NW Mailing List
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Mon Jul 14 16:12:14 EDT 2014
I was too young to be observant at the end of steam, but to my observation of sale dates, photos and such, only a small percentage was scrapped by the N&W itself. I think that a lot of this was happened so fast that records after retirement were considered less important, the same happened with a lot of other equipment as well. There seems to be little evidence of any quantity of stored steam around Roanoke awaiting scrapping.
I am not saying nothing was scrapped in Roanoke, just not as much as was scrapped elsewhere. I suspect that what was being scrapped in Roanoke was done mostly to acquire parts to keep what was still in service usable. I know that when we were running 1218, its front engine was apparently from another Class A.
Since it seems that at least 85 percent seems to have been sold off to scrappers, it begs the question, why? Scrapping at Roanoke and Portsmouth was common in the years prior to the late steam era. I don't know, but I'd speculate that this, being the Stuart Saunders era, Saunders wanted to increase the property value and stock value quickly, as it made him look even better. I've heard tell that he was already looking towards his next job, that as President of the largest railroad in the country, the Pennsylvania.
Make the property and stock worth more quickly, how would that be done? Eliminate expenses, one way is to eliminate employees and the high cost of benefits and salary, second would be removed excess assets from the property. This would also explain removal of the Virginian engine facility in Roanoke, a number of depots, along the way and ridding excess passenger equipment
I'm not a tax person, nor do I pretend to be. However, in my mind, the two things above go hand in hand. If the steam locomotive is an asset and still on the property, it is a taxable item, the longer it is there, the more it continues to cost, paying employees to scrap a locomotive costs money, it was probably determined that it was more profitable to sell this stuff for scrap, than do it internally. It may have only been marginally more profitable, but you remove an asset quickly, lay off employees who can do the job, who now have nothing else to do, and cost savings go up dramatically, and those fixed cost employees that now have nothing to do, are easily eliminated. Today, we outsource a lot of jobs overseas.
I'd love to see someone do a complete study on the stock values, and the employment at Roanoke and Portsmouth shops, to see if that indeed is the case, from about 1958-1963. Bill Warden touched on it, as the Robert L. Messina, but not on the employment issue, and the profit. I've got lots of other stuff I am already researching, but for the most part, that would not be hugely difficult.
On Jul 13, 2014, at 9:19 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> My Prince book indicates July 1959, possibly retirement date might not be scrap date and the railroad later scrapped it themselves, 2105, 2107 show being sold to scrap dealers, but 2106 does not show being sold for scrap to a dealer.
> On 7/10/2014 1:40 AM, nw-mailing-list-request at nwhs.org wrote:
>> From: NW-Mailing-List [mailto:nw-mailing-list-bounces at nwhs.org] On Behalf Of
>> NW Mailing List
>> Sent: Friday, July 04, 2014 1:58 AM
>> To:nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
>> Subject: Y5 2106
>> I have the headlight from Y5 2106 and wonder if anyone can provide it's
>> retirement date and the name of the scrapper (in Cincinnati) who bought it.
>> I know it was either D J Joseph Co. or Moscowitz Scrap Metals but don't know
>> which one actually got it. It believe it was scrapped circa 1969-60. The two
>> scrappers were adjacent to each other along the Ohio River west of
>> Cincinnati beside the B&O and Big Four tracks. Also, if anyone has photos of
>> this engine and can provide prints, I would be interested in purchasing
>> Jim Herron
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