nw-modeling-list at nw-modeling-list at
Mon Feb 6 22:32:24 EST 2006

> Not a BBQ car; that is the N&W locomotive potty hopper remote

> service car. The "W" used it in Roanoke to collect and incinerate

> the potty hopper bags from yard and road units tied down around

> Roanoke and unable to make it in to Shaffer's Crossing for

> emptying for one reason or another. The remaining "black ashe"

> was the primary constituent in their locomotive paint, often

> referred to as the color "Stove Black". Seriously, what else

> would the "W" do with all those white plastic bags full 'o........?


> Another source has it as a homemade shoving platform constructed

> on a tender frame with a FM H16-44 short hood as a shelter for

> the crew. I shot it in Rowin' Oak back in the 1970's. The outdoor

> stove was always an interesting detail; probably gave off way too

> much heat to stand it inside that empty nose.


A friend in Roanoke who knows lots of retired N&W employees showed
the picture around and got the following explanation:

My source, a retired N&W conductor, said it looked like a crew car
used on hump yards. He said that before the automation of retarders,
etc. on the hump yard, railworkers had to ride the cars down the hump
to brake the car. At the bottom they needed a ride back up the hump
and this crew car provided warmth, the outside stove, and shelter,
the covered area on the right in the pic, in case of cold, severe,
wet, etc., weather. He did find it curious that it was between two
motors however.

Ross Hunter
Orange, VA
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