David W. Flickwir - Photograph of Machinery

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Feb 25 11:48:31 EST 2016

David W. Flickwir of Roanoke Va was awarded the contract for Section 4 of the Dry Fork Extension from  Canebrake WV to Cedar Bluff VA from MP I-36.580 to I-39.781 on Feb 4, 1910. Work assigned to Flickwir included 4,769-foot Summit Tunnel and Bridge No.2291. Flickwir submitted the final bill for construction in April 1914.  (NWHS publication “Dry Fork – Norfolk & western Branch Line,” pages 12-13.)


Flickwir served on the N&W Board of Directors for a number of years and his construction company was awarded a number of N&W construction contracts.


Alex Schust



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Subject: David W. Flickwir - Photograph of Machinery


David Williamson Flickwir, a native Philadelphian, was Construction Engineer during the building of the Shenandoah Valley RR, and once that road consolidated with the N&W, Flickwir became General Superintendent of the Eastern Division.  In 1896, he left the N&W and went into the business of heavy railroad construction, although maintaining his residence in Roanoke (903 South Jefferson St.)  He died in 1935 and it is reported that he is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Roanoke.  Into the 1960s and 1970s, the N&W's listing of sidings still showed a "Flickwir Siding" somewhere in the area of Furnace Crossing, Roanoke, but I cannot now recall exactly where it was located.


Some of Flickwir's biggest jobs were for the Lackawanna, where he contracted for building major portions of the New Jersey Cut Off (across the western part of New Jersey) and the Pennsylvania Cut Off (west of Scranton,) and for the entire construction of the truly massive Tunkhannock Viaduct, one of the largest railroad bridges in the world at that time, 24 miles west of Scranton.  Tunkhannock Viaduct is 2375 feet long and rises 240 feet above creek level, and is still in use.  That portion of the Lackawanna Main Line extending from Scranton to Binghamton was sold to the D&H, and was just last year bought from the D&H by the NS.  I think they may now call it the "D&H South Line," or some such.


I have never seen a photograph of any equipment lettered for Flickwir's company until Steamtown yesterday released a scan of their glass plate negative number X0257, which Steamtown dates as 1910-1912.  The images shows a "Marion Shovel - Model 60" lettered "David W. Flickwir, Contractor, Roanoke, Va."  Based on the geography, I believe this photograph was taken on the Pennsylvania Cut Off, west of Scranton.  Steamtown holds the entire Lackawanna RR negative collection, and releases six to eight scans per day.


The image file of David's Flickwir's fine "Marion Shovel" is attached.  If anyone can figure out exactly what this machine is set up to do, I would like to hear the explanation !


--  abram burnett


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    ... better than AT&T 4G LTE 


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