Train Master ?
NW Modeling List
nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Tue Feb 9 11:37:05 EST 2010
All the pictures I have located over the past couple of days of ex VGN TMs have been in the black with the old script herald or the so called "hamburger" herald. Apparentally they were all repainted before the blue became standard and lasted in their black colors into the large white NW era before they were up for repaint. Your guess is as good as mine on the ex WAB units but would imagine they did get some done in blue.
As for the "redbird" "bluebird" moniker on the passenger GP9s, the origin of the nickname is probably lost to antiquity. Remember the original passenger geeps were painted in the black steam era scheme and then repainted in red when the second order of passenger geeps arrived factory painted red. All other locomotives on the railroad were painted black at the time so the passenger units would certainly stand out and likely were given their nickname by employees. N&W/NS employees are prone to using colorful nicknames and sticking with them. For instance today in 2010 the track adjacent to mains 1 and 2, which is used as a departure track for many westbounds is still called the "Motor Car" track in spite of the electrification being many years in the past. Diesel locomotives are still called "motors" as a matter of course. Similarly the track adjacent to the Virginia Div "pull in" is still called the "engine" track; engine referring of course to a steam locomotive. I remember when the first GE units with comfort cabs arrived, long after they were standard on other railroads, the crews referred to them as "Cadillacs". There are many other colorful nicknames and sayings which were coined by the railroaders themselves. At our annual train show (Pocahontas Chapter NRHS) in Bluefield every November one of my favorite activities is just hanging around the N&W "old heads" listening to colorful stories of railroading. As to the "bluebird" moniker, since the passenger geeps had priority for repainting, seemingly for publicity purposes, when the Pevler blue became standard; it probably just grew naturally out of the old "redbird" nickname. Dan Mulhearn, modeling "The Poky"
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