"TakinTwenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip
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Thu Mar 18 08:28:49 EDT 2010
Last night on Saint Patrick's Day, I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty"
with eight of the Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. The
restaurant must be owned by Irish people, because it was decked out in
green; green ribbons on the door and all the waitresses were dressed in
green Irish costumes. Almost all of us had the "Special" of corn beef and
cabbage. The desserts were mostly green: green cookies, green whipped
cream, green soft serve ice cream and a green cake. Right in the middle of
all that green, I placed our black on yellow "VIRGINIAN" Railway sign in
our area. I did deck our spot with several green notices of the Roanoke
Chapter NRHS Spring train trip to Washington DC on May 14. It will leave
from the VMT at 5:30 AM and travel by bus to Lynchburg to catch the 7:38
Amtrak to DC. We arrive in Alexandria at 11:20 AM and have until the
Southbound leaves at 5:11 PM to tour sites in Washington. Arrival back in
Roanoke by same buses is about 10 PM. Tickets are $115 for Adults; $105 for
Seniors 62 and over, and $65 for Youth under 16. Tickets can be purchased
by calling 540-774-0611.
Also I was able to tell the Brethren about our destinations that we have
asked Amtrak/NS for the Roanoke Chapter NRHS Fall Excursions this year. On
November 6, we plan to travel from Roanoke down the old Virginian to
Danville and return via Lynchburg with a three hour layover in Danville for
activities there. On Sunday November 7, we plan travel to Bluefield via N&W
and return on the Whitethorne District (Old Virginian). Information is
available at 540-774-0611.
In response to a question by Tom Marshall about what Virginian Officers'
Inspection Car No. 500 was, I did some research at the N&W Historical
Society Archives last week. According to VGN AFE 6149, the Inspection Car
No. 500 was a 1937 Ford Station Wagon with the larger 80 horsepower V-8
engine. Landon Gregory said he remembered it as a "woody" with wooden
sides. The reference was in item No. 8 "Memorandum of Agreement between The
Virginian Railway Company and its Conductors, Trainmen and Yardmen"
effective 2-2-46. Further, the research indicated that these Conductors
were paid passenger train rate of 150 miles pay versus 100 mile freight pay
for operating this car. Also it indicated that these type of cars had
sirens to "blow the crossings".
Passed around last night was a copy of Virginian Railway Employee's
Timetable #1 that Eddie Mooneyham donated to the N&WHS last week. With this
ETT #1 in the system, we now need #2-#12 to complete the set of Timetables
for our beloved VGN in the N&WHS collection. This ETT was of the 1st
Division (Sewells Point to Victoria) and 2nd Division (Victoria to
Roanoke). One unusual aspect stood out while studying this document. On the
first division, none of the names have been changed. On the second division
the following places have had their names changed: Ward to Cullen; Sefton
to Keever; Horton to Taber, Claytor to Huddleston and Ruddell to Demuth.
I've often wonderer why the spot formerly known as Ruddell was renamed
Demuth. Someone at the Archives suggested that since this spot is where the
Tinker Creek connection joins the old VGN main line from the N&W at the
mouth of Tinker Creek into the Roanoke River, it may be French for "the
mouth" ie demuth??
The Jewel from the Past is like one in Mike Gardner's Elgin 20 jewel
"Father Time" given to him by his grandfather T. Oscar Gardner, VGN
Conductor, is from June 17, 2004: "'Slick' Inge told of John F. Kennedy
visiting a VGN Railway coal mine at Itman, WV during his run for the
presidency. Dr. Ward Wiley, chairman of the Democrat Party of Wyoming
County, WV reported that JFK almost touched an overhead power line for the
mining 'motors', but was pulled back into the clear by a miner who was near
I showed the Brethren one of the photos from about 24 negatives donated by
the Mullens Railroad Museum to the N&WHS Archives to be scanned. We were
able to scan the negatives of "mostly never before seen" shots taken by a
GE photographer of EL-C operations and put them on a CD for Mullens, N&WHS
and Princeton. However, this CD was too modern for our restaurant's
equipment, so I could not show the Brethren all of them last night. We are
trying to ID the faces in the photos. One was identified as Kent Womack,
engineer by Rufus Wingfield. More on this later.
One of the Brethren said that he was glad that spring is just around the
corner. "We can now turn down the heat so the electric bills won't be so
"shocking". Another was talking about the current floods in the Midwest and
said that his grandson commented that they should not call them "flash
floods" but "flush floods"...
Time to pull the pin on this one!
Departing Now from V248,
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