No love for the W class?

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Jan 7 01:28:23 EST 2014

I sort of doubt it, I did a very quick look over the roster of W1/W2 and it seems that first W that left the roster was No. 700 sold to Kermit Wakefield Co in July 1921, the first to be scrapped was 793 in December 1923. A large number left the roster in 1925-26, but a few lasted up to 1952 before scrapping, as Harry said, at Norfolk, for the most part. Now, I did not spend a huge amount of time studying the roster, I could have easily missed something.

Not questioning the story, I'd love to know more, but the two were recovered apparently.

Ken Miller

On Jan 6, 2014, at 6:55 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:

> hummnnmn, then maybe we have 2 engines still in the river?


> -Lynn-

> ----- Original Message -----

> From: NW Mailing List

> To: nw-mailing-list at

> 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 ?

> Harry Bundy




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