"Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Aug 25 07:04:02 EDT 2011

Tonight I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with seven of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We signed a Happy Birthday card for
Frank Breedlove, retired VGN Brakeman and Conductor, who turns 78 tomorrow.

Delivered were the Aubrey Wiley 2011 Virginian Railway Calendars, ordered
by the Brethren. Junkman just makes them better and better each year! Get
yours now, before they are all gone. The front and back covers are worth
the asking price.

Passed around was the NS Mechanical Department drawing for the old
Virginian Railway M481 250-ton derrick, B-37 now NS 540037, still in
service at Shaffers Crossing Car Shop. It is powered by two Caterpillar
D-318G 150 HP engines. Also passed was the Summer 2011 NRHS "Bulletin"
containing mostly stories about grain elevators and IC's Burnside Shop cars.

My "show and tell" item this week is a Virginian Railway Company Schedule
for conductors, Trainmen and Yardmen of July 1, 1919. This has the rules
and regulations for work and pay of the day. One interesting item found in
this book is a rule for pilots on the VGN. These were trainmen who were
asked to guide foreign train crews on VGN tracks mostly for detoured
trains. Any trainman who acted as a pilot for any reason, got Conductor's
pay. Two photos were passed. The first is a Bob Drake (Tom Sink Collection)
February 1957 shot of VGN EL-C #134 pulling a merchandise train in the
curve at McCoy, VA by the New River. Unusual to see such a train with no
coal hoppers. To see go to:

Also passed was a photo I took last Friday in Clifton Forge at the C&O Rail
Heritage Center of the C&O 4-8-4 #614 in the process of being painted
green. This paint scheme is for the Greenbrier Presidential Express train
that rail baron Ross Rowland is planning. My photo looks like a "cammo"
version of the finished job. To see it, go to:

The Jewel from the Past is from June 2, 2005: "We talked about the various
different odd names of railroad locations like Pepper, Klotz, Lick Fork,
Beards Fork, and Nutbush etc. Keith Sowder said in Indiana, there was a
town named 'Normal' just down the road from one named 'Oblong'. The local
newspaper had a headline once that read 'Normal man marries Oblong woman'".

The Virginia Museum of Transportation is raising money to repaint the N&W
1776 in her bicentennial colors of red, white and blue. The Virginia
Association of Museums is having a contest to name the top 10 artifacts of
Virginia that need saving, which will help VMT raise the needed $10,000 to
repaint the 1776. To vote for the 1776, go to
www.vatop10artifacts.org and vote.

The ebay report this time include the following VGN items sold: Slide of
507 and 217 nose to nose in Roanoke $18.50; Slide of 212 $17.60; 1956
Norfolk Division Timetable $29.28; Slide VGN 44-tonner #6 Roanoke 1959
$33.09; 150+ VGN, Clinchfield photos $170.30; VGN RY Short Globe Lantern
$234.00; and a silver teaspoon marked "Virginian" $53.00.

Then there's this: During a visit to my doctor, I asked him, "How do you
determine whether or not an older person should be put in an old age home?"
"Well, we fill up a bathtub, and then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a
bucket to the person to empty the bathtub". "Oh, I understand, a normal
person would use the bucket because it is bigger than the spoon or the
teacup". "No", he said. "A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a
bed near the window?"

Time to pull the PIN on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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