No love for the W class?
NW Mailing List
nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Mon Jan 6 18:55:14 EST 2014
hummnnmn, then maybe we have 2 engines still in the river?
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From: NW Mailing List
To: nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sent: Monday, January 06, 2014 1:51 PM
Subject: Re: No love for the W class?
-- So I have to wonder, why aren't the W class engines more popular? Have any accurate models been produced? Were they common engines around the railroad? Why don't they get any more love?
Speaking of the W-2s only, there were 202 produced by four different builders between
1901 and 1905. Not being a bolt-counter, I can't tell you if there were minor manufacturing
differences visible or if this would be a drawback to making a model.
For the better part of 10 years, the W-2s became the over-the-road freight locomotive, but
then with mallets and Ms coming on line, the W-2s were relegated to lesser duties and by
the end of the 1920s, if I remember my calculation, 60% of them had been retired or sold.
Norfolk Terminal used them for coach yard service and to dig out coal for ships' orders.
They just weren't assigned to the glamorous duties performed by the As, Js, Ks, Ys, and
Zs, yet some were still in service into the late 40s.
Don't know all the details because the incident was never investigated by the ICC, but
in October, 1918, so I've been told, two Ws were moving light. They'd passed a home
signal permitting them to cross Eastern Branch (Norfolk). The operator/leverman then
raised the draw and the two Ws went into river. Don't know if the Ws survived, but the
engine crews didn't. That might account for the reduction of two Ws. Next time I'm in
Norfolk, I'll check the Virginian-Pilot's account. Anything in your records, Jim Blackstock ?
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