Saltbranch Q

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Sat May 4 17:04:17 EDT 2019

Andre - 

I wish I could be more help but I never got to Glad(e) Springs except one day I paced #88 on a puny Harley 125 into there.  The Branch engines backed to Saltville and ran forward up the hill into Glad(e).  The trains coming off the branch were heavy with stuff out of Plasterco (plasterboard on those funky bulkhead flats, etc.); most of the stuff out of Saltville was dry ice (got any of  those crazy dry ice cars?), bulk baking soda in box cars upgraded for the service at Shaffers Crossing Shop Track, and empty hoppers (Interstate cars that brought the coal that came via Bristol and Southern’s Appalachia Division.).

The Saltville Branch was interesting because of the rare freight cars used for some of its traffic and for the need for a good Y-6 to get the stuff up the hill into Glad(e),  I wish I’d been able to spend time on it.  I go back and listen to Link’s “Mockingbird” epic – you hear a damn good engineer getting every thing a damn good engine can put out to keep from doubling the train into Glad(e)..

Ed King  

From: NW Mailing List via NW-Mailing-List 
Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2019 8:24 PM
To: NW Mailing List 
Cc: NW Mailing List 
Subject: Saltbranch Q

Dear esteemed scholars of the Steam Age: 
As I move slowly forward in recreating a much-condensed version of Glade Spring, Va., circa 1956-57, several questions arise about N&W infrastructure/operations there. Herewith:
—I assume the Saltville branch trains ran as extras by the mid-‘50s, as no schedules are listed in ETT’s of that era. Timetables from the 1940s show 2 mixed trains/daily in each direction. An NWHS archive listing shows a discontinuance notice for the “mixed” part of the 4 trains then, dated 1950. Which leads up to the question of how many trains operated daily from Glade Spring to Saltville by ‘56 or ‘57?
—A couple of photos in the NWHS archive show the engine terminal at Glade. I haven’t unearthed a detailed track chart, so I’m curious what the 4 white-painted structures were used for? I’m assuming things like a water treatment plant, oil house or sand-drying shed are likely suspects. This shot shows the structures, photo PA00124 in the archives, URL:  

Any insights welcomed.
—Lastly, the Hon. Ed King has told me that the Y-class that normally worked the Saltville Branch was not turned at Saltville on account of no wye or turntable there. So, which way did the engine face leaving Glade? Photos suggest they backed trains to Saltville, then ran forward the 9 miles back to Glade. Of course, the wye at Glade may mean the engines in the photos had been turned in the photos extant. Memories welcomed here.
—Lastly, were there any other industries rail-served in Glade in the late steam era besides the said 300 cars/week on average that came off the branch?
Insights and memories appreciated.
Thanks all in advance.

Andre Jackson
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