Vol. 30, No. 2 April / June 2014  Issue Select 
Issue Details
Cover Title: A Great Locomotive Chase
Cover Subtitle: The City Point Railroad, Rails Remembered Chapter 85: Diesels on the Peavine
On the Cover: In the 1970s pooling power became commonplace on many railroads, and the N&W was no exception. This train and the surrounding scenery could easily be somewhere in Ohio, but it’s a bit west of there. In fact, it’s on the Union Pacific main line west of Kansas City at Bonner Springs, Kansas —even farther “Out West” than the photograph on the rear cover of the last issue. Though Kansas can be characterized as a sheet of plywood with a brick under one end, this location west of Kansas City is in the Kansas River valley with bluffs in the background. On July 26, 1980, this local freight of about 20 cars is powered by N&W GP30 535 and SD40-2 6120, with a Union Pacific caboose trailing.
Articles In This Issue
A Great Locomotive Chase - Dave Vos
  Photo Y-6b 2197 is leading and 2181 is pushing an eastbound manifest climbing the Elkhorn Grade at Maybeury, West Virginia, also known as Switchback. This train showed up just before the subjects of the article, and is running “wrong main” as a result of overtaking 2130 and 2131 — the dispatcher has shifted him over to run around the slower coal train. The power plant on the mountainside is the Switchback Substation which belongs to Appalachian Power Company and was not associated with the N&W electrification. (Dave Vos)
  Photo On September 12, 1957, Class Y6a 2169 was slowing as it passed the Vicker, Virginia, depot in preparation for a stop at the three-track coaling tower about a quarter mile farther west. Almost all trains stopped at Vicker for coal and water as they were either about to tackle the Christiansburg grade or had just come down the west side of the mountain from the climb up through Shawsville and Montgomery on the east side. (Dave Vos)
  Photo Class M 449 was switching at Christiansburg (Cambria), Virginia. The 449 was the regular locomotive used on mixed train 113 on the Blacksburg Branch, also known as the Huckleberry. (Dave Vos)
  Photo Engine 477, on the following day’s Huckleberry, is making up its train before departure to Blacksburg. Much of the traffic hauled by this train was destined for VMI (the Virginia Military Institute) at Lexington and often contained one or more cars of coal for the university. (Dave Vos)
  Photo K2a class 4-8-2 132 was being used on September 12, 1957, as the ferry engine to haul a dynamometer car back down to Pepper Siding. At Pepper the car was placed behind the lead locomotive of the next train for whatever tests were being run that day on Christiansburg Mountain. The 132 followed that train to the top of the grade, picked up the dynamometer car, and returned down the hill. These tests went on all day long. (Dave Vos)
  Photo Y-6 locomotive 2146 is eastbound at Pearisburg, Virginia. This was just one of many, many trains seen on September 12, 1957. (Dave Vos)
  Photo Y-6b class locomotive 2189 was on an eastbound time freight approaching the Narrows, Virginia, depot at approximately 40 miles per hour. There was also another train in town at the same time that was working up the Narrows Branch, doing some switching. (Dave Vos)
  Photo Engine 2130, leading the 66-car loaded coal train, was making good time and running easy just east of Vivian. The grade here is only about a quarter of one percent. Soon enough, though, the slope gradually increases to the 1.4 percent of the Elkhorn Grade between North Fork and the east portal of Elkhorn tunnel. (Dave Vos)
  Photo There is no way to convey the excitement of experiencing the sight and sound of 2130 coming around the corner and into view in the small town of Elkhorn. It was truly awesome! (Dave Vos)
  Photo As the engine passed, the engineer gave us the usual friendly wave, and then gave that hooter whistle a workout as he approached a grade crossing. (Dave Vos)
  Photo Then came the clunk-clunk—clunk-clunk of the heavily loaded hoppers, gradually slowing. No, the appearance of 2131 pushing hard was not in the least anti-climactic. The grade had increased and the speed had dropped considerably and the engine was all-out shoving! (Dave Vos)
  Photo This was the scene as the 2131 was nearly stopped coming into Maybeury, but still shoving hard. Soon, the five meets and passes would begin. (Dave Vos)
  Photo The steam from the final whistle blast can be seen from 2131 as it begins the shove to get the train moving again up the Elkhorn Grade. The creaking and groaning of the hoppers was a little scary at this distance, and yes, the ground did shake aplenty as 2131 passed us. (Dave Vos)
Norfolk and Western HISTORY 101 / The City Point Rail Road - Ron Davis
  Sidebar Notice in Petersburg American Constellation newspaper of September 6, 1838, announcing opening of City Point Rail Road the following day. (Petersburg American Constellation newspaper)
  Map Map showing the locational relationship between the Appomattox River and the City Point Rail Road from Petersburg to City Point.
Rails Remembered - Chapter 85 / Diesels on the Peavine and the Hillsboro Branch - Louis M. Newton
  Photo Four brand-new EMD GP9s — 717-716-715-714 — are pictured here on their maiden trip on July 18, 1956, with a coal train at Belspring, Virginia, on the Radford Division en route to the temporary replacement of four Alco RS-3s on the Durham District. Although made by an N&W photographer, there is no evidence that the picture was ever published. (N&W photograph, N&WHS Archives collection)
  Letter This train order, issued on the Pocahontas Division on June 22, 1956, is typical of those issued to detour trains around trackwork. In this case, the detour was for eastward trains over the westward track from Bluestone crossover to Falls Mills crossover. (Louis M. Newton collection)
  Letter This block sheet was kept by the author at Bluestone Crossover on June 22, 1956, as eastward trains were detoured over the westward track from that point to Falls Mills Crossover in accordance with Train Order No. 2 of that date. Between 7:31am and 3:42pm there were 19 westward and 9 eastward train movements. X-318, X-319, and X-322 were powered by Alco RS-11 units; the other trains were steam-powered. (Louis M. Newton collection)
  Table Train Detours from June 15 to July 13.
  Timetable These Cincinnati District schedule pages from Scioto Division Time Table No. 10 were in effect when dieselization of the district took place. In practice, the freight train schedules were annulled so that they could run ahead of time in CTC territory if conditions permitted. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Map This map shows the proposed change of line on the Cincinnati District between Mineral Springs and Peebles, Ohio, completed in 1947. Although most trains used the New Line, the Old Line with its severe grade through Beaver Pond remained in service for a number of years afterward, in effect providing double-track operation. (N&W Magazine, July 1946)
  Timetable As shown here, in 1927 two dailyexcept-Sunday mixed trains served the Hillsboro Branch out of Sardinia. Note that facilities in Hillsboro included a turntable and a water tank, while Sardinia had track scales and a water tank as well as a wye. Passenger service on the branch ended about 1939.
  Photo This photograph, of uncertain date and origin, shows a Mogul (2-6-0) locomotive and its crew along with a number of bystanders at the station in Sardinia, Ohio. The letters “P&V” are faintly visible on the side of the tender, thus indicating the locomotive’s owner as the Cincinnati, Portsmouth & Virginia Railroad, which became the Cincinnati District of the N&W when acquired in 1901. According to Richard Prince, the CP&V’s four Moguls were built by the New York Locomotive Works in Rome, New York, in 1888. Numbered 10–13 on the CP&V, they became N&W 716–719 before being disposed of in 1912–1913. (Louis M. Newton collection)
  Timetable Scioto Division Time Table Rule 138 quoted an Ohio law governing the movement of trains over non-interlocked crossings, such as the N&W-B&O crossing near Hillsboro, which “must be obeyed.” Rather than trying to interpret the law when disputes arose, would it have been easier for the respective conductors of the two trains just to have tossed a coin? (Louis M. Newton collection)
  Photo With a few exceptions, for many years Y-5 locomotives were the standard freight power on the Cincinnati District. Typical was the 2110, shown here at Clare Yard in Cincinnati in 1953, with the coal trestle in the background. (N&WHS Archives collection)
  Photo An exception to the Y-5 operation was for time freights Nos. 77 and 78, which rated Class A locomotives. The 1232, shown here handling a coal train at Chillicothe on the Columbus District, made the last regular run of a steam-powered freight train on the Cincinnati District on July 17, 1956. (Ken Schumacher photo, N&WHS Archives collection)
  Drawing True to its nickname, the “Peavine” had an abundance of curves and grades. The winding “dip” through the town of Williamsburg, Ohio, shown in this profile, required careful train handling. (N&W Track Chart, Louis M. Newton collection)
  Chart The last steam tonnage ratings for the Cincinnati District, shown here, included provisions for westbound coal and other excess tonnage trains to double the 1.35 percent ruling grade from Lawshe to Mt. Zion. This is from Scioto Division Time Table No. 10, effective April 29, 1956. (Louis M. Newton collection)
  Chart The first diesel tonnage ratings for the Cincinnati District are shown here. With only one class of power operating on the district, they were much simpler than the steam ratings. This is from Scioto Division Time Table No. 11, effective April 28, 1957. (Louis M. Newton collection)
  Photo Alco RS-3 300 (ex-99), placed in service on the Durham District in October 1955, was in the N&W’s first group of dieselelectric units. In July 1956, it was temporarily transferred to the Cincinnati District before returning to its original territory. Pictured here in Danville, Virginia, in May 1970, it is now on permanent display at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke. (G.M. McDonald photo, Louis Marre collection)
Way Out West - Part 2 - Kevin EuDaly
  Photo For many years UP units were commonplace on N&W trains operating east of Kansas City across the old Wabash to the division point at Moberly, Missouri. This power set is typical of that era, with N&W SD45 1792 leading (this light engine move is going away from the photographer, eastbound) Union Pacific SD40-2 3251, N&W SD40-2 6097, and N&W SD40-2 1625. (Kevin EuDaly)
Vol. 30, No. 2 April / June 2014  Issue Select