New and Featured Items

150.53.1 Thirteen Scoops Around The Box, Memoirs of an Appalachian Railroad Man
At long last a brand new book from the Society by well known steam authority Ed King. This is a different take on your normal railroad book. Ed has written a fictional, but very authentic “memoir” by a man named King, who hired out on the N&W in 1903 and follows his career through May 1950 when he retired. While it may be fictional, it is truly based on reality, using authentic N&W places, locomotives and descriptions. The closest I can come to this style book is the one by a Pennsylvania Engineer entitled “Set Up Running”.

This is a very interesting read, beginning with the young man coming out of Bristol, VA, traveling to Roanoke and hiring out as a fireman on the Radford Division. The tale rings authenticity all the way around, but as Ed said “it is fiction in case I don’t get a place or location or time frame exactly right,” not to mention its not a real person, at least in that time. Regardless, this will be a tremendous addition to your N&W library! As you read, you will forget that this is not an actual story.

Book is now at the printer, expected inhouse in early October. This will be a nice, hard cover book, 9 x 12 size, 208 pages, with 225 illustrations. It will be printed like our other books, glossy, heavyweight paper and color covers. NOW IN STOCK!

208 pages, hardcover with 225 photos and maps

By Ed King

  Thirteen Scoops Around The Box, Memoirs of an Appalachian Railroad Man SKU# 150.53 $64.95  
N&W Six-Eleven Revised N&W Six-Eleven 3 Times a Lady Revised

While technically not a “new” book, this edition has been significantly revised to consider it as new. This book was originally released in late 2015 and sold out in less than a year. Now, totally revised to bring it up to 2021 adding 32 pages and reformatted to a new vertical format publication. Foreword by Preston Claytor.

128 page expanded edition, updated to 2021, this is the complete story of world-famous Norfolk and Western Class J, No. 611. 128 detailed pages give background on Norfolk and Western motive power development, the arrival of the Class J and their service through the end of 1959.

A detailed history of the 611 itself, to retirement, follows with the effort to save her from the scrapper’s torch and the first resurrection in 1982-1994, and her third charmed return in 2015 as an excursion locomotive. This edition has over 200 illustrations, drawing on the vast N&W Historical Society Archives collection, of both mechanical drawings and excellent photos. The book is color throughout with both color and black and white images to illustrate the text.

Limited edition produced by Pocahontas Productions in conjunction with the Norfolk and Western Historical Society. This is a signed numbered edition and once it is gone, it is gone. Orders will be provided numbered copies, based on the time stamp of their order. So the earlier your order, the lower the number!

By Timothy R. Hensley and Kenneth L. Miller

  N&W Six-Eleven 3 Times a Lady Revised SKU# 138.94A $54.95  
River of Iron A River of Iron

A History of Mining, Smelting and Transporting Iron in the Virginia Counties of Alleghany, Augusta, Botetourt and Rockbridge

For over 100 years iron was “king” in the Valley of Virginia. Millions of dollars were invested and thousands of workers toiled in the vast enterprise of smelting iron. But by 1929 it was all over; the last of Virginia’s blast furnaces had closed. How did it all begin and what were the forces which enabled the rise and caused the subsequent fall of the iron industry?

This 357-page history of four Virginia counties, Alleghany, Augusta, Botetourt and Rockbridge, details the advent of the early bloomery forges, then the cold-blast charcoal furnaces and finally the large hot-blast coke furnaces which transitioned Virginia through its iron age. Transportation and mining techniques are described. Fifty seven furnaces and over 125 mines are listed and detailed. Over 150 photos, documents and maps illustrate this story. Virginia’s iron age is over but its history should never be forgotten

By Norman H. Scott

  A River of Iron SKU# 138.02 $19.95  
Shenandoah Iron Shenandoah Iron

A History of Mining, Smelting and Transporting Iron in the Virginia Counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Warren

Most people know of the rich Civil War history of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia but few know that the Valley was also rich in iron smelting history. The first furnace west of the Blue Ridge Mountains was built in this region.

For over 144 years the area produced iron ore and smelted ore into pig iron. The region’s iron history covered the eras of the bloomery forge, charcoal cold-blast furnace and finally hot-blast coke furnace. “Shenandoah Iron” includes the transporting, mining and smelting activities of this industrial enterprise and explains in detail how iron ore is transformed into iron.

Over 24 cold-blast furnaces are described and the two modern hot-blast furnaces are depicted. Over 80 iron mines are identified. The contributions of German-Americans who settled the valley and dominated the iron business are highlighted. The practice of industrial slavery and the impact of the Civil War on the iron industry are explored. This 350 page book includes 137 photographs, maps and drawings to illustrate the contributions that the Shenandoah counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Warren made to the iron smelting industry of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

By Norman H. Scott

  Shenandoah Iron SKU# 138.03 $19.95  
Big Lick Iron Big Lick, Cripple Creek and Rye Valley Iron

History of Mining, Smelting and Transporting Iron in the S. W. Virginia Counties of Bland, Carroll, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wythe

Few people know of the significant contribution made by southwestern Virginia to the iron history of Virginia and the nation. Southwestern Virginia is part of the 300-mile-long valley sandwiched between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains and extends from Front Royal in the north to Bristol in the south. While this area lacked the early river transportation infrastructure enjoyed by the other iron-producing regions of the valley, it contained one of the richest deposits of iron found in Virginia. Once the Norfolk & Western Railway was established, iron was mined and smelted in prodigious amounts. Twenty-four charcoal furnaces operated in the region before the Civil War and twenty-six were in blast after the conflict, including ten hot-blast coke furnaces capable of producing over 100 tons of iron per day.

From the beginning of the iron era, which utilized small bloomery forges, to the end when the mammoth coke furnaces were king, southwestern Virginia had contributed to the Virginia iron age for over 150 years. The iron histories of Bland, Carroll, Craig, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Montgomery, Pulaski, Roanoke, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Washington and Wythe counties are included in this 340-page book along with 130 maps, diagrams and pictures.

Also described are the use of bloomery forges during the early settlement of southwestern Virginia, the development of transportation used to ship iron materials, how the charcoal and coke furnaces worked, the effects of the Civil War and Great Boom on iron production, formation of consortia including the Virginia Iron, Coal and Coke Company, construction of railroads used to reach the iron deposits and extraction of iron ores from the ground. Over forty-five iron furnaces are described and numerous iron mines are detailed. The book also concludes with an examination of the future of iron production for the region.

By Norman H. Scott

  Big Lick, Cripple Creek and Rye Valley Iron SKU# 138.01 $19.95  
138.100 The Steam Locomotive Energy Story
Brand new landmark book regarding American steam locomotive history and technology, Walter Simpson’s hardbound, 144-page The Steam Locomotive Energy Story: How These Locomotives Used Energy and What Was Done to Make Them More Efficient. Using original sources from a variety of railroads, such as the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, the Norfolk and Western Railway, and the Pennsylvania Railroad, as well as other authoritative books and articles by the mechanical engineers who worked to make the steam locomotive more effective, Mr. Simpson has produced a work that is both a scholarly review and a highly-readable, understandable discussion that readers with all levels of expertise can readily appreciate and enjoy. Visually pleasing and authoritative, the hardbound book is well illustrated with great photos in both B&W and color showing all types of steam locomotives at work. Precise diagrams compliment this work throughout its pages, creating a steam locomotive reference that will enrich the reader’s library for years to come.

The Steam Locomotive Energy Story has already been receiving high praise from reviewers who have seen the finished work. Speaking about this publication, Thomas W. Dixon, Jr., of the C&O Historical Society, stated that, “[this book is] the best discussion of steam locomotive efficiency ever done. Simpson understands and documents how the steam engine builders and railroads worked to increase efficiency, yet the very design of the machine prevented much increase in capability, even in the much-heralded ‘Super Power’ locomotives post-1925.” Mr. Dixon added that The Steam Locomotive Energy Story is a scholarly review, fully footnoted with an extensive bibliography, and it should assume an important place in the literature of locomotive steam power in the United States.

In his work, Mr. Simpson concludes that a good steam locomotive could convert 7% of its fuel to mechanical energy, and most locomotives did not reach that level, while the very best only reached the range of 8% efficiency. A typical diesel-electric locomotive, by contrast, produces around 30-35% efficiency. And, for further comparison, an electric generating plant is 33% efficient, and an automobile about 25%.

Walter Simpson was energy officer for the State University of New York at Buffalo for 26 years and holds master degrees in philosophy and environmental studies. With this education, experience, and background, he was able to approach this subject from an entirely different perspective from other railroad authors. Mr. Simpson has also published Diesel-Electric Locomotives with Simmons-Boardman and Turbine Power (available from the Commissary) with the publisher Kalmbach. The latter has been hailed as the best treatment thus far of how railroads (including the N&W Railway and C&O Railway) tried to use steam-turbine locomotives as an alternative to advancing diesel technology.

By Walter Simpson

  The Steam Locomotive Energy Story SKU# 138.100 $38.95  
136.14AB.jpg Audio CD - Riding the N&W Clinch Valley Local
Ride on Clinch Valley local No. 5 in its last months of steam power! This Audio CD featured No. 578 the only surviving N&W Pacific. Sounds recorded from the train as the 578 tackles grades, traverses tunnels, rolls across tall bridges and sprints between stations on this daily, 21 stop run between Bluefield, WV and Norton, VA on June 5, 1958.

CD Audio, 67 minutes

Herron Rail Video

SKU# 136.14AB $19.99
133.51.jpg Model: N&W 2-story Section Foreman’s House (HO SCALE)
In 2017 we introduced the 1 story section foreman’s house to rave reviews. A totally new laser-cut kit that filled a true missing link in the N&W heritage. Now in 2020, we have yet another new N&W structure. Carefully crafted from original plans from our Archives is the 2 story section foreman’s house.

The section foreman’s house was a common structure along the N&W in many places, and the single story version may be slightly more common, but the all new kit features the 2-story variety that was also common. Every N&W layout should have at least one of these structures, if not more, make a few varieties, customize them for your era and layout. There are varieties of these buildings, and if nothing else, use them as regular residences on your railroad. What a true way to get an N&W flavor to your railroad. Shipping very soon, unexpected shipping delays have been encountered!

  • HO Scale
  • Laser cut wood kit
  Model: N&W 2-story Section Foreman’s House (HO SCALE) SKU# 133.51 $70.00  
NW_Coffee_web.jpg N&W Coffee

Brand New!

Never Before Offered. N&W Coffee!

Start your day with a cup of the original 1920s roast of N&W Coffee. Period ads touted the coffee as “the best that is made”. This coffee mix was thought to have been lost to time. The N&W used this coffee up to the late 1940s and switched to another brand for a time, then another change to a Roanoke based coffee company which remained in service through May 1, 1971, we hope at some point to bring that coffee for sale at some point in the future.

The original instructions have been found in the files of the Dining Car Superintendents association files. The N&W Coffee has been carefully recreated as micro-roast to match the original, with the flavors being described as “creamy cocoa, sweet toffee and rich dried fruits, this blend is enjoyed equally well with or without milk.”

This coffee is produced using the finest beans to produce the coffee in small batches, choose either decaf or regular in 12 oz vacuum sealed bags. Enjoy a 12 oz of Ground 100% Arabica Coffee Micro-roasted and fresh.

NOTE: Due to small profit margins, there are no member discounts on coffee orders.

  N&W Coffee - Regular SKU# 143.52 $14.00  
  N&W Coffee - Decaf SKU# 143.52D $14.00  
VGN_Mug_134.54.jpg VGN mug
Brand New 11 oz. Mug, New Design

Especially for those Virginian Railway Fans!

Remembering the Virginian on the 60th Anniversary of the merger with N&W in December of 1959. Clever new N&WHS Exclusive design features a black mug with a Virginian yellow rim with the Virginian herald in matching yellow. This is a limited edition, order soon to be sure you get one!

Regular coffee is shipped as part of the coffee-combo unless you specify “Decaf” in the notes

NOTE: These mugs are not dishwasher safe and need to be hand washed only!

  VGN black coffee mug SKU# 143.54A $15.00  
  VGN black coffee mug with Coffee SKU# 143.54AC $27.50  
The Mighty J The Mighty J
Yard Goat Images brings the Berkshire Productions videos in newly remastered digital transfers. This disc features the famed 611 in action in 1986 and 1990 running first out of Bellevue, Oh. to Buffalo, NY and to Columbus, Oh. You will see the 611 on the Nickle Plate’s bridges at Cleveland, Painesville, Conneaut and Ashtabula, plus 60 mph running through the flat lands of Ohio. Part Two highlights the 611 running between Brewster and Toledo, Oh. pulling the “Ohio President’s Steam Special.” In addition, the Mighty J will depart Toledo’s Homestead Yard with 30 empty hoppers in tow bound for Brewster on the ex-Wheeling and Lake Erie line.

DVD, 81 Minutes

Berkshire Productions

SKU# 136.16A $19.95
The Awesome A The Awesome A
In April 1987, the 1218 took a three day journey back home from rebuild at the steam shops in Birmingham, Al. The video follows the move, followed by the 1218’s first public excursions. The first trip west over the N&W’s rugged Radford Division to Bluefield. This trip was likely unprecedented as it was run with heavy rain that brought flooding, trees down and signals down. The dramatic trip finally arrived back in Roanoke after 11 pm. The next day was a total change, with clear sunny weather as 1218 first climbs Blue Ridge to Lynchburg and back, and then an afternoon trip to Walton and return.

Part two features the 1218 traveling west from Kenova, W.Va. to Columbus, Oh. and trips from Bellevue and Toledo, Oh. Over 40 line-side runbys, side-by-side pacing and great aerial views make this a must have for railfans libraries.

DVD, 106 Minutes

Berkshire Productions

SKU# 136.16B $19.95
Independence Limited 89 Independence Limited ‘89

This video is the official video of the Roanoke Chapter NRHS four day trip from Cleveland, Oh. to Roanoke, Va. trip via Bellevue, Muncie In., Cincinnati, Oh. Bluefield, W.Va.The 611 leads the trip and adds the NKP 587 for the remainder of the run to Roanoke. 3-crew coverage of the entire excursion route. You’ll see scores of trackside runbys, cab footage from both N&W 611 and NKP 587, pacing sequences, on-train coverage, stunning aerial scenes.

We captured all the excitement of this fabulous event so you relive the memories of the “Independence Limited” over and over again. From the flatlands of Ohio to the tunnels, grades, and trestles of the N&W’s rugged Pocahontas Division, this is a video you should not miss.

The incredible finale on this video will show you the spectacular TRIPLE-HEADER assaulting the Blue Ridge Grade east out of Roanoke on its way to the 1989 NRHS Convention featuring NKP 587, N&W 611, and N&W 1218!

Digitally re-mastered, this video brings you an hour and a half of stunning steam action!.

DVD, 90 Minutes

Berkshire Productions

SKU# 136.16C $19.95
136.16D.Assault_on_Asheville Assault on Asheville

Assault on Asheville picks up where “Independence Limited ‘89 leaves off with coverage on the triple-headed deadhead move over Blue Ridge, with NKP 587, N&W 611 and 1218 to Lynchburg, Va. where the 611 goes north and returns with passenger train from Alexandria and on to Asheville, N.C. After splitting at Lynchburg, the 587 and 1218 doublehead with a freight train to Salisbury, N.C. and on to Asheville. This was all for the 1989 NRHS National Convention. There is excellent coverage of all the double header and triple header action as well as other moves.

DVD, 60 Minutes

Berkshire Productions

SKU# 136.16D $19.95
BK.NW_as_I_knew_it.jpg The Norfolk and Western... As I Knew It!

A photographic pilgrimage to preserve the images of N&W steam power

From rail photographer August A. Thieme, this coffee table size volume features over 150 B&W images of steam trains in operation from Norfolk to Bluefield and beyond during the 40's and 50's. See the A, J, and Y class locomotives at their absolute peak... along with E, K, M and Z classes. Electrics in operation between Bluefield and Iaeger. Includes Shenandoah division, Abingdon Branch, Blacksburg Branch!

Hard cover with dust jacket, 11"x14" format 175 pages

by August A. Thieme

Published by Norfolk and Western Historical Society!

Reduced Price!

SKU# 139.10 $45.00
ClassJ.poster.jpg Class J Poster
This N&W Class J poster is compiled from multiple NWHS archives drawings showing the engineers side view of later J's (such as 611) with tender. The drawings include drivers, nose, rod, oiler, Baker value gear, and other detail drawing inserts as drawn by the N&W draftsmen. Poster size is 24" x 36" on heavy glossy paper stock, perfect for framing and display!

This poster is "fine art" for N&W J locomotive fans!

SKU# 136.04M $24.95
The_A_NW_Mercedes_of_Steam_revised.jpg The "A" (Revised Edition)
Norfolk & Western's Mercedes of Steam

THE history of N&W Class A locomotive has been revised by author Ed King!

The original book about this most productive of locomotives has been greatly expanded to include much information not available to the author at the first writing, plus a foldout featuring side elevation drawings of the locomotive and the various tenders it pulled, plus many more photographs (color & B/W). Appendices covering N&W's tenders and the testing of Pennsy Q2 4-4-6-4 conducted on the Scioto Division in August, 1948.

Hardcover with dust cover, 212 pages

By Ed King

SKU# 139.11 $64.95
NW_Giant_of_Steam_revised.jpg N&W: Giant of Steam (Revised Edition)
The most definitive story of N&W steam ever written has been updated, revised, and re-printed! At the time of its original publication in 1980, this book, authored by Colonel Lewis Ingles Jeffries, gave us the story of N&W steam as complete as possible and as no other ever had... but as great it was, there were gaps in the information, due simply to the facts not being available at that time.

Hardcover with dust cover, 350 pages

By Colonel Lewis Ingles Jeffries

SKU# 138.99 $59.95
hat_NW_black.jpg HAT: N&W, Black
Black cotton hat with adjustable Velcro closure, one size fits all. Black with N&W logo.
SKU# 143.41 $19.95
hat.NW_logo.yellow.jpg HAT: N&W Navy Hat Half Moon logo
Navy cotton hat with adjustable Velcro closure, one size fits all. Navy blue with yellow N&W "half-moon" logo.
SKU# 143.44 $19.95
VGN_HAT_3.blue.jpg HAT: VGN, Blue
Dark blue cotton hat with adjustable Velcro closure, one size fits most. Dark blue with yellow VGN logo.
SKU# 143.47 $19.95