Vol. 23, No. 1 January / March 2007  Issue Select 
Issue Details
Cover Title: The Big Sandy & Cumberland, Part 2
Cover Subtitle:
On the Cover: This beautiful photograph of Class Y3a #2069 pulling a string of empty hoppers back to Weller Yard by way of Raitt Tunnel and Thomas wye was taken in the summer of 1954 by H. Lloyd White, relative of member Larry Evans, who provided the photo for our use. It was taken from the station platform in Hurley looking toward the north at the trestle across Knox Creek and state route 643. Thie original Big Sandy & Cumberland roadbed, now a dirt road, can be seen just in front of the cribbing at the north (far) end of the trestle.
Articles In This Issue
The Big Sandy & Cumberland, Part 2 / N&W Ownership and Conversion to Standard Gauge - James B. Blackstock; Charles "Bucky" H. Wilson, Jr.
  Map This schematic map from the 3/1/1936 copy of N&W Coal & Coke Operations, available from the The Commissary, shows the revised line from Devon down to Grundy, Harman, and the VA-KY line with the mining operations in the area at that time. (N&W Coal & Coke Operations, 3/1/1936)
  Photo Here is the spot once know as "Looney's Curve" on the Tug Fork on 3/13/1898. The settlement is said to have been the Kibler & Kay Lumber Yard. The N&W main line can be seen following the curve of the riverbank through the center of the photo. The wye connecting the Buchanan Branch was built in this exact location in 1931. Devon Tunnel now pierces the hillside across the river in Kentucky in the center of the left edge of the photo. (N&W/VPI&SU Collection)
  Photo Here is the new station at Devon, built in 1931 and probably photographed the same year. (N&W/VPI&SU Collection)
  Chart Here is the original track chart from 1931 showing the wye at Looney's Curve, to the left, the new tunnel through the ridge on the Kentucky side of the river, and the new alignment along the first portion of Knox Creek. (N&WHS Archives)
  Photo ON 9/2/1988, GP35 #238 emerges from Devon Tunnel and approaches Ought One with westbound coal for Williamson. The train will take the right leg of the wye at one of the most unusual settings on the railroad. (Everett N. Young Photo)
  Photo A view from the Kentucky side of Devon Tunnel, with hoppers visible on the main line across the Tug Fork at Ought One. (Charles H. Wilson, Jr. Photo)
  Photo The new station at Hurley, August 1931. (N&W/VPI&SU Collection)
  Photo Pusher engines Class Y3 #2044 and Class Y5 #2114 shove coal loads up the 1.76% grade westbound through Raitt Tunnel as the headend, Class Y3a #2064, holds the train on the 1.86% descent tower Hurley on 8/9/1956. Several camps cars can be seen on the tracks leading to the Home Creek Smokeless Coal Company in the upper left. (D. Wallace Johnson Photo)
  Photo Here is the N&W's combination freight and passenger station at Grundy, Virginia on 4/29/1973. (Everett N. Young Photo)
  Photo In the summer of 1958, in the waning days of steam operation on the N&W mainline, steam could still be found doing what it had done for decades: moving coal off the branches to the assembly yards at Iaeger, Wilcoe and Weller, for movement to Bluefield or Williamson. Bob Harvey found the last of the great Class Y6b #2200, and Class Y6 #2147, putting on a show while assisting loads toward Raitt Tunnel on the Buchanan Branch. (Two Photos, Robert Harvey)
  Photo ON 8/9/1956, Class Y3 #2004 is working hard on the headend of a coal drag past Thomas; the pushers will follow. How fortunate we are that men such as Bob Harvey and Wally Johnson ventured deep into the hills of Virginia and West Virginia to record scenes such as this. (D. Wallace Johnson Photo)
  Photo In a great sequence of photos take on a hot 7/26/1954, Wally Johnson captured Class Y3a #2061 leading, and Class Y5 #2117 and Class Y3a #2070 assisting on a coal train passing Thomas, Virginia, about 1.5 miles out of Weller Yard on the way to the main line at Devon, then west to Williamson, 49 miles distant. Ahead lies the tough 1.76% climb to Raitt Tunnel. The caboose between the pushers was very unusual and remains unexplained. (Three Photos, D. Wallace Johnson)
  Map On this map, courtesy of DeLorme, the original Big Sandy & Cumberland line is shown as a dashed line and the revised route, now the Buchanan Branch, is shown as a solid line. The Branch extends 36.22 miles from Devon on the mainline in West Virginia, through Kentucky and into Virgina to Grundy. The important assembly yard is located 2+ miles west of Grundy.
  Photo It might appear at first glance that SD45 #1792 is running short hood forward, not customary on the N&W of the diesel era, but in fact the unit is the trailing unit of a pusher set assisting westbound coal loads up the 1.76% grade through Raitt Tunnel on the Buchanan Branch on 9/14/1975. (Everett N.Young Photo)
  Photo On Page 9 we saw the head end of this train at Thomas, Virginia, on 8/9/1956 with Class Y3 #2004 leading. Here are the trailing helpers: Class Y3 2044 and Class Y5 #2114, with the caboose in its more customary position in the rear of the helpers. (D. Wallace Johnson Photo)
Working Under a GP9 at 50MPH! / Stoning Commutators - Skip Salmon
N&W's 1941 Modernization of Tender Lettering - Charles Schlotthober
  Photo Class A #1238 with the lettering style that became standard on the N&W until the end of steam.
  Drawing Sketch #21-T, showing 10" letters on an 18,000 gallon tender (N&WHS Archives)
  Drawing Sketch #22-T, showing 12" letters on an 18,000 gallon tender (N&WHS Archives)
  Drawing Sketch #23-T, showing 10" letters on an 22,000 gallon tender (N&WHS Archives)
  Drawing Sketch #24-T, showing 12" letters on an 22,000 gallon tender (N&WHS Archives)
  Drawing Sketch #25-T, showing 10" letters on an 18,000 gallon tender (N&WHS Archives)
  Drawing Sketch #26-T, showing 12" letters on an 18,000 gallon tender (N&WHS Archives)
  Photo Engine #128 with an 18,000 gallon tender sporting the experimental tender lettering in May of 1941. This had to be one the first Class K's, if not THE first, to get the new lettering judging from the date of the photo and the timeline evidencne. (N&W Photo/VPI&SU Collection)
  Photo Engine #128 again, this time in Bristol, VA on 8/29/1941. This photo shows the tender lettering spread out all the way across the tender. The railroad didn't like the way this lettering looked so they placed the lettering closer together. (N&W Photo/VPI&SU Collection)
  Photo Engine #112 with the revised lettering that was adopted for use on the 18,000 gallon tenders (N&W Photo/VPI&SU Collection)
  Photo Class Y6b #2123 with a 22,000 gallon tender sporting new lettering in May of 1941. (N&W Photo/VPI&SU Collection)
  Photo Engine #136 and #2156 with the same style of lettering. (N&W Photo/VPI&SU Collection)
  Photo This view of The Pocahontas, taken from a postcard, show what may be the illusive aluminum lettering once used on N&W locomotives. (N&WHS Archives Collection)
John Fishwick Celebrates his 90th! / Former Chairman & CEO Achieves Milestone - James N. Gillum
  Photo Messrs. Moorman, Fishwick, McKinnon and Goode on the occasion of Mr. Fishwick's birthday celebration. (Patricia D. Hamilton Photo)
The Virginian "Battleship" Gons / Impressive New Drawings - Bill McClure
  Drawing Without a doubt, one of the most challenging aspects of modeling these cars would be the dual AB brake system. The drawings for the model's brake system were prepared from detailed under frame drawings in the Archives.
  Photo At the risk of inadvertently omitting someone, we would like to recognize those Society members who helped compile drawings, information and insights into these cars, in no particular order: Claud Abernathy, Marty Swartz, Jim Gillum, and Bill Mosteller
  Drawing Good photographs of the interiors of these are are very rare. The CAD draftsman had to work from scant hard data, but he or she seems to have captured the details of the interior bracing.
  Drawing When the drawings for the original Buckeye trucks where first published in Railway Mechanical Engineer in 1921, the draftsman had made an error in the wheelbase, showing an overall dimesion of 8' 8". In a subsequent issue, the magazine corrected the wheelbase to its true 8' 6". Since subsequent Buckeye trucks generally were of 9' wheelbase, the VGN trucks were very unique.
The Link Legacy / "Old Maud" at Green Cove - Charles Seaver
  Photo Green Cove station with granite memorial in view.
  Photo Closeup of granite memorial with image and inscription.
Vol. 23, No. 1 January / March 2007  Issue Select