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Wed Jun 20 12:33:15 EDT 2007
When I was a boy my folks would come to Roanoke to visit and the highlight of the trip for me was always the visit to Shaffers Crossing with my Grandfather, George Bird ( 54 years, 8 months in service from Jan 1903 to Sept 1957 at Shaffers Crossing / West Roanoke). When he would be walking us around showing us the "sights" and talking to his friends, etc., he always referred to steam locomotives by number with the exception of the diesels which he always called a diesel (he didn't like them much). When asking him one time about the meaning of the "class plates" verses numbers on the locomotives his reply was that in the shops they always referred to a locomotive by number(s) or number series.
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