"Taking Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jun 18 08:29:44 EDT 2009

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with eleven of the
Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We signed a card for our Tom
"Cornbread" Victory who had moved to Friendship Retirement Community, Room
227, 327 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24012. Tom has peppered this forum
for many years with colorful stories of the old Virginian Railway, and I am
sure he would love to hear from YOU.

From Dave G., the Brethren did not remember the whistles on the ex-N&W
Y-3s (VGN USE 2-8-8-2 #736 to #742)that the VGN bought from the Santa Fe.
We suspect that if they were still equipped with the N&W "Hooters" it would
have been remembered. Rufus recalled seeing a lot of leased Pennsy coal
hoppers but still in the PRR colors...

At the N&W (and VGN) Historical Archives work session last week, I ran
across a couple items that the Brethren enjoyed. First was the Acceptance
of Bid number 634 "to construct a 22' X 125' frame passenger and freight
station with wooden platforms and sewer to River at Salem, VA, Roanoke
County 8/11/1924 by Joseph E Nelson and Sons Contractors for a low bid of
$11,352". We ran into the same "sewer system to River" at the old VGN
Station in Roanoke. Secondly I found an unusual name on the Virginian.
Anybody out there know what geographical area on the VGN is (or was) called
"Assamoosick"? Answer next week.

Passed around was one of my favorite photos from the internet that the
Brethren really liked and several said that they were going to "install"
one in their home. It is a "Redneck Fire Alarm", a Jiffy Pop Corn container
with handle for placing on the stove. "Directions: use the handle to hang
on the wall and heat will activate the pop corn and let you know there is a

The videos shown were of a coal train passing the Bradshaw Connection on
the old VGN just west of Lafayette, VA (pronounced "La-fet" by locals). I
also showed several shots of the 20 members of the Washington DC NRHS
Chapter who came to Roanoke last Sunday and were given rides on the N&W
caboose pulled by Roanoke Chapter Alco T-6 #41. One particular shot really
got the Brethren's attention. I placed the very small video camera on a
cross tie between the rails and got a shot of the #41 and caboose rolling
over it....looked like I was dumb enough to lay between the rails and get
the shot!

I reminded the Brethren of a free concert this Saturday night by Gospel
Guitarist Richard Kiser, one of my best friends. We grew up together in
Roanoke and attended the same church for 40 years. Richard has a Father's
Day Concert each Saturday night before Father's Day and will have with him
as his guest Charlie McCoy, Member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Richard played railroad songs for us at our Friends of the Virginian
Railway at Mile Post 2006 event. The Concert is at 7 PM at Bethel Baptist
Church, 1601 S. Colorado St. Salem, VA 24153.

When I picked Ruf Wingfield up to go to "Takin' Twenty" last night, he
pointed out some unusual flower pots next to his front porch. He said that
they came from the VGN RY about 50 years ago and were used as part of a
system to route trains in and through the Roanoke Yard. He also said that
there were many throughout the Yard. I have posted a photo on this site
under "Skip's Photos" #50. See if you know how they were used. They also
had a lid. See photo at:

Ruf and I were late for the meeting last night. We had to go back for his

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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