Class J's at Hagerstown

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sat Jan 4 22:52:32 EST 2014

I think I read on this list that a J was run as a test on the Shenandoah
Valley line once or twice but was not used otherwise. That said, their near
look-alike twins, the streamlined "K's" could and regularly did as did a
few non-streamlined K class. The biggest pre-requisite was having the
proper cab controls for the Valley line was equipped with those types of
controls and only those engines could go, or at least, only in the lead.
And the J's did not have the appropriate controls.

I think Mason's SV book covers those details.

Bob Cohen

Mr. Claude Dixon, retired Conrail Road Foreman of Engines at Washington,
DC, in a private email proposed the following interesting answer to my

I can only suggest that the K Class 4-8-2s were usually used on the
Roanoke-Hagerstown trains but at times a Class J has been used on these
trains. Problem is, What do you do if there's a wreck on the N&W line
between Shenandoah Jct. and Hagerstown? You divert to the B&O at Shenandoah
Jct. in an eastward direction, and then either shove west or have an engine
waiting to pull the N&W passenger train westbound to Martinsburg, WV, where
it could then pull eastbound onto the PRR/Cumbo connection and continue on
to Hagerstown, MD under Special Instruction 1160-B1 if the train's
equipment is applicable. It must have happened. The key might be to check
B&O employee TTs of the period to see if anything remotely similar was in
effect for the B&O. This might have happened or had the possibility of
happening, hence a proactive stance.

-- abram burnett
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