Nov.-Dec. 2009 - Roanoke Chapter NRHS

Nov.-Dec. 2009 - Roanoke Chapter NRHS

The Official Newsletter of theRoanoke Chapter, NationalRailway Historical Society, Inc.Volume 41, Number 6November-December 2009

Meeting NoticeVolume 41, Number 6Nov.-Dec. 2009EditorKenney KirkmanKKIRKMAN50@hotmail.comMixed FreightRobin R. ShaversSmall RailsDave Measheykndmeashey@msn.comHistorianKenneth L. Millerklmiller@rev.netAll materials should besent directly to the Editor:Kenney Kirkman590 Murphy RoadCollinsville, VA24078-2128Turntable Times is publishedbimonthly as the newsletter ofthe Roanoke Chapter, NationalRailway Historical Society,Inc. Opinions and points ofview expressed herein arethose of the staff members ofthe Turntable Times and notnecessarily reflect those of themembers, officers or directorsof the Chapter.The Roanoke Chapter of the National Railway Historical Societywill hold its annual meeting on Thursday, November 19th at 7:30pm. at the Link Museum located in the former N&W PassengerStation, 101 Shenandoah Avenue. This is our meeting to electdirectors for 2010.Our Holiday Gathering will substitute for our regular meeting onThursday, December 17 at 6:00 pm at Calvary Baptist Church.Our January meeting will be held on Thursday, Janaury 21st,2010 at the O. Winston Link Museum in the auditorium.Watch the website to see the announcement of the programs forthese meetings! The website is normally updated frequently, withimportant notices of meetings, weather announcements and otherinformation, the address is The Head EndCards and FlowersIf you know of a Chapter Member who is sick, lost a loved oneor has a new birth in the family, please contact Bonnie Molinary.Bonnie is responsible for Chapter cards and flowers and can bereached at 362-0273.Deadline for Turntable TimesThe deadline for the November/December 2009 issue ofTurntable Times is Monday, October 19, 2009. Please send articles,information and exchange newsletters to: Kenney Kirkman, EditorTurntable Times, 590 Murphy Road, Collinsville, VA 24078. All partiessending newsletters to the Roanoke Chapter via email shouldsend them to: and Ken Miller at klmiller@rev.netMeeting Cancellation PolicyAny Chapter meeting will be considered cancelled if any of thefollowing conditions are due to weather: Roanoke City Schools areclosed on the day of or for the day after the meeting, or VirginiaWestern night classes are cancelled for the night of a meeting.Cover PhotoIt is 10:06 am on Sunday, November 8, 2009 at the silence isbroken at Solitude, Virginia as the Roanoke Chapter's Amtrak excursionis bound for Shenandoah, Virginia. The first excursions out ofRoanoke since 1997 went well, read about them in this issue.K.L. Miller Photo1

Notice of Annual MeetingThe Annual Meeting of the RoanokeChapter of the National RailwayHistorical Society will be held at the O.Winston Link Museum on Thursday,November 19, 2009. The meeting will beginat 7:30 pm. At this time, we will hold ourannual election in which five (5) directorswill be elected.The candidates are as follows (* indicatesincumbent):Jim Cosby*Carl Jensen*Jim OverholserSkip Salmon*Jeff Sanders*Nominations will be accepted from thefloor at the Annual Meeting, please be sureyou have that person’s consent before makinga nomination. The committee headedby Gary Gray, is searching for nominees forthese three positionsInstructions for Absentee Ballot: This yearwe will elect five (5) directors by secret ballot.Any member in good standing may voteby absentee ballot.Please Note: if you are interested in running,or know of another Chapter memberwho is, please contact the nominating committeepromptly.If there are no more candidates than positions,a motion to elect by acclaim will beaccepted.To vote by absentee ballot, one must:1 - Request an absentee ballot from theSecretary or a member of the nominatingcommittee. You will receive (a) one ballot;(b) one "ballot" envelope; and (c) one mailingenvelope.2 - Mark the ballot (vote for not more thanfive (5) directors. If more than four (4) votesare cast, the ballot will be discarded).3 - Place the ballot in the "ballot" envelopeand seal. Do not put your name on the ballotor "ballot" envelope.4 - Place "ballot" envelope in the mailingenvelope. Write your name and returnaddress on the envelope and mail to;Roanoke Chapter, NRHSP.O. Box 13222Roanoke, VA 24032-1322or the envelope may be hand delivered tothe Secretary anytime before the election atthe annual meeting.Mixed Freight-November/DecemberWby Mr. Robin R. Shaversithin the contents of my last column,I noted that I rode an excursion trainof the East Broad Top Railroad as part of theAltoona Railfest 2009. While on the property,I talked with a few of the folks whomkeep the railroad running from the traincrews to the women that work in the station.The one thing they all emphasized wasthat for the railroad to survive and flourishwas for people to purchase ride tickets andsouvenir items. Even if you don’t care toride the trains because you’ve done it somany times before, buy one anyway to helppay that train’s operation so that it will bepossible to take the photos, motion footageand sound recordings that you enjoy.It amazes me the number of active railfanswithin Virginia that have never been to theEBT. One thing that will definitely increaseridership will be the reopening of the lineall the way to Mount Union. That may beeasier said than accomplished.On a subject closer to home, the littletown of Appomattox, VA is in the market for2

a caboose to accompany the former Norfolkand Western depot in the heart of thetown. If any of you readers can help contactWilliam Simmons at 434-352-8268. It wasnot specified that the caboose be a formerN&W but it would be great if a former N&Wcaboose could be obtained.There is a strong possibility that theChesapeake & Ohio GP9 located at TheVirginia Museum of Transportation maybe moving to The Railway Heritage Centerup in Clifton Forge. One of the stipulationsinvolved in the acquisition is that thelocomotive receive a fresh coat of paint. Ofcourse the folks at the Rail Heritage Centerwill have no problem fulfilling that request.It was reported at the August meeting ofthe RF&P Railroad Historical Society meetingthat we were just 4 memberships short ofreaching a membership total of 400 members.We should top that number by ournext meeting on November 14th. Not badfor a railroad historical society that is aboutto complete it’s fifth year of existence.November is national model railroadmonth. Most model railroad clubs will behosting open houses and other events ofwhich the public will be cordially invited.Go out and support them. Even if you arenot into model railroading, you can sometimesgain knowledge about the prototyperailroads, find out about railfan events andpick up information about both hobbies thatmight have otherwise escaped you.Here are two tidbits that N&W fans mightwant to be made aware of. This past August27, 2009 marked 90 years since the N&Wpurchased the Virginia Carolina Railway tobe operated as the Abingdon Branch. Thispast August 28, 2009 marked 55 years sincethe N&W terminated passenger service onthe Lynchburg & Durham line in 1954. Thatended sixty years of service.Norfolk Southern reported that the normalsurge of international container trafficthat occurs in September and Octoberwould not occur this year. It has been downsince 2007. The cargo within the containersis mostly consumer goods. CEO Charles“Wick” Moorman reported that he feels thatNS has reached the bottom in terms of lowtraffic and that freight markets have largelystabilized. Full recovery will take time.A two person train crew will witness anaverage of 7 fatalities at railroad crossings orelsewhere along the right of way within anaverage career. The majority are classifiedas suicides. Train-motor vehicle collisionsclaimed 290 lives in 2008. In the seventies,1,000 plus per year were the norm. The Fedsreport that 95% of these collisions happen asa result of risky behavior or poor judgementby motorists. Most people fail miserably atdetermining just how fast a train is movingtowards them. Pedestrians and trespassersare being killed about 500 per year andthis has held steady for the past 30 years.Pedestrians are not classified as trespassersif they are crossing the tracks at a gradecrossing or an official pedestrian crossinglike the one a few hundred feet north of theformer Southern Railway depot at Altavista,VA. That one even has a warning bell. Lookslike Operation Lifesaver will continue tohave a place on the agenda of America’s railroadsfor years to come.Telegraph Rated Among Top TenInventions in Human HistoryThe Science Museum in London has beendisplaying models of what it feels arethe 10 greatest inventions in human history.It chose the steam engine, the x-raymachine, the electric telegraph, the DNA3

double helix, Stephenson’s Rocket train, theApollo 10 rocket capsule, the Model T Fordcar and the Pilot ACE computer among thebest objects. The V2 German rocket engineand penicillin also made the top 10.Tim Boon, the museum’s director notedthat “we have selected these 10 objectsbecause they are hugely significant in worldhistory and (because of) the impact they hadon how we live our lives today.”The public was asked to vote for thefavorites during the summer. Trevor Baylis,inventor of the wind-up radio, said heplanned to vote for the V2 rocket engine,noting that “it’s one of the greatest achievementsof our time because it led to spaceexploration, and then satellite development,which then led to mobile phones and theastounding communication services weenjoy today.”Nitan Sawhney, a British musician, casthis vote for penicillin, noting that “as anasthmatic recovering from a debilitatingbout of pneumonia, I am painfully aware ofhow important a role penicillin has playedin curing my lung infection”.Members of the public can cast theirvotes by going to the museum in SouthKensington or visiting the website at story excerpted from an article inThe Star Phoenix via ‘Dots and Dashes’, Vol.35, Issue No. 3, Summer 2009, submitted toTurntable Times by Joe Fagan and used bypermission.)The Unfortunate LocationAs a curator of exhibitions for the NewYork Historical Society, Kathleen Hulseris passionate about the past. She craved foran antique home, but with her budget, shehad to compromise. That compromise is afreight train that blasts by just a few feetfrom her four bedroom 1839 summer houseon the Housatonic River in Cornwall Bridge,Connecticut. The train appears at 7:30 a.m.almost every day.Ms. Hulser says that “the house shakes’and “it rattles the pots and pans.” Hulserbought the house last August for $255,000,reduced from $375,000 according to Hulser’sbroker. Hulser also noted that “it made itmuch more affordable by putting up withthat” (the train), she said.“The conductor always waves” Hulser said.“It almost counts as a charming defect”. Thetrain is not roaring through hourly, it runsan average once a day, at most twice.But not everyone is charmed. Ms. Hulsernoted that when her 12 year old daughterhad a sleepover, she “tried to spin itas a quaint feature of the site.” When thetrain thundered by that Saturday morning,though, Ms. Hulser awoke to the a chorus ofpre-teens shrieking in terror.Safety can be an issue. Hulser mustremind her daughter’s guests not to leavebicycles on the tracks, which, just 20 feetfrom her house are so little used that theyblend into the scenery. For Ms. Hulser, thehistoric house trumps all. “I grew up onhouses like this”, she said. “It’s the equivalentof comfort food in architecture.”(Above story from New York Times Article,June 18, 2009 via the Greensboro ChapterNRHS newsletter ‘Roundhouse”, and submittedto Turntable Times by Mr. Robin R.Shavers.)Norfolk and Western Railwaytakes over Virginian Anniversary5by Kenney Kirkman0 years ago on December 1, 1959 theNorfolk and Western Railway took overthe Virginian Railway. Much was noted thenin the bigger locations along the formerVirginian Railway line such as at Roanoke4

or Norfolk about the merger. But what wasthe occasion of the merger like at a smallerplace such as at Victoria, Virginia, the midwaypoint on the Virginian Railway betweenRoanoke and Norfolk? The following is from‘The Kenbridge - Victoria Dispatch’ newspaper,dated Friday, December 4, 1959.“The band played and the crowd applaudedas bushy-haired Mark Twain rose todeliver the principal address at the openingof the Virginian Railway at Norfolk 50years ago (1909). Away from the speaker’sstand stood Henry Huttleson Rogers, whonever had much to say in public, beamingover the huge steam locomotives that hadbeen assembled especially for this line, TheVirginian.Mr. Rogers was probably the only manin United States history who ever built animportant railroad and paid for it out of hisown pocket. On that blustery day, April 2,1909, he knew it hadn’t been easy.Tuesday morning, December 1, 1959at 12:01 a.m., the Virginian Railway wasno more. It was part of the Norfolk andWestern Railway Company. No bandsplayed, no speeches were made and only afew spectators and Railroad Officials stoodat Abilene at 1:40 a.m. and watched the firsttrain switched from the old tracks to theN&W tracks and leave for Crewe an hourand twenty minutes away. This set the patternas to what would happen from now on,with the coal trains that went from Roanoketo Norfolk.The train yard at Victoria was about vacantTuesday morning. Only one or two caboosescould be seen upon the miles of tracks inthe yards. It had happened - “The Merger”- and as a few of the towns people walkedto the bridge and looked over the vacantyard, no one had anything to say! They hadstood at this point many, many times andwatched the trains come in and go out,shifters working, moving cars around, buttoday, December 1, 1959 this entire scenehad changed.The railroad men at Victoria were beingcarried to Crewe, where they would boardtheir trains and leave for either Roanoke orNorfolk. Some office personnel remain, andquite a few of the older railroad men wereretired as of November 30, 1959.We wonder what Mark Twain would havesaid today! Fifty years from that speech inNorfolk in 1909! December 1, 1959. TimeMarches On!”I have often wondered after I found thisarticle in the Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch,what my great uncle, Roy Jackson Matthewsof Victoria must have thought of the Norfolkand Western Railway taking over theVirginian Railway. Roy Jackson Matthewsworked for the Virginian Railway as yard dispatcherat Victoria for many years. His nameappears as R.J. Matthews on page 99 of H.Reid’s book entitled ‘The Virginian Railway’,originally printed in 1961.Until recently I had never met anyonewho had worked with my great uncle RoyMatthews. That is until I met Mr. LandonGregory at a Roanoke Chapter meetingback in the spring. I was introduced to Mr.Gregory by Jeff Sanders.Landon noted to me that it was my greatuncle Roy Matthews who taught him thebasics of telegraphy and that Mr. Matthewskept after Landon when he became a bitoverwhelmed so to speak during his earlydays of railroad work. Mr. Gregory and Iwound up talking in the parking lot afterthe chapter meeting that night for a longtime after everyone else had left and gonehome.Thanks Landon for sharing your memoriesof my great uncle Roy Matthews at Victoria.Hopefully, there are others out there whomay remember my great uncle Roy and have5

other stories, photos, or information abouthim and the station building he worked inat Victoria. If so, I would love to hear fromyou.Preliminary Minutes of theRoanoke Chapter NRHS MeetingOctober 15, 2009Call to Order: Jeff Sanders at 7:35 PM atOWL AuditoriumWelcome Guests: NoneSign In Sheet: There were 49 who signedin.Cards & Flowers: Jeff Sanders read a ThankYou Card from Landon Gregory for the flowerswe sent. Ken Miller gave a health reportof his father, Chapter Member Elbert Miller.Bonnie Molinary asked for refreshment signups for next year for Chapter Meetings.Treasurer’s Report: Jim Cosby. Jim reportedthat the finances are about the same aslast month with a large balance reflectingincome from Fall Excursion ticket sales.A detailed report will be provided to anyChapter Member upon request.Membership: Walt Alexander was absentbut Jeff Sanders reported membership isnow at 153.National Director: Carl Jensen. Carlreported that the National NRHS membershiphas shrunk in size in the past 10 years.In 1992 membership was 21,500 and in2008 it was 14,500. The National Board ofDirectors meet this weekend in St. Louis todiscuss long range plans for better Nationalrepresentation in Chapter Meetings. Carltold members that back issues of the “NRHSBulletin” were on the “free” table in theOWL lobby. Notification of new membershiprenewals will be mailed soon with a $3increase in National Dues. Carl comparedthe Roanoke Chapter’s 153 membership rollto area Chapters: Wautauga Valley is 185and newly formed Carolina Clinchfield is160.Carl says that Fernly and Fernly’s newrepresentative is doing better handling ourneeds.VIII. Committees:O. Winston Link Museum: Kim Parker.Kim announced that the “Santa by Rail”event this year will be December 5 andSanta will arrive by caboose at 5 PM withactivities at OWL from 4:30 to 8:30 PM mostlyinside the Museum. There will be food,model trains, crafts and other activities andshe asked for volunteers from the Chapter tohelp, especially with security.N&W Historical Society: Ron Davis. Ronannounced their Mini-Conference at BristolTrain Station this Saturday October 17 andthat is an N&W HS and Southern RR HSevent.Mechanical/Equipment/Siding: EddieMooneyham. Work is proceeding on 1118,662 and 663. Eddie showed the members alarger threaded rod with nuts on each endthat will hold the coupler assembly on the1118, that was machined by member GaryWood. Eddie reported that the SeptemberOpen House was a success and thankedmembers who helped with the event. Therewill be a work session this weekend at theSiding working on the steam engines anddiesels and packing away materials for winterstorage. The “Candy Cane Express” willoperate this year on December 12 and Eddieplans to use the GP30 #522 and ChapterN&W Caboose to give rides this year. OurChapter cars at Spencer are OK after manyrepairs. The 537 at Spencer is out of servicefor B/O Air Conditioning. Plans are toreplace A/C unit in 2010. Spencer plans touse the 537 in November when A/C is notneeded and 1827 comes out of service forrepairs. 512 needs wheel sets and Eddie islooking for replacements.16

One fine August day, 1957by Ken MillerWith the magnificent steam power rollingover the nearby mainline, Js blasting throughat trackspeed (or better, if late!) the Ys haulingtonnage of all kinds and the beautifulClass As on the time freights, it was easy toforget or ignore the locals that were part ofthe work-a-day world of the N&W. Normally,by this era, the motive power was an 0-8-0and the diesels were sniffing around thecorners, but on this Wednesday August 28,1957, the Salem Shifter rated somethinga bit different. Just out of the shop, ClassM, No. 475 is filling in on the Shifter for acouple of days to break it in for the upcomingweekend excursion train to Blacksburg.The 475 had been an unremarkable ClassM over its service life, but she was selectedto represent the era of earlier motive powerfor Roanoke's 75th Anniversary celebration.The 475 was taken to Roanoke Shops, givena good going over, and cosmetically dressedwith brass boiler bands, a fake "oil" headlight,and stars on its steps, plus a fake diamondsmokestack and a bronze numberplateon the cabside. She was polished, paintedand buffed up to look good for the dignataries.As the N&W was always concerned whenon public exhibition, it wanted to make sureeverything performed to its high standards.So on this hot August mid-day, the 475,caboose and crew pulled in on the leadto the General Electric plant at Salem andclimbed down to pose for a photo by a GEphotographer.The crew was standard for the Shifter,Engineer, Fireman, Conductor and threebrakemen. Three brakemen? Yes, at that timethe Shifter was a busy job, handling a largenumber of cars on the busy Catawba Branchand around Salem, working as far west (occasionally)to Elliston.Pictured closest to the locomotive cab isChapter member Elbert Miller, who passedaway at age 90 in November. He is believedto be the last of the crew in this photo alive.There is one other side note, the authorwas taken by his mother this day and verycarefully handed up into the cab for a shortride down the branch, just 15 months old.The railfans, out chasing the bigger power,missed this one. The 475 worked its day,then headed back to Roanoke to rest upfor its triple header run on the followingSunday for the NRHS National Convention.Photo: K.L. Miller Collection17 18

Eddie issued crew hats and sold memberstheir name-tags for Fall Trips. Jim Overholserannounced a “make up” training session thisSunday 2 PM at the Siding for those Fall Tripcrew members who did not make it to lastSaturday’s session. Eddie asked for volunteersfor 12/5/09 “Santa by Rail” event.Member Harold Hunley told the membershipthat he discovered that the Baldwin CW663 was NOT the same switcher that waspreviously believed to be owned by both CWand original NS even though both were builtabout the same time and both were numbered663.Virginian Station: Jim Cosby, SkipSalmon and Eddie Mooneyham. Jim Cosbyannounced that earlier today, he, Skipand Eddie attended the bid openings forPhase I of the Renovation Project. Thebids were: Thor Inc. $306,000; Lionberger$329,900; J. M. Turner $327.000 and MathersConstruction $377,080.52. Jim reported thatthe Virginian Station Committee is meetingFriday to review and pick lowest responsiblebid. Work should start in a few weeks aftera review of bid award by VDOT. Jim reportedthat all of the bids were under our expectedamounts so we may be able to use availablefunds to advance some work from Phase IIto Phase I. Eddie reported that our Chaptertrailer will be moved soon to the Station tostore removed salvageable historical materialfor reuse. Skip reported on “Discover”magazine’s interest in doing a before, duringand after article about renovation of Station.Jim Cosby explained what each Phase ofRenovation is and how we plan to implementeach Phase. Jim and Skip expressedtheir confidence in architect Barry Rakes tomeet our expectations of renovation.Fall Trip Committee. Jim Overholserreported that there were 24 ChapterMembers who attended last Saturday’straining session for the fall trips. He alsoannounced the second training session forthis Sunday at 2 PM and a third may beneeded on November 6 when we prep thetrain. Jim also reminded crew membersof sign up sheet for the Shenandoah mealtickets and their $10 payment required.Jim announced that two groups are goingto Hinton this Saturday to look at the NewRiver Train’s 31 car consist that will includecars that will be in our trains. Eddie talkedabout the clean up and supply sessionneeded on November 6 when the train willbe parked at track 57 on the old EastboundMain Line near Bridge Street. Questions byChapter members were answered concerningtaking food and drinks on board. Eddie andJim said that coolers must be small enoughto go into overhead luggage racks and mustnot take up a seat. Food and drinks will bethe prepackaged type.Kathy Overholser showed the membershipan IL89 video tape of a Cleveland to Roanoketrip that included operations that will helpthose who will be crew members and invitedall to view this video at her home. Jim Cosbygave an up to date report on ticket sales.Bluefield train is almost sold out (about 50coach tickets left) but Shenandoah is onlyabout 55% sold. Jim encouraged all to “talkup the Shenandoah trip” and recommendedthat advertisement should concentrate onthe Sunday trip.Nomination Committee for NovemberBoard of Directors Election. Chairman GaryGray announced that the committee willhave a slate ready for the election.Minutes: Skip Salmon. The minutes ofthe September 17, 2009 Chapter Meetingwere passed around and read by members.Carl Jensen moved that the minutes beapproved as read. Second by Gary Gray.MOTION PASSED.New Business: None. Break: Refreshmentswere provided by Paul Howell and Kathy19

B. The National Board of Directors met inSt. Louis 4 weeks ago andThe following were items handled:1. The annual activity bulletin of Chapterswas discussed and the Board believes fewpeople read other than their own chapter’snews so $39,000 could be saved by transferringthis information to the National NRHSweb site.2. There will be a National Board Meetingin Charleston, SC in January, 2010 to dealwith reorganization of the structure of theNational Organization. Carl stated thatabout 60% of the Chapters do not sent representativesto the large Board meeting3. The National Convention will be inScranton, PA in 2010 (not at Steamtown).There will be major trips 3 out of the 5 daysand some time at Steamtown. Conventionin 2011 will be in Tacoma, Washington. 2012Convention will be in the Mid-West.E. Carl also expressed thanks to all whohelped with our excursion Trains.X. CommitteesA. Mechanical: Eddie Mooneyham andBill Mason1. Eddie reported to the Chapter membershipthe robbery at the Siding of the 522brass bell, “Stop, Look and Listen” sign anddata plates off Rick Rader’s motor car.2. Eddie thanked all who worked on excursiontrains.3. 537 is in service at Spencer (still no A/C); 1827 is out of service for brake and curtainwork.4. There will be a work session at theSiding this weekend and there is plenty todo.5. Eddie thanked those who came to theSiding last Thursday and moved some itemsto higher ground in anticipation of possibleflooding.6. Eddie will be interviewed on 93.5 FMon December 6 at 7 AM on “Around Town”with Larry Dowdy about Chapter activities.7. Bill Mason showed a Richard Shellphoto that will be presented to GrahamWhite of our two locomotives (GP30 and T-6at Roanoke Shops Anniversary). This photowill be placed in Graham White’s factory inSalem. This is a thank you for their helpwith the donation of air brake and otherparts for our locomotives including parts forour stolen bell.8. Harold Hunley showed the membersthe reverse lever off our 1118 steam enginethat he and his son Chris “overhauled”,powder coated, and painted for applicationto the locomotive.9. Eddie reported that we will have ourannual Santa “Candy Cane Shifter” runningon December 12 at the Siding on the SilkMill lead track to give rides beginning at 9AM.B. Virginian Station: Jim Cosby and SkipSalmon1. Construction will begin soon by ThorConstruction after VDOT approves their lowbid.2. The Virginian Station RestorationCommittee considered the bid of Thor andvoted to advance Phase II items into PhaseI. This may allow us to complete the roofas part of Phase I and finish the project asPhase II.3. We were awarded a $200,000 grant bythe City of Roanoke from Brownfields monies.Skip is handling questions, interviewsand Station visits by EEE Consulting ofBlacksburg, who is doing an EPA study forthe City of Roanoke for the Brown FieldGrant.4. Jim thanked Alison Blanton of HillStudio for advancing applications for TEA-2111

funding for Phase II. Skip is assisting her bygetting letters of recommendation from localpolitical leaders as well as leaders of varioussister organizations.5. We forwarded our low bid to the Citypromptly and they approved it and now wewait again on VDOT to allow us to actuallystart construction.C. Trip Committee1. Bonnie Molinary and Wanda Troutmanthanked all who helped food on the trainsfor Coach and First Class.2. Jim Overholser thanked all Car Hostsand gave special thanks to Jim Cosby,Wanda and Bonnie, Jeff Sanders and EddieMooneyham for their extra work involved inthe trips.3. Jeff Sanders thanked N&WHS, OWL andVMT for their selling items on the souvenircar.4. Jeff sent out over 25 thank you lettersbeginning with NSChairman and CEO Wick Moorman andincluded Amtrak.5. Eddie reported that he got word fromAmtrak personnel that “we were one of thebest groups they worked with this year”.for handling at December Board ofDirectors Meeting on December 1.XVII. Adjournment: 9:52 PMChapter Excursions a SuccessCby Jeff Sandershapter members, who had volunteeredas crewmembers aboard our trains, werefound Friday, November 6 working to getour train clean and stocked with suppliesthat were needed for our trips Saturday andSunday. Many hours were needed to get thecars in condition. With a seventeen car consist,many volunteers spent time vacuuming,cleaning restrooms and restocking papertowels and soap. The First Class and foodcrew were not only cleaning, but loadingfood, drinks and supplies necessary to operateboth services.On Saturday morning, after a brief operationalproblem, the train left the hump,near Shaffer’s Crossing to go downtown tobe spotted for loading at the OWLM, (oldN&W passenger station).With the last two passengers boardingwith about two minutes to go, we pulled outof town right on time! A more beautiful daycould not have been special ordered! Weaccelerated quickly, passing by the yards ofRoanoke Terminal. Once on the road, wemade good time on our run to Bluefield,arriving about 20 minutes early.It looked like all of Bluefield turned outto greet us as we pulled into the old stationsite. Since we could only open about threevestibules, it took a while for all passengersto detrain. The City of Bluefield and theMercer County Convention and VisitorsBureau opened all stops to welcome us totheir fair city. Shuttle busses were providedto hurry our passengers to various restaurantsand shops around the downtown area.This made it possible for us to offer lunchto our passengers, since we did not have afull food service on the train.We were about twenty minutes late leavingBluefield, mainly due to our limitedre-boarding openings. Nevertheless, we hada good run back to Roanoke, arriving abouttwenty minutes early. Even though most ofthe fall colors had disappeared, the lack ofleaves on the trees really allowed for somevery scenic views that would have been hiddenjust a week or two before.After a short night, due to having to cleanand prepare the train for the next day, wewere once again downtown at 6:30 am onSunday. A smaller, but enthusiastic, crowdboarded the train, bound for a ride up thebeautiful Shenandoah Valley. The wideValley provided another spectacular view of12

our state’s plentiful breadbasket.After arrival in the quaint Town ofShenandoah, “Daughter of the Stars”, ourpassengers were once again treated to ahuge, hometown welcome. The VolunteerFire Department and Volunteer RescueSquad did a magnificent job of preparinghome-cooked meals for nearly five hundredpeople. Other street vendors of the Art andCraft show provided our passengers greatentertainment and possibilities for shopping.The Shenandoah Town Mayor andTown Council members were out personallywelcoming us to their town.After a great visit, we continued ourjourney back to Roanoke, once again returningabout twenty minutes early. With ourpleased passengers delivered safely backhome, our crewmembers once again cleanedup the train, preparing it for the deadheadmove to Washington on Monday.After a twelve-year hiatus, RoanokeChapter stepped up to prove that we still“have it”. Even though it was like startingover for some of us, the leadershipand advice of some of our “old heads” carriedus successfully through. Our thanksare extended to all members and friendswho worked on the trips and made theoperation possible. Our friends from theO. Winston Link Museum, the VirginiaTransportation Museum, and the Norfolk &Western Historical Society helped us to selltickets and also provided souvenir sales onthe train. We deeply appreciate the work ofeveryone who contributed to the successfuloperation of our trips.Thanks to Amtrak, through whom wewere able to charter the locomotives andcoaches for our trips. The six private cars onthe trains were leased from the owners, towhom we are grateful. Last, but not least,we want to thank Norfolk Southern RailwayVirginia Division and Roanoke Terminalofficers and Pocahontas Division officers forworking closely with us regarding the extensiveplanning and safe operation on theirrailroad.Thanks, finally to the people who made itall possible, our passengers.Member Elbert Miller Passes25 year member Elbert Miller passedaway at home on Sunday, November 22.Elbert had been a long time member of themechanical crew at both the siding and onthe trips. His participation and dedicationat the siding patiently working on projectslike passenger car windows are almost legendaryin the amount of time he devoted toChapter projects.Elbert joined the Chapter in 1983, threeyears after his retirement as a conductoron the Radford Division of the Norfolkand Western. He was always mechanicallyinclined, loved the railroad, and began hissecond railroad career with the Chapter. Hedevoted many hours to work at the sidingand in his garage at home. He had, more ofless, retired from the siding about 5 yearsback, simply because he was not drivingas well as he once had. Once he joined, hequickly became a fixture on our trips and asa mechanical representative on trips outsidethe area, including one occasion where ourcars operated in Oklahoma.Elbert had been only an occasional attendeeat the meetings in the last couple ofyears. He loved the fellowship, the friendshe made, and the challenges of workingon ancient equipment to keep things runningon the road. He was quite proud of hisaccomplishments and efforts, and was particularlyproud when someone noticed.Elbert turned 90 on June 1, but his healthbegan to decline rapidly. He leaves his wifeof 63 years, Claudine, daughter-in-law Bethand son Kenneth and many friends.13

Mechanical Department NewsBby Bill Mason and Eddie Mooneyhamy now everyone has probably heardabout the arrival at 9th Street ofChesapeake Western Diesels No. 662 and663, along with N&W M-2 No. 1118. We havebegun to work on all three locomotives tosome degree. More details will follow in afuture newsletter, stay tuned!We hosted an open house on Saturday,September 26th for members and guests,with train rides and a cook-out along witha 50th birthday cake and party for T-6 No.41. Even though the weather was less thanideal, it seemed that everyone seemed toenjoy themselves had had a good time.Hopefully, when we have our next openhouse the weather will be somewhat better.Our mechanical crew has been very happyto see some new members join us at 9thStreet. A big welcome to new members:Keith Barnett, Will, Jane and Tom Harris,John Garnand, Harold Hunley, Chris Hunley,Gary Wood, Wizzy Strom and Nancy Piercewho have all jumped in on our projects.Glad to have you with us and hope youenjoy working on our equipment, we enjoyhaving you as a valuable member of ourcrew.As promised, here is a summary of whathas been done, so far on the 662, 663and 1118. Our first priority is to cosmeticallyrestore 662 for display at the VirginiaMuseum of Transportation, so most of thework will concentrate on this locomotive.So far, we have cleaned out the cab of trashand junk and begun to clean the journalboxes of mud and dirt and located the lubricationpoints on the traction motor bearings.The goal is to enable, if possible, themove to VMT on its own wheels. Nothing isdefinate, of course, but it looks promising,subject to approval by Norfolk Southern atthat time.As for 663, the same work has been done,but major work will wait until 662 has leftfor VMT. The color scheme for the units islight gray on the top and part way down thehood sides, with the remainder of the unitin a dark blue with dulux gold striping, letteringand heralds.On to the 1118, which has had the pilotbeam and coupler reinstalled, and muchwork with wire brushs, scrapers and Kroilpenetrating oil to free up the rods, crossheadsand pistons and axles. Again, it lookspromising that we can make this locomotivemovable. The goal is to perform a completecosmetic restoration and hopefully have amoveable display that can be sent out to theLink Museum, VMT or used by NS at specialevents if so inclined.On Saturday, December 12 we plan toagain run the “Candy Cane Shifter” from9:00 am to 4:00 pm. As usual, we will needassistance from our members to have anothersuccessful event.Thanks to all members who have helpedout at 9th Street this year, it has been a successfuland busy year, and we look forwardto a great 2010. With your help, it can bedone, thanks again, let’s keep going andgrowing.NewsletterSby Ken Millerince a number of the readers do notknow the circumstances of why thisnewsletter is so late, I thought I bestexplain. The newsletter is a labor of loveand has to fit into busy schedules, occasionally,it is delayed because of work. Thisissue, Kenney Kirkman and Robin Shaversboth had their material in my hands plentyof time for the deadline. Unfortunately, mylife over the past few months became virtual14

turmoil with my father’s illness, culminatingin his passing on 22 November. Of course,the next few weeks also take a considerableamount of your time as well, and the newsletterwas a back burner item. The board andother newsletter staff were well aware ofthis, and agreed that when it got done, it wasfine. So it has finally arrived.I wanted to offer the Miller family’s thanksfor the cards, calls and lovely flowers beforeand after my father’s passing. Elbert lovedhis second “railroad career” and the folksassociated with it. He joined the Chapter in1983, just two years after he retired from theNorfolk and Western, and became a fixtureat the siding. He only stopped in recent yearsdue to his inability to drive there. He stillattended meetings as he could or felt like it.Upcoming Meetings/EventsRegular Meeting Locations are at theO. Winston Link Museum.November 19, 2009 - Annual MeetingDecember 1, 2009 - Board MeetingDecember 17, 2009 - Holiday GatheringJanuary 5, 2010 - Board MeetingJanuary 21, 2009 - Regular MeetingFebruary 2, 2010 - Board MeetingFebruary 18, 2010 - Regular MeetingMarch 2, 2010 - Board MeetingMarch 18, 2010 - Regular MeetingApril 6, 2010 - Board MeetingApril 15, 2010 - Regular MeetingVisit us on the web: www.RoanokeNRHS.orgTurntable Times is published bimonthly as as the the newsletter newsletter of of the the Roanoke Chapter, National Railway Historical Society, Inc. Opinions and points ofview expressed herein are those of the staff members of the Turntable Times and not necessarily reflect those of the members, officers or directorsof the Chapter. Items of interest should be sent to Editor Kenny Kirkman, 590 Murphy Road, Collinsville, VA 24078-2128.Editor, Turntable TimesRoanoke Chapter NRHSP.O. Box 13222Roanoke, VA 24032-3222 24032-1322Dated MaterialPlease do not delayReturn Service Requested

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