N&W 7902 - Expanded to a Question about NKP & Wabash
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Sun May 26 15:11:56 EDT 2019
At the beginning, WAB was not to be included in the merger, butperhaps PRR saw a way of ridding itself of this subsidiary. Makeno mistake, N&W made improvements to both roads after the merger-the Manual Block - Remote Control territory on the Dktr Division wasreplaced with Traffic Control. Incidentally, NKP did have double trackon the Fostoria District (Bellevue-west to the junction of the St. Louis Line)and the so-called "CD double" through Cleveland (about 40 mi. of 2 tracks) The Wabash people tried to give N&W people a hard time. Make nomistake, I always admired railroaders that showed allegiance to thecompany that hired them. Actually, it was a an agent from the PittsburghDivision that made my face turn red. It was about two weeks into theBRAC strike of 1978. Although I was qualified on four interlockings onNorfolk Terminal, the N&W sent me to Brewster for train service. Well,I always preferred train and engine service to operator/clerk positions.Coming back from lunch in Brewster, the agent stopped the car atthe picket line. I was driving and he asked me if I knew I was to besent back to Roanoke. News to me. Then he added, "they're going tolet you watch your mother and daddy get married". Clever ! Harry Cumbo was the trainmaster at 55th Street in Cleveland. Whenhe was promoted from yardmaster , his wife had to take him to J.C. Penneyto buy a suit (he didn't own one). There was a four-week lapse from thelast day I worked for my previous employer and the day the check showed.But Harry would take me to eat at cafes and give me spending money untilI got paid. I kinda doubt anyone on the Wabash would have done that. Harry was transferred to Bellevue later on and one night he was workingthe "field" trainmaster's job. Dunlap's business car was slated to showup and Harry was to meet him when the train stopped and take him toa motel. Remember the Apollo runs ? They were TOFC specials receivedand delivered to the LV at Buffalo. So as the train hauling RFD approaches,AP-1 has air brake problems. So what do you do ? Get Dunlap (and getcriticized for delaying AP-1) or do you go to help AP-1 get out of town ?Well Harry went to assist AP-1. Shortly after, he was transferred to some tank-town in Indiana until retirement. Harry Bundy===========================================================================
I always perceived both the Nickel Plate and the Wabash as being first class, high-speed, classy, good operations before the N&W management got hold of them, single tracked them and made a disaster out of them both.
You know the true story, so please tell us. What were the NKP and the Wabash really like before the N&W's Richard Freeman Dunlap rode his Black Horse of Death onto the scene? It would also be interesting to know why those two roads would ever want to get in bed with the N&W, given the N&W's reputation for people like Saunders and Dunlap. Shucks, those two roads did not even connect with the N&W, so where were the imagined synergies?
-- abram burnett,only a turnip farmer
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