Vol. 29, No. 1 January / March 2013  Issue Select 
Issue Details
Cover Title: TRAIN MASTERS
Cover Subtitle:
On the Cover: Ex-Virginian Fairbanks-Morse H-24-66 Train Master 171 is working a cut of coal at Oak Hill, West Virginia, in November 1970. The 171 was assigned to the Summerlee Mine in Oak Hill (north of Beckley) in late 1962 when an oil-fired heater was added to the unit for that service. It was built for the Virginian as 71, part of the Virginian's second order for six of the large 2,400-horsepower road switchers (69-74). The first order was for 19 units (50-68). Inset photo: Virginian Train Master 58 glows in its sharp black and yellow paint while working in its first stage of sevice. A series of articles covering the Train Masters begins in this issue.
Articles In This Issue
The Publishers Desk - Kevin EuDaly
  Photo The NS Heritage Virginian locomotive 1069 is making her very first revenue run in Roanoke on the old Virginian Rail- way on July 13, 2012 - appropriately on NS Train 814 with 100 cars of Tidewater coal. The unit was second in the consist when it left Shaffers Crossing and the local NS Operating Department turned it on the wye track so it would be in the lead. The photo has in the background several remnants of the old Virginian electrification beams and overhead wires from the electric era. The ex-Virginian station in the background was scheduled to complete Phase I restoration at the end of July 2012. The terra cotta tiles were scheduled for delivery from the same manufacturer who made then in 1909. The station is located at mile post V243 on NS Virginia Division, Whitethorne District, and is at the corner of Williamson Road and Jefferson Street in Roanoke. The bridge in the background is the Jefferson Street Bridge. (Skip Salmon photo)
Rails Remembered, Chapter 80: / A New Train Service, and a Big Wreck - Louis M. Newton
  Photo This aerial view of Richlands is looking toward the northwest in 1957. The two-track coaling trestle is at lower right. The main line extends diagonally from the lower right to the left of the photograph. The wye at left center leads to the Big Creek Branch. The telegraph office is barely visible inside the wye between the two water tanks. This photograph was run much larger in THE ARROW 27-1, pages 42-43, along with an additional diagram that details much of what is seen in this view. (Ernest Roisch photo, N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo This view of the Richlands coaling trestle is looking west in the 1920s, but little changed between then and the 1950s. The tracks, from right to left, are: main line, passing siding, and east storage. The telegraph office is out of sight beyond the water tank. This photo appeared larger in THE ARROW 27-1 on page 35. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Sidebar "Channel Changes Eliminate Four Bridges On Pocahontas Division" This N&W Magazine article describes channel changes of streams to eliminate four bridges on Pocahontas Division in 1955. The project at Claren, West Virginia, shown in the lower picture, was later the scene of a serious derailment on November 17, 1955. One photo (looking east) shows the project at Nemours. Directly behind the shovel in left background is the former site of Bridge 846. The picture was taken from a point slightly east of Bridge 847. The Bluestone\\\'s previous route was under Bridge 846, along the base of the hills at right, then back under Bridge 847. The new channel is at left. The other photo is an eastward view of the new channel for the Tug River at Claren, taken before the removal of the bridges. (N&W Magazine, September 1955, N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo The nighttime movements of time freight trains Nos. 77 and 78 across the Pocahontas Division were captured on film by few, if any, photographers except, of course, for O. Winston Link, who went to great lengths to make this famous shot of No. 78 passing the drive-in theater at laeger, West Virginia. After slowing to 25 mph for the curve at laeger Tower, Class A 1242 is accelerating its train upgrade toward Farm, where it will take coal and water, get a pusher engine and continue toward Bluefield. This is Link's original photograph showing a blank movie screen - the airplane was later "overlaid" on the screen in the version that's appeared in print many times. (courtesy O. Winston Link Museum)
  Photo Class K-2a 132 is at Williamson, West Virginia, on April 6, 1949. In the fall of 1955 it served as "protection" power at Bluefield, and on October 22 of that year handled a rare special passenger train on the Clinch Valley District. (Jay Williams photo, N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo The station at Pounding Mill, Virginia, on the Clinch Valley District was photographed in 1917. Except for the removal of the (upper) manual block signals, the structure was little changed by the 1950s. Designated as a "Class 2" combination passenger and freight station, the frame structure was typical of those at the smaller communities on the district. (N&WHS Archives collection )
  Letter This is the clearance card issued for a rare passenger extra on the Clinch Valley District - the return movement to Bluefield of equipment that had been used for a football special. Even more unusual was the locomotive - K-2 123, normally assigned to the Norfolk Division. (Louis M. Newton collection)
  Sidebar "FOOTBALL EXCURSION" This N&W Magazine article covered the operation of a special train for football fans from Richlands and Tazewell on the Clinch Valley District on October 22, 1955. Photo: A lot of fun on the trip was provided by a pair of musicians who played their way through the train many times. Here, surrounded by singers, are Happy Bill Cope, with the banjo, and Kent Brown, accordion. Photo: This group reported an enjoyable trip. Seated are: Dr. and Mrs. R. R. Copenhaver, Jr., of Richlands. Standing : J. Powell Royall, Jr., Richlands, and Paul Horn, Preston Proffitt and Frank Harmon, 011 of Tazewell. BELOW: Conductor W. V. Meade and Trainman L. W. King go over their reports, which show that about 300 people were aboard the train. Photo: George G. Beall (left), and Traveling Passenger Agent A. O. English talk over lost-minute details. Mr. Beall, Richlands newspaper publisher, originated the idea for the excursion and was largely responsible for its success. (N&W Magazine, December 1955, N&WHS Archives collection )
  Letter This is the train order issued for the football special on the Clinch Valley District. (Louis M. Newton collection )
  Drawing This plan of the passenger station at Tazewell, Virginia, shows the electric lighting in 1928. Also shown is the location of the northern terminus of the obscure "electric railway" (streetcar line) that connected the North Tazewell station with the county seat of Tazewell. (N&WHS Archives collection )
  Timetable These schedule pages for Clinch Valley District are from the Pocahontas Division Timetable No.9, effective July 21, 1955. Passenger trains 5 and 6 had leisurely schedules over the mountainous district. No.5 had an extra 15 minutes in its schedule to allow for handling of heavy head-end business. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Timetable Schedule pages for eastward Third Class (time freight) trains between Williamson and Bluefield, from Pocahontas Division Time- table No.1 0, effective April 29, 1956, after the running times for No. 78 had been firmly established. Actually the schedules are for information only. For dispatching purposes, the trains were annulled and were operated as extras, so that they could run ahead of the published schedules when conditions permitted. (N&WHS Archives collection )
  Timetable Clinch Valley Passenger Trains Nos. 5 and 6. November 18, 1955 (Not listed)
  Timetable Table 1: Train 78 on November 24, 1955 (Not Listed)
  Timetable Table 2: Train 78 on November 28,1955. (Not Listed)
Virginian`s Train Masters - Frank Bongiovanni
  Photo This Fairbanks-Morse builder's plate is from Virginian Train Master 56, serial number 24L-813. (Bob Bowers collection)
  Photo Virginian Train Master 63 has been renumbered 163 to fit in with N&W's numbering plan, and sits in Roanoke on ApriI16,1961.ln the early 1950s the Virginian had been looking to replace steam power with a high-horsepower road-switcher-type locomotive. When the Train Master, at 2,400 horsepower, was introduced in early 1953, the Virginian became quite interested, especially in light of steam maintenance costs on the rise. One of the immediate differences in the renumbered Train Masters was the addition of the number on the cab side, as seen on this unit. (Bill McClure collection)
  Photo The first Fairbanks-Morse diesel- electric locomotive produced was H-10-44 1802 for the Milwaukee Road built in August 1944. This builder's plate for serial number L 1001 is from that locomotive. Fairbanks-Morse builder's plates later became the rectangular ones like those that appeared on Virginian's Train Masters. (Jim Boyd photo, Kevin EuDaly collection)
  Photo The Pittsburgh & West Virginia was one of N&W's acquisitions that added Fairbanks-Morse locomotives to the roster, though none of them were Train Masters. Brand new H-20-44s 50 and 51 glisten in the sunshine when delivered in 1947. The P&WV replaced its steam roster with Fairbanks-Morse locomotives over several years. Ultimately, it rostered 22 H-20-44s (2,000-horsepower, four-axle road switchers) numbered 50-71 and four H-16-44s (1,600-horsepower, 4-axle road switchers) numbered 90-93. The P&WV operated out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania west to a connection with the Wheeling & Lake Erie at Pittsburgh Junction, Ohio, northwest of Wheeling. It also operated southeast to Connellsville, Pennsylvania and a connection to the Western Maryland that operated east to Hagerstown, Maryland. On October 16, 1964, the N&W acquired the 112-mile P&WV, along with its F-M fleet. It remained part of N&W up through the Norfolk Southern merger in 1982, and was eventually spun off to the new Wheeling & Lake Erie on May 17, 1990. Interestingly, the 1964 arrangement with the N&W was a 99-year lease, with guaranteed optional 99-years leases once the initial lease expired. That lease arrangement is still in place today, albeit now with the Wheeling & Lake Erie. (Kevin EuDaly collection)
  Drawing This F-M drawing is of the truck assembly for the 2,400-horsepower Train Master. This was F-M's version of the trimount three-motor road truck and was less expensive and lighter than the Alco version, which was essentially interchangeable with the F-M version: the Alco version had a 150-inch wheelbase compared to F-M's truck with a 156-inch wheelbase. This truck was single-equalized inside the frame. (Kevin EuDaly collection)
  Photo Train Master 64 rests at Elmore, West Virginia, shortly after delivery in 1954. The Virginian received the first eight Train Masters (50-57) in 1954, then received a second order for 11 more (58-68) the same year. Three years later in 1957 the Virginian received the final six units (69-74), bringing the total to 25. The first two groups only worked five years for the Virginian before being inherited by the N&W following its purchase of the Virginian. (Bob Bowers collection)
  Photo A pair of Train Masters are ready for work at Elmore with crewmen on the ground and in the cab. Before placing an order for Train Masters, the Virginian tested them by running the two demonstrators. Because the Virginian wanted them to be built and delivered with GE electrical gear, the delivery was delayed until 1954. At the same time the Virginian ordered six 1,600-horsepower H-16-44 locomotives. (Bob Bowers collection)
  Photo Train Master 56 from the first order sits at Princeton, West Virginia, on July 7, 1959. Just to the right of the step there is a small "F" on the frame, indicating that when purchased the Train Masters were set up for long-hood-forward operation. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Table Virginian\'s Train Masters Table contains information on all of the Virginian's Train Masters. (Not Listed)
  Sidebar The Opposed-Piston Engine Photo: Fairbanks-Morse Diesel Locomotive Engine Manual Photo: Transverse Cross-Section of Engine. Photo: Control Side of Fairbanks-Morse Diesel Locomotive Engine Photo: Limit Positions of Opposed Pistons in Cylinder of Right-Hand_Rotation Engine. (From the collection of Jimmy Lisle)
  Photo It's April 26, 1955, and Train Master 54 has a string of G4 coal gondolas in tow at Stotesbury, West Virginia. Stotesbury is just west of the climb up through Winding Gulf, where the C&O and Virginian twisted and turned to climb up onto the plateau at Beckley. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo Train Master 51 works with a string of coal hoppers at Elmore, West Virginia, in April 1955. The Virginian's initial order with Fairbanks-Morse included a total of 19 H-24-66 Train Masters and six H-16-44 road switchers, an order that totaled over $5 million. The order replaced 39 2-8-8-2 locomotives and 15 2-8-2 locomotives. Thus 25 F-Ms replaced 54 steam locomotives, better than a one-for-two swap. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo Train Master 55 shoves a cut of loaded hoppers while working the yard at Elmore in April 1956. The engineer has the sand flying to keep the big F-M from slipping. The Train Masters would make up a coal train at Mullens and then an electric would perform the road hauling duties to move the train to Roanoke. (Jim Shaw photo, N&WHS Archives collection )
  Photo It's February 1960 and Train Masters 70 and 56 are officially N&W locomotives but have yet to be renumbered by the addition of a "1" in front of their Virginian numbers. The pair are working at Princeton, West Virginia. When the Virginian received eight H-16-44s in late 1956 and six H-24-66 Train Masters in May and June 1957, the old steam territory on the west end was completely dieselized. Virginian's final two diesels were two wreck-replacement H-16-44s that arrived in October 1957. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo Train Master 67 looms into view in the late 1950s at an unknown location. F-M sold a total of 105 Train Masters in the U.S. and Canada, and the Virginian's fleet was the largest at 25 units. Others who had Train Masters include CNJ 2401- 2412; DL&W 850-861; PRR 8699-8707; RDG 800-808; Southern 6300-6304; SP 4800- 4815; WAB 550-554, 552A-554A; CN 2900; and CP 8900-8920. Eventually the N&W found itself with the 25 units from the Virginian as well as the eight from the Wabash, yielding a total of 33 Train Masters on N&W's roster. (Bill McClure collection)
  Photo Train Masters 159 and 158 team up on a freight rolling eastbound through Clark's Gap in the summer of 1960. They are now under N&W ownership and have been renumbered. One can quickly identify the first 19 units from the last six by the difference in the intake louvers along the top of the long hood. As can be seen here, the first 19 had a continuous string of louvers along the long hood, while the later units from May and June 1957 had fewer louvers along the top of the long hood, but additional louvers just in front of the cab in the black stripe. The photograph of the 70 on the facing page illustrates the louver arrangement on the last group. The radiator fan compartment at the top of the long hood was also different on the two orders, with a much bulkier dividing section in between the two fans on the earlier order, again obvious by comparing the view above with the photograph of the 70 on the facing page. The Train Masters were assigned to Mullens for their entire life under Virginian ownership. They worked that entire period under wire alongside the Virginian's electric fleet. With the N&W takeover little changed, as they were oddball units that didn't fit with anything else the N&W owned; thus they remained assigned to Mullens. (Bob Bowers collection)
  Photo Two images taken at Mullens, West Virginia, more than a decade apart reveal that while much is the same, much is also changed. In the main photo, taken September 6, 1958, the Virginian is still independent and the new Train Masters that were assigned to the coal fields occupy the foreground tracks. The Virginian is still under wire, and the tracks in the background are filled with electric locomotives. Note the tank cars used to bring in diesel fuel are parked in the background on the spur that services the large diesel fuel tank to keep those F-Ms running. In the inset photo taken in April 1973, the Virginian has long ago become part of the N&W, the foreground tracks are still filled with Train Masters, and the tank cars of diesel fuel still sit near the fuel tank. The electrics are also long gone, and those tracks are now filled with a variety of N&W modern diesel locomotives- all EMD first and second generation road switchers in three varieties of N&W dress. The small house on the mountainside has survived through the steam, electric, and diesel eras. (Bob's Photo, Bill McClure collection; inset: Jim Boyd photo, Kevin EuDaly collection)
Train Masters in WInding Gulf - Kevin EuDaly
  Photo Six photos: Itís April 4, 1958, and Jim EuDaly, Gene Huddleston, and Gene's brother, Gary, have hiked into Winding Gulf on the C&O. From the C&O right-of-way Jim photographed this sequence of Train Master 64 climbing up through the Gulf with empties in tow in the rain. 1: The track to the lower left is the C&O - the middle two levels in the Gulf are occupied by the Virginian right-of-way. The track in the lower right corner is the upper level of the Virginian. 2: The Virginian has passed beneath both the C&O and the upper level of the Virginian and is headed for the tunnel. The C&O passes beneath the Virginian under the bridge just before the tunnel. 3: The Train Master is well beyond the tunnel, while the Virginian caboose is about to enter the tunnel. 4: The Train Master has negotiated the loop and is now passing above the Virginian's lower level. The C&O right-of-way, where Jim is perched can be seen in the trees above the Train Master. 5: The Train Master passes directly below the upper C&O right-of-way. In the upper left corner is the lower level of the C&O, while right at the top edge is the lower level of the Virginian. 6: In the same view as No. 1., the Train Master has climbed well above the lower level of the Virginian in the middle of this photo, and even further above the lower level of the C&O. The Virginian climbed up through Winding Gulf with a loop, while the C&O used a switchback. The switchback was well beyond the tunnel in views 2 and 3 above. The C&O trackage is abandoned, indicative of the fact that a loop is far more efficient to operate compared to a switchback. (Jim EuDaly photos)
  Photo A Train Master eases loads down through Winding Gulf southwest of Beckley, West Virginia. The photographer was standing on the upper Virginian level right above the caboose in view 2 above. (N&WHS Archives collection)
N&W Inherits the Train Masters - Robert G. Bowers; Bill McClure
  Photo Fairbanks-Morse Train Master 171 is working in Oak Hill, West Virginia, late in its career on September 16, 1973. It was born in Beloit, Wisconsin, at the F-M plant as Virginian 71 in June 1957, worked two years for the Virginian, then over 15 years for the N&W. A close look at this photo reveals the Virginian yellow paint showing through in several locations. The 171 was based in Oak Hill for many years to work the Summerlee Mine, and was retired on July 22, 1975, after which it was rebuilt to Slug 9913 on December 24, 1975. (Kevin Idarius photo, Louis Marre collection)
  Photo Three of the four basic paint schemes applied to the N&W Train Masters are represented in these photographs, all taken at Mullens, West Virginia, in the early 1970s. At top, the 172 wears the solid blue with the early diesel-era medallion on Christmas day in 1971. Several Train Masters wore this herald, including 153, 155,158,159, and 172. (Mike Leach photo, Dave Oroszi collection)
  Photo 156 wears the solid blue with the later diesel- era disk medallion, often referred to as the "hamburger herald," photographed on New Year's day in 1973. (Dan Dover photo, Louis Marre collection)
  Photo 173 wears the later solid black with large "NW" lettering, photographed on September 5, 1974. It was the only Train Master painted in this scheme. (Kevin Idarius photo, Louis Marre collection)
  Photo The fourth paint scheme was the standard N&W diesel-era solid black scheme with yellow lettering and the hamburger herald, as seen here on the 165 at Mullens on April 6, 1968. Note the small "F" on the frame to the right of the step in this photograph - in normal N&W fashion these were set up to run long hood forward. During their Virginian tenure they were also set up for long-hood-forward operation. (Louis Marre collection)
  Photo Train Master 169 works at the Tralee Colliery located just south of Elmore, West Virginia. in January 1970. (Jim Boyd photo, Kevin EuDaly collection)
  Photo Train Master 158 is bracketed between cupola caboose 530347 and SD45 1812. The horsepower race has long ago left the 2,400-horse- power Train Master in the dust - the SD45 boasted 3,600 horsepower - and F-M left the domestic locomotive market in 1958, having built 1,460 total opposed-piston-equipped locomotives. This action is at Elmore in May 1975. (Jim Boyd photo, Kevin EuDaly collection)
  Photo The yard office at Elmore, located just south of Mullens, was the base of operations in the yard. Train Master 158 works in the yard in this view from May 1975. The few surviving Train Masters don't have much time left by this date - their conversion to slugs began in November 1971. The last ex-Virginian Train Master was retired on September 29, 1976. (Jim Boyd photo, Kevin EuDaly collection)
  Photo Train Master 171 gets some attention at Mullens in October 1974. The white cylinder right behind the horns is the exhaust hood for the oil heater that was installed for use at Oak Hill at the 8ummerlee Mine. (Bob Bowers collection)
  Photo Train Master 171 is at Oak Hill, West Virginia, on July 7, 1973, where it was assigned for much of its N&W career. It was equipped with an oil heater to keep its engine block and the fuel warm so it could be shut down in the winter time without fear of having problems starting it. The vertical steps that went about halfway up the locomotive resulted in massive and blocky ends, as seen in this view. (John Baukus, Jr., photo, Dave Oroszi collection)
  Photo The N&W operated a pair of "Farewell to the Train Master" fantrips in November 1973 using Train Masters 174 and 173. The fantrip is coming up on a trio of Alco C-630s that were being used as pushers. The big Alco rides on Train Master trucks that were off of the big F-Ms that were traded in on the 10 C-630s, 1130-1139. The Alcos and the F-Ms had interchangeable tri-mount trucks, and during their service lives occasionally the F-Ms could be found on Alco trucks. (Jim Boyd photo, Kevin EuDaly collection)
  Table Wabash's Train Masters - Table contains information on all of the Wabash's Train Masters. (Not Listed)
  Photo Wabash Train Master 554 sits in Detroit, Michigan, in May 1964 wearing its classic blue, gray and white scheme. It's still a true F-M at this point, but will be rebuilt by Alco with a 251 prime mover later in 1964. Later that same year on October 16 the Wabash was consolidated into the Norfolk & Western. (Bob Bowers collection)
  Photo A trio of ex-Wabash Train Masters works a freight over the hump in the yard at Bellevue, Ohio, in May 1970. Because the ex-Wabash Train Masters were really the equivalent of a big Alco after the Wabash had them re-engined, they really didn't fit with the ex-Virginian F-Ms that were based in Mullens. The ex- Wabash Train Masters were assigned to hump service in Bellevue in 1966, where they typically operated in master-slave sets. (Louis Marre collection)
  Photo Wabash Train Master 598 wears the solid blue scheme at Chicago, Illinois, on July 13, 1965. This unit was originally F-M demonstrator TM-1, and was tested on the Virginian before it placed its first order for Train Masters. It then became Wabash 550, then Wabash 598, then N&W 3598, and finally N&W 167:2. By this date it has been rebuilt by Alco, a fact made obvious by the typical Alco vents along the top of the long hood. Note the small "F" to the right of the steps on this unit - indicative of the fact that the Wabash Train Masters were set up for short-hood- forward operation. (Karl Henkels photo, Louis Marre collection)
  Photo It's April 197 4 and the career of Train Master 3599 is drawing to a close. Its original Wabash lettering is showing through on the badly worn paint. But wait! Is this really an ex-Wabash unit? Closer study reveals yellow paint showing through on most of the locomotive, and according to rosters ex-Virginian 61 became 3599:2 later in life (February 1967). Further, the central portion of the long hood is a different shade of blue. It turns out that it was put in service on the Bellevue hump, and the shop forces at Roanoke put an Alco 251 engine under the hood, not the original Virginian opposed-piston F-M engine that powered the 161. So most of the locomotive is the ex-Virginian one, but the long hood and Alco prime mover are indeed from the Wabash unit. (Bob Bowers collection)
  Photo Wabash re-engined Train Master 593 sits in Detroit, Michigan, wearing the solid blue scheme and its second number, having been renumbered from the 553. During rebuilding the steam generators were removed. The low end platforms on this unit are indicative of the six units built for the Wabash, a modification that accomplished a better match with units from other builders. (Bob Bowers collection)
  Photo Three ex-Wabash F-M Train Masters are coupled together at Bellevue, Ohio, in March 1967. The 3593, formerly Wabash 553 then 593, glistens in new standard N&W blue paint. The rebuilt Train Masters had Alco 251 engines rated at 2,350 horsepower, just slightly lower than the original F-M opposed-piston engines that were rated at 2,400 horsepower. (Jim Boyd photo, Kevin EuDaly collection)
Train Master Modeling Notes - Frank Bongiovanni
Vol. 29, No. 1 January / March 2013  Issue Select