Latest Arrow, convention comments

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Fri Sep 14 17:41:19 EDT 2007

I may be opening a big can of worms here, but I can't help but have some feelings and emotions about the convention news in the latest issue of the Arrow. First, I find it curious as to why Goode had to give prior consent to be asked about his shutting down of the steam program. He is not a senator or high ranking government official disclosing top secret information. I can't help but wonder if it gave him some time to think of a creative answer. His response, by the way, was quite interesting in itself. I just can't understand why a company that moves the millions of tons of freight a year or runs the number of trains they do a year can't think of a possible way to keep school kids 'off the tracks'. As far as I know, in the 28 years of the program, there was never an incident involving the injury of any school kids. Quite frankly, I would rather him just say he was more concerned with the bottom line of the company, irregardless of the historical or educational
value of the steam program or the emotional ties that thousands had to it and that from the day he took over, he was looking for a way to get rid of it.

Secondly, I do stuggle with why the N&W Historical Society gave him an award when he is the one that did more, in my opinion, to squash the importance of history since Stuart Saunders. I still chuckle about the historic walking trail in Roanoke that has him name on it. Somebody like the Claytor brothers deserve to be honored by the society ( and may have been in the past ) instead of someone that erased all of the brothers' hard work with one quick decision. Why didn't anyone ask him why he couldn't have scaled back on the schedule or even perhaps shut down the program for a couple of years instead of doing it the way that he did?

Again, I know I am on a soapbox and may be overstepping my bounds, but to be honest, it still bothers me the way everything went down. History, even outside of the railroads, is very important. I frustrates me that my children won't get the experience the same type of mainline excursions behind big steam that I grew up riding and working on. It truly is a shame.

Will Sadler

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