Vol. 32, No. 4 October / December 2016  Issue Select 
Issue Details
Cover Title: N&W Signaling, Part 1
Cover Subtitle: Roanoke VGN Station, Beyond the Appalachians, The N&W-EL Cannonball
On the Cover: N&W loads are about to pass between the twin passenger sheds at Bluestone, West Virginia, on June 26, 1930. To the engineer’s side of the train is signal tower SU, which housed the various levers and controls for the switches and signals at this interlocking. In the foreground are the rods that mechanically threw the switches and signals at the interlocking. Signals for the junction are located on the various electric catenary supports — the semaphores this train has just passed can be seen on the support next to the power house. In this issue Glenn Fisher begins a series on the history of signaling on the N&W from 1930 to 1959. In the introduction he briefly covers a history of early signaling and the state of the N&W’s signaling at the beginning of the Great Depression.
Articles In This Issue
Virginian Railway Station Restoration Complete in Roanoke - Skip Salmon; James Cosby
  Photo The Virginian Railway station in Roanoke, Virginia, was photographed in 1910.  (Jeff Sanders collection)
  Photo On February 10, 2001, the remains of the Virginian Roanoke passenger station reveal a structure on the edge of its demise. Twelve days earlier, a fire ravaged what was left of the structure. To most eyes, this looks like a lost cause.  (James Cosby photo)
  Photo On August 22, 2010, the station was in the process of being completely overtaken by trees and brush. Nature has a way of quickly eradicating structures once they are compromised. Note how the roof has continued collapsing on this side of the central dormer. By this time the entire structure was fenced off. (Skip Salmon photo)
  Photo The roof has been removed in the beginning stages of restoration in this photo from April 24, 2012, while a pair of Norfolk Southern GEs roll by. The magnitude of the job is apparent — the building has been stripped down to the original brickwork. The magnitude of the volunteer work involved to get restoration like this accomplished can be fully appreciated by those who have undertaken such a project. (Skip Salmon photo)
  Photo On June 17, 2016, the restored station basks in the afternoon sunshine. Note the attention to details such as the lamp posts and the restored signal in the foreground. (Skip Salmon photo)
  Photo One of the final touches was the installation of the Roanoke station sign to the end of the station, as seen in this view on June 29, 2016. The station restoration is now finished. (Skip Salmon photo)
From The N&WHS ARCHIVES / The Virginian’s Station in Roanoke - Kevin EuDaly
  Photo Virginian 4-6-2 215 has a two-car passenger train parked at the passenger station in Roanoke in this undated photo. Note the overhead catenary in place for electric operations.  (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo This street-side view of the Virginian’s passenger station in Roanoke was taken on September 3, 1950. The sign covered up the windows in the dormer, but undoubtedly helped avoid confusion between this station and the N&W’s station. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo In a 1950s-era track-side view looking north, there are large stacks of material, sacks near the bay window, and hay, straw, or cotton bales on the far side of the bay window. The significance of the material is lost to time.  (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo On March 1, 1986, a photographer caught a Sperry rail detector car passing the former Virginian station. The station is very unkempt by this stage in its existence. This view was taken from the Walnut Avenue SE bridge (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Drawing The Virginian Railway Passenger Station views: Elevation Floor Plan West End Elevation, East End Elevation, Sections Location Plan (N&WHS Archives collection)
The Norfolk and Western Beyond the Appalachians / The N&W-EL Cannonball - Ed Painter
  Photo N&W 8488 leads train SLCB, the westbound Cannonball, through at Akron, Ohio, during May 1972. U30B 8488 is followed by GP40 1342 and U28B 1916. This consist of high-horsepower units were considered slippery by train crews in the Appalachians and is far more at home here. The two U-boats would seldom reach the rails of the original N&W since Decatur, Illinois, was their assigned maintenance location. (Ed Painter photo)
  Photo The SLCB rolls past as it passes through EL’s yard in Akron. Note the N&W heralds on 1916 having almost become simply “yellow disks.” This seemed to be an issue with Pevler Blue schemes on both GE and EMD factorypainted units for a period. It was most common on GE 1900-series U28Bs and U30Bs and EMD GP40s and SD40s. (Ed Painter photo)
  Photo A former Delaware, Lackawanna, & Western caboose, now EL C884, brings up the rear of SLCB. In a little less than 100 miles the train will reach Marion, Ohio, where it will re-crew on the EL one last time before leaving the EL at Huntington, Indiana, where it will diverge onto the N&W and be re-crewed by an N&W crew for the remainder of its route to St. Louis. (Ed Painter photo)
  Sidebar This brochure from March 1972 promotes the Cannonball from New York and Boston through the St. Louis gateway to Tulsa/Oklahoma City, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, and Memphis. (Ed Painter collection)
Riding N&W Steam - Donald F. Morrison
  Photo This view shows our train in the yard in Roanoke, Virginia, before departure. (Donald Morrison photo)
  Photo Standing next to Y-6b 2179 are, left to right, engineer Grady Burrell, fireman Hank Kinzel, Donald F. Morrison, and road foreman of engines Litz. (Donald Morrison photo)
  Photo Class A simple articulated 1224 is under the Bluefield coaling facility getting ready for the return trip. (Donald Morrison photo)
N&W Signalling, 1930-1959 / Part 1 - Glenn Fisher
  Photo The operator stands in the doorway on the second story of the signal tower at Phoebe, Virginia, in this undated photo, likely taken in the 1910s or 1920s. Note the balcony from which a better view down the right-of-way could be seen without climbing down the stairs to get trackside. In the foreground are the rods that control the interlocking that are connected to large “armstrong” levers in the signal tower. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Drawing This drawing is dated July 16, 1900, and is a plan for a signal cabin with 32- and 36-lever machines. The number of levers was determined by the number of switches and signals needed at a given location, and that in turn determined the size of the signal tower. Typical of cabins in Appalachia in this era, the stairs were on the outside of the building — the bottom floor was predominantly for storage. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Drawing This diagram shows an N&W standard semaphore signal and is dated April 9, 1886. Note the mechanical nature of how this signal operated, using a pull rope to change the position of the blade. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo This interesting small structure is labeled as a “Signalman’s Repair Shop, Renick, Ohio.” The photo is dated in the 1916–1917 time frame. The large trackside door is used to get a speeder rolled out of the shed and onto the tracks, presumably to go out and repair or inspect signaling. The building looks weatherbeaten with some damage to the roof and guttering on the right side of this view, so one would assume it’s been in place for a number of years. The guttering is being piped into a trough of some sort on the back side of the building. It is not known what type of fire hazard in a signalman’s shop would prompt the sign over the door reading “dangerous - keep fires away.” (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Drawing This drawing, titled “Standard 2 Arm Style B Automatic Signal” is dated March 8, 1909, and represents the standard semaphore in use at that time. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Drawing These two companion drawings show semaphore signals to be used between Farm and Iaeger, West Virginia. They are dated August 20 and 21, 1923, respectively. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo This 1916 view of the signal tower at Bannon, Ohio, shows a larger tower than that shown at Phoebe, Virginia, earlier. This tower is protecting a diamond with another railroad. A semaphore in the “stop” position can be seen at right in the distance. (N&WHS Archives collection)
An Era Ends, Another Begins - Kevin EuDaly
  Photo Y6b 2182 is holding one of the main lines, with a crewman out on the ground. It’s 1950, and change is in the air at the “Bottom Creek Curve” at Vivian, West Virginia. The electric era has ended on the N&W, as the new Elkhorn tunnel is complete. Most of the catenary supports are now gone and their concrete supports can be seen along the right-of-way, but this one remains because on it is mounted a semaphore signal, showing “clear” for the closest main line. A hint of things to come appears in the very lower left corner of the photograph — a brand new signal support has been poured, and the base of a new signal is lying next to it. That semaphore is about to become a victim of the next era — that of position light signals on the N&W. (N&WHS Archives collection)
Vol. 32, No. 4 October / December 2016  Issue Select