Vol. 28, No. 3 July / September 2012  Issue Select 
Issue Details
Cover Title: Thoughts on Retirement
Cover Subtitle: A Vacation Relief Clerk at Bristol
On the Cover: On January 1, 1958, the yard at Bluefield is full of coal in this view looking west. George R. (Rich) Nuckolls treats us to an introduction to his career that spanned portions of six decades from 1969–2011. His article begins on page 4. He spent time in Bluefield, Williamson, and Iaeger, West Virginia; St. Paul and Weller Yard, Virginia, and various other locations; and eventually the David R. Goode building in Atlanta, Georgia, for the last three years of his career. He worked numerous clerical positions up to Assistant Manager.
Articles In This Issue
The Publisher's Desk / Caboose's - Kevin EuDaly
  Photo Close to the longest day of the year, dusk is settling over the mountains at Naugatuck, West Virginia, on June 17, 2007. Caboose 555585 is in maintenance-of-way service, parked in the small yard just east of the wye off the main line. (Kevin EuDaly photo)
  Photo An empty coal train is parked in the Auville yard in Iaeger, West Virginia, in the late afternoon on October 25, 2008. To the right is caboose 555587 parked on a stub track with a derail for protection should it roll east and foul the switch. (Kevin EuDaly photo)
  Photo Working in local freight service in Salem, caboose 555076 is being used on an industry spur on July 10, 2009. (Kevin EuDaly photo)
  Photo During the 2009 N&WHS convention in Roanoke, Virginia, caboose 555608 rolled by convention attendees during the main line cookout at 6:45pm on July 10. (Kevin EuDaly photo)
  Photo Caboose 555018 brings up the rear of a maintenance-ofway tie train parked at Wyoming, West Virginia, on June 19, 2010. (Kevin EuDaly photo)
Thoughts on Retirement - George R. Nuckolls
  Photo The west yard office at top center has the parking lot access blocked by an empty hopper train on “Long 8” track — I worked here in 1970 and in 1974. This view is from the Easley bridge at the westbound switching lead of the westbound forwarding yard in Bluefield, West Virginia, in 1965. (N&W photo, N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo This is the passenger station in Bluefield, West Virginia. I worked on the “transfer gang” at this station for a short time early in my railway career. We still used the steel-wheeled carts to load mail to and from passenger trains.
  Photo The East Yard office at lower right is seen facing west from the overhead swinging footbridge in 1965. I worked here in 1969 and 1970. This is the Grant Street receiving yard. (N&W photo, N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo The yard and roundhouse at Williamson, West Virginia, were photographed from the west. I worked here in 1976. In the foreground is the Pond Fork branch on the Kentucky side of Tug Fork. (Tom Dressler collection, N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo The division office building is at far left and the coaling station tipple is at right in this 1965 view from the Grant Street bridge of the Grant Street receiving yard. I worked in the division office in 1975, then again from 1977 to 1987. (N&W photo, N&WHS Archives collection)
A Vacation Relief Clerk at Bristol / in the Greatest Show on Earth - Ed King
  Photo Class K-2 124 is parked on the ready track at Bristol for its trip to Roanoke on local passenger train 10 in 1956. In the background is a Southern Alco PA-2. (Ed King photo)
  Photo Hostler Carl Easley takes Y-6 2140 off the turntable after servicing; the engine will back down and couple up to its auxiliary tender and then will be on the ready track for its outbound crew for an on-time 3:00pm call for time freight 88. (Ed King photo)
  Photo This view under the Mary Street Bridge from the Car Shop shows K-1 104 with engineer Lon Corvin on the left leaving the yard with local freight 72 and M 429 with engineer Joe McNew leaving with the Abingdon Branch train. The dispatcher will let the Branch train go ahead of the local because the local probably has work at the Pet Milk Plant west of Abingdon. (Ed King photo)
  Photo J 601 is passing the roundhouse on its way to Roanoke with a troop train. The cab of a Southern Alco PA made a nice vantage point for the shot but the long nose got into the photo. (Ed King photo)
  Photo The 124 is parked on the ready track at Bristol for its trip to Roanoke on local passenger train 10 in this nearly broadside view in 1956. (Ed King photo)
  Photo Engineer Bill Tuck brought class A 1238 light to Bristol to handle a 20-car eastbound troop train to Roanoke. When they got into Wyndale Hill that night, Tuck had her broadcasting. (Ed King photo)
  Photo The outbound engine crew (engineer A. T. Holland, fireman R. S. Wolfenbarger) is backing Y-6 2138 down to the main line switch; she’ll come up the main line past the power crossover and then back down into the yard to couple up to her train. (Ed King photo)
  Photo S-1a 235 is at the Bristol roundhouse in March 1956. When all the mileages for engines were totaled up, the 235 wound up having about the lowest mileage of any S-1a on the system. It was the “Rolls-Royce” of switch engines, handling any Bristol job with almost unbelievable ease. It burned only two tons of coal on one eight-hour shift it worked, and at least once was left out in the yard to work for 32 hours before having to come in for servicing. It was one of the five sent to Williamson to work out its last days, being renumbered to 295 to make room for Virginian EL3a electrics after the merger. (Ed King photo)
  Photo Class J 602 is backing to the turntable after having its fire cleaned, watered, coaled, and sanded to go into the roundhouse for further servicing. Hostler Haines Stewart is in charge. (Ed King photo)
  Photo This photo of 610 leaving Bristol on Train 10 was taken on June 10, 1957. In the summer of 1956 they had just inaugurated time freights 77 and 78 on the main line and were using J locomotives on those trains on the Columbus District. There weren’t enough to cover that and Nos. 9 and 10 on the Bristol Line, so 4-8-2s were used during the summer of 1956. (Ed King photo)
  Photo In mid-July, N&W had leased Z-1b 1443 to serve as a stationary boiler for the Foote Mineral Company, a lithium refiner at Sunbright, Virginia, some 40 miles west of Bristol on Southern’s Appalachia Division. Having served its purpose, the 1443 came back to Bristol under its own power on July 21 and was, at that time, the last steam locomotive to operate on the Southern Railway under its own power. It is shown crossing Copper Creek at Speers Ferry, Virginia, on Southern’s timber trestle with the Clinchfield’s high bridge in the background. (Ed King photo)
  Photo At the Bristol Roundhouse. That same day, Y-6 2139 had suffered a catastrophic failure coming through the dip at Hayter, Virginia, about 18 miles east of Bristol. (Ed King photo)
  Photo The low pressure engine’s right side main crankpin had come out of the wheel at speed, and the damage was spectacular. A photograph (top photo) of the right side shows the missing right main crankpin, the missing No. 1 air pump which was knocked off the engine, and the bent union link and combination lever. The other rods were removed, of course, so the engine could be moved. (Ed King photo)
  Photo The shot of the left side shows damage caused by broken and flailing side rods; the feedwater heater was nearly knocked off the engine — it was hanging by a small pipe. (Ed King photo)
  Photo The repaired 2139 is leaving Bristol about a month after the damage shown on the previous pages. It’s been repaired and is running with Train 88. (Ed King photo)
  Photo On the day of 2139’s failure, Z-1b 1443 was returning from a loan to the Foote Mineral Company located on the Southern Railway. It is rolling toward the Bristol roundhouse in this view. (Ed King photo)
  Photo The last of the Y-6a locomotives is shown going away with time freight No. 88 — its Worthington BL feedwater heater is working and the “doghouse“ door is open on the tender. As can be seen, it is facing an “approach medium” signal indication, meaning the signal at the end of the running track at Barytes will show “medium clear” for this train to come out on the main track and go east. (Ed King photo)
Rails Remembered - Chapter 78 / The Heart of the Coalfields and the Clinch Valley - Louis M. Newton
  Photo On July 11, 1959, in the waning days of steam on the N&W, Y-6b 2174 handled an excursion train that included a triangular route from Bluefield to Iaeger on the main line, to Cedar Bluff on Dry Fork Branch, and back to Bluefield on the Clinch Valley District. The train is shown here on the third leg of the triangle climbing the long 1.0 percent grade nearing the source of the Clinch River near Tip Top, Virginia. Two Y-5 or Y-6 locomotives could handle 7,200-ton trains in this territory. The magnificent scenery in the background is typical of the Clinch Valley. (Photo courtesy Harry W. Bundy, Jr.)
  Photo Class G-1 locomotive 6 takes water at Richlands in August 1950 en route to Honaker Branch. The stock cars in the train are indicative of the primary source of traffic on the branch — sheep and cattle. For a number of years the Honaker Branch train operated out of Richlands, but later it operated out of Bluefield. (August Thieme collection, N&WHS Archives collection)
  Chart Track chart for Honaker Branch, abandoned May 28, 1955. The line extended generally southward from Honaker toward the Clinch River, included a switchback track arrangement near MP H-2.1 (apparently Hubbard Junction as shown in time table), then ran parallel to the Clinch River to the station of Blackford, manned by an agent. The line was an almost constant series of curves and included eight bridges. Except for a few hundred feet of 85-pound rail, the branch was laid with 65-pound rail, thus precluding the operation of any motive power heavier than the G-1 locomotives. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Timetable For many years passenger service on Honaker Branch was provided by mixed trains Nos. 206 and 207 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, last shown in Pocahontas Division Time Table No. 17, effective April 24, 1938. Sometime afterward, passenger service was discontinued and freight service was provided on an as-needed basis. (Louis M. Newton collection)
  Timetable This table appeared in the April 28, 1940, public timetable — Honaker to Blackford was freight service only. (Kevin EuDaly collection)
  Photo Train CV-88, running extra and handled by Y-6b 2181, is on one of the four high steel trestles on Bull Mountain, on the Clinch Valley District west of St. Paul, as pictured on the cover of the August 1956 issue of the N&W Magazine. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Drawing The pages of straight-line sketches of Dry Fork Branch in 1955 are from the author’s original notebook. (Louis M. Newton drawings)
  Photo Y-5 2102 is at Bluefield on July 8, 1956. Although not apparent here, it and sister engines 2101 and 2104 were equipped with small electric ventilating fans in their cabs, designed to draw in cool air through ducts leading down almost to track level and thus provide some relief for engine crews operating through the Clinch Valley District’s hot tunnels. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo View of the typical mining community of Excelsior, West Virginia, near MP I-21 on Dry Fork Branch. The train is the 1st Beech Fork Mine Run, consisting of 97 cars and handled by a Class Y-3a engine, as pictured on the cover of the August 1955 issue of the N&W Magazine. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo The excursion train shown in the photo on pages 18 and 19 is exiting Tunnel No. 4, near MP I-40 at Bandy, Virginia, on Dry Fork Branch. The line in this point is on a descending grade in the valley of Indian Creek about five miles from Cedar Bluff. (Photo courtesy Harry W.Bundy, Jr.)
  Map This coalfields map (presented in full in the previous issue) shows the lines in the lower portion of the Pocahontas Division. This map is dated 1953. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo This view at Auville Yard, West Virginia, is looking west at the confluence of the Dry and Tug Forks of the Big Sandy River, on September 1, 1924. The bridge carries the west leg of the wye connecting Dry Fork Branch with the main line, out of sight just beyond Iaeger Tower on the far bank of Tug Fork. (Jim Gillum collection, N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo On February 1, 1957, Y-6a 2157 poses at the concrete coaling station at Auville Yard, in Iaeger, West Virginia, completed in 1956 and probably the last such structure built in the United States. (Don Ball collection, N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo View of Tug Tower and vicinity at Welch, West Virginia, looking east, probably in the 1920s. Welch Tunnel, used by freight trains, is at left. Tracks at right are on Tug Fork Branch leading to Wilcoe Yard, Gary, and points beyond. Welch Loop, leading to passenger station, branches to the left out of sight to the right and rejoins main line east of the tunnel. (Jim Gillum collection, N&WHS Archives collection)
The N&W / Virginina Modeler / Silica Traffic in Covered Hoppers - Andy Clermont
  Table This interchange report is from January 9, 1953, at 8:00pm and shows cars delivered from the Canadian National Railway to the Rutland. It includes B&O 630630 and N&W 70989, both covered hoppers, both going from Montreal to Cincinnati empty. The cars will be moved west across the Rutland’s O&LC Subdivision to Norwood, New York, and the New York Central connection by Train 9. The Central will take the cars back to Ohio and turn them over to their home roads. (Andy Clermont collection)
  Table B&O and N&W Covered Hopper Cars in Interchange Reports
  Photo N&W 70900 is in the HC-3A series of cars built in 1948. It is of the same design as the HC-3, which was built in 1940, but with a few minor changes to the car. It has a metal roof walk rather than wood, drip edge on the eaves extending to the ends of the car rather than over the three middle side panels, and a train line that runs down the center sill rather than around the outside of the car. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Drawing This diagram of the HC-3 Class cars was originally dated May 6, 1949, but has been updated to November 7, 1963. Note the 162,700-pound load limit. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo B&O 630200 is in the N-31 series of wagon-top covered hoppers built in 1935 (this one shows a build date of March 1935) and is similar to the N-34 series of cars seen on the Rutland. (Mount Clare Shops photo, Bobs Photo collection)
  Drawing This diagram of the HC-3a Class cars is essentially identical to the HC-3 class. It also was originally dated May 6, 1949, but was updated to November 7, 1963. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo The B&O wagon-top car was designed to avoid leaks and rust at the eaves by rounding the sheet metal from the roof down the side of the body. These cars were seen loaded with silica as often as the N&W cars on the Rutland in upstate New York. (Andy Clermont model and photo)
  Photo These three builder’s photos from March 1939 show the 70220 from the 70220–70284 class of HC-3 covered hoppers. This class included 65 cars that were 70-ton capacity and were built in 1939. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo These three builder’s photos are from early September 1947 and show the 70849 from the 200 cars in the 70800–70999 class of HC- 3a covered hoppers. These were also 70-ton cars. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo HC-3a covered hopper 70946 is well into its career in this view taken in the late 1950s. It was built in February 1949. (Bob’s Photo)
  Drawing This general arrangement drawing is for the 70-ton covered hopper car class HC-3 (cars 70255–70284) and is dated November 7, 1940, and was revised on April 23, 1963. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo Another example of the N&W HC-3A covered hopper in the 70800–70999 series is this photograph of the 70949 taken in about 1954. These were 3,000 cubic foot, 70-ton cars designed to haul heavy bulk commodities like cement and sand. (Paul Dunn photo, R.J. Burg collection)
  Photo N&W HC-3A covered hopper 70970 is part of the group 70800–70999 that was used in silica service between Ohio and the Rutland Railway. This photo is dated July 1969. (Bob’s Photo)
  Photo Another example of the N&W HC-3A covered hopper in the 70800–70999 series is this photograph of the 70949 taken in about 1954. These were 3,000 cubic foot, 70-ton cars designed to haul heavy bulk commodities like cement and sand. (Paul Dunn photo, R.J. Burg collection)
  Photo At Rouses Point, New York, Train 9 picks up a cut of cars delivered by the Canadian National Railway including an N&W covered hopper. After backing on to its train the road engine will be joined by the helper crew, which is talking over the orders in front of the Rouses Point station. They will then begin the run to Norwood and the NYC connection. (Andy Clermont model and photo)
  Photo N&W HC-3 loaded with silica waits in the yard at Rouse Point, New York, to be picked up by the Canadian National on its way from the Standard Silicate Company in St. Bernard, Ohio, to Dominion Glass at Pointe St. Charles in Montreal, Quebec. There is an empty B&O wagon top covered hopper in the background in the same service. (Andy Clermont model and photo)
Tied to the Past / A caboose in 2011 - Kevin EuDaly
  Photo On March 24, 2011, caboose 555585 is being backed out of Tunnel 3 at Greyeagle, West Virginia, on a maintenance-of-way train. The caboose is specially equipped with horns for exactly this type of operation, where the crewman on the back can activate the standard longlong- short-long horn blasts at the crossing. (Kevin EuDaly photo)
  Photo In days now long past, an N&W caboose in regular freight service is about to plunge into one of the twin tunnels at Sprigg, West Virginia, east of Williamson on October 14, 1986. Not far beyond the daylight at the far end of the bore is Matewan. (Kevin EuDaly photo)
Vol. 28, No. 3 July / September 2012  Issue Select