One of the places where N&W engineers would "air" out their engines was a long stretch pf straight track east of Petersburg, Va. Once as a child, I was riding an eastbound passenger train pulled by a class J and standing in the vestibule of one of the 500 series cars. I was there to get a better view and to hear the engine blow for the crossings. A trainman passed through and we chatted about various things. I pointed out to me a clue to the ride of the car on our going very fast. He explained that when the car bounce or sway changes from side to side to a more up and down movement, it is really going fast. I asked him for his guess on our speed and he snapped back, "Over a hundred, you can bank on that!" And he smiled!

Aubrey Wiley
Lynchburg, Va.


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