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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Mar 21 07:33:20 EDT 2013

Last night, on the first day of Spring this year, I had the pleasure of
"Takin' Twenty" with eight of the Brethren and Friends of the Virginian
Railway. Most of the talk of the night was about last weekend's 21st
Century Norfolk Southern steam excursion out of Roanoke pulled by former
Southern steamer #630. Landon brought his laptop with a video he took of
the train returning last Sunday from Lynchburg and turning on the "wye" in
Roanoke. Over 1300 riders safely rode the trips on Saturday and Sunday to
Walton and Lynchburg and return. The train was designated NS 957. As Car
Hosts, Landon Gregory and I met lots of folks and were able to "talk
Virginian" to many. On my car on Saturday was C. Flutey, Air Brake
Instructor who gave classes to most of the N&W Mechanical Department on air
brakes, complete with colored penciling of the various air flow charts
needed to troubleshoot the system, while on a specially equipped air brake
instruction car. I told Mr. Flutey that I still have a nice Westinghouse
Air Brake pocket knife that he gave me during one of these classes. If you
remember Mr. Flutey, you will know that he was very particular about his
hair. Landon told the Brethren about talking to a relative of "Fats"
Winston, a VGN employee at Carolina Junction.

The Jewel from the Past is from November 16, 2006: "From one of our readers
on this site: I asked 'Slick' Inge if he remembered when the VGN changed
from the hoop train order stick to the forked one. He and Landon Gregory,
who was an Operator, agreed that it was about 1956. Landon recalled that
when either was used, if the order was not received, the train must stop
for the crew member to get the order even if it meant backing up. They both
remembered that VGN changed to the forked one before the N&W."

I reminded the Brethren about the volunteer appreciation dinner they are
invited to tonight at the Virginia Museum of Transportation for their
participation in presenting the Virginian at the museum during various
events last year.

A couple of great buys were made on ebay this last week: A yellow VGN short
globed etched lantern went for $570.99; A clear short globed VGN lantern
for $525.00; H. Reid's book for $35.50 and a slide of VGN GE 44 ton
switcher #6 sold for $31.09. Note: The yellow globed lanterns on the VGN
were used when flagging trains to make a "normal stop" versus the red or
clear globe stop signal which, when given with much vigor, meant an
emergency stop.

Passed around for the Brethren to peruse was the March 2013 issued of
"Roanoke Business" magazine with our good friend Bev Fitzpatrick, Executive
Director of the Virginia Museum of Transportation grinning on the cover.
This issue featured Bev discussing "Roanoke, a geographic center, built on
freight hauling; is the region poised for a renaissance?"

I told the Brethren about seeing an article from the "Savanna Morning News"
of March 7, 2013 "Two men who robbed an NS employee at gunpoint of his
wallet and Railroad radio while he was on a rail-line conducting tests in
2010, were sentenced to 10 years, without parole on February 23, 2013, in
Chathan County, SC". The Brethren had never heard of anything like this
happening on the VGN.

I showed the Brethren the new "VIRGINIAN" cap that the N&W (and VGN)
Historical Society now has for sale. It is black with yellow letters is now
one of my favorite. Go to the N&WHS site for ordering.

Another joke from our Catholic friends: Muldoon lived alone in the Irish
countryside with only a pet dog for company. One day the dog died, and
Muldoon went to the parish priest and asked, "Father, my dog is dead. Could
ya' be sayin' a mass for the poor creature?" Father Patrick replied, "I'm
afraid not, we cannot have services for an animal in the church. But there
are some Baptists down the lane and there's no tellin' what they believe.
Maybe they'll do something for the creature." Muldoon said, "I'll go right
away, Father. Do ya' think $5,000 is enough to donate to them for the
service?" Father Patrick exclaimed, "Sweet, Mary, Mother of Jesus! Why
didn't ya' tell me the dog was Catholic?"

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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