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Steam & Excursion > 2-6-6-4 1218 in rain and sun- a Tale of Two Arrows.


Date: 04/03/20 09:18
2-6-6-4 1218 in rain and sun- a Tale of Two Arrows.
Author: Klondyke

  1. Easter 1987 saw me photographing an ersatz ‘Golden Arrow’ 200 miles off track on the North Eastern Railway. The fine of 40 shillings posted by the NER for trespass was probably half a week’s wages at the time.
  2. Shortly after I headed to New York on business.  I left on Friday to spend the weekend in Roanoke VA. The objective was riding and chasing the mighty Norfolk and Western 2-6-6-4 1218. Saturday dawned with torrential rain. This was my first experience of US mainline steam. I would give my first picture of 1218 zero for composition and lighting, but I think captures perfectly the awesome nature of what 1218 was up to heading into the mountains to Bluefield WV.
  3. Winding through the mountains we ground to a halt. A tree had brought telephone lines down on to the track. Is this the end, I thought? No, someone on the footplate- allegedly President of the Railroad Robert Claytor -had a chain saw and sorted the problem.








Date: 04/03/20 09:21
Re: 2-6-6-4 1218 in rain and sun- a Tale of Two Arrows.
Author: Klondyke

4. Normal service resumed.
5. The following day dawned bright and sunny. I chased 1218 east towards Lynchburg .
6. Making like a passenger loco.








Date: 04/03/20 09:23
Re: 2-6-6-4 1218 in rain and sun- a Tale of Two Arrows.
Author: Klondyke

7 I’d met some folk the previous day who had provided me with tips where to go. They fed me a splendid lunch at their home, whilst 1218 made its way back to Roanoke   A model of old fashioned American hospitality. Afterwards, I headed to Christiansburg mountain to see 1218 doing its stuff going west into the mountains again. Splendid.
8. In the last picture I think you can see there was a continuous cascade of water down the boiler casing behind the smokebox, reason unknown. Can anyone enlighten?
I headed back to New York by bus and train. The first picture will tell you that this was all new to me. Had I seen the Powhatan Arrow? Well, no.  But big N&W steam? Yes. I got it. I think.
 






Date: 04/03/20 11:18
Re: 2-6-6-4 1218 in rain and sun- a Tale of Two Arrows.
Author: chessie2101

Klondyke Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 8. In the last picture I think you can see there
> was a continuous cascade of water down the boiler
> casing behind the smokebox, reason unknown. Can
> anyone enlighten?

I was home sick in junior high and my PawPaw showed up with a VHS tape by JMJ Productions, I believe, simply titled N&W A 1218. I knew of the N&W because the old Virginian ran by close to their house, but this was my first exposure to N&W steam. I watched that video a dozen times while I was sick and numerous times thereafter. PawPaw definitely knew how to cheer me up.

To approximately quote that video:

Following a photo runby, repairs were made to a leaky Worthington feed water system hot water pump.

The video showed someone on a ladder leaned up against that side with what I remember as a monstrous crescent wrench, tightening something down just under the running board just above and maybe slightly aft of the from cylinder. Prior to that in the video you could clearly see water spraying up from that area. I remember digging out my Walthers catalog and my C&O Power book to see if I could spot Wirthjngton Feedwater Heaters after that!

I never got to see 1218 run, but took my three to see 611 in Roanoke a few years ago. Thanks for posting!

Posted from iPhone

Jared Hamilton
Scott Depot, WV



Date: 04/03/20 13:43
Re: 2-6-6-4 1218 in rain and sun- a Tale of Two Arrows.
Author: Erierail

Oh how I miss the 1218. Thanks for the pictures, they brought back memories.

Posted from Android



Date: 04/06/20 05:12
Re: 2-6-6-4 1218 in rain and sun- a Tale of Two Arrows.
Author: Klondyke

Thanks for the info Chessie 2101 if you're still around. I found a video of the Saturday trip online- 1218 in Southwest Virginia- very atmospheric. I had no recollection of the soundtrack to the trip, so this brought it all back. Looks like I got to see O Winston Link  as part of the ticket price.



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