Rail Oiler

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue Aug 31 06:41:46 EDT 2004

Ron, (and others),
I spoke to a man from White Top who remembered the incident.  His name is Harold Testerman, and I used to work with him.  He was a boy, but he said that it shook the whole mountain!  It was headed up from Green Cove around the horseshoe bend when it hit the grease and she was pulling so hard that it nearly threw her off the tracks!  He said it burned the rails badly too.
Ben Blevins

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org wrote:
One of the historical displays at the reconstructed station at White Top, 
VA relates one old-timer's tale. His father, a railroad employee, sent him 
out with a bucket of grease to lube the rails by hand. Unfortunately, his 
father neglected to tell him to only grease the SIDES of the rail. Great 
commotion occurred when the Virginia Creeper arrived and slid and spun on 
the well-lubricated railheads. Brush fires were started along the 
right-of-way by sparks thrown off by the spinning wheels of the locomotive. 
Needless to say, the poor lad's next chore was to go out with kerosene and 
clean the mess off the rail head.

Ron Davis

NW-Mailing-List at nwhs.org

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