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Steam & Excursion > 60 Years ago today, May 7, 1960...


Date: 05/07/20 06:26
60 Years ago today, May 7, 1960...
Author: Panamerican99

...was the last day of steam for Norfolk & Western. Y6b 2190, only 9 1/2 years old, was assigned to one of the mine runs out of Williamson, WV, the last place where steam was rostered on N&W. When she returned that day, diesels were waiting to replace her. Also, S1a class 0-8-0 291 worked one of the yard jobs that day. When her shift was over, the hostler dropped her fire and set her over on the scrap track behind the 2190.

I wasn't there that day but I had been to Williamson three weeks earlier. Only 18 years old, it was the first trip I made on my own. To get there, I rode L&N's Pan American to Cincinnati and caught the N&W Pocahontas to Williamson. I had no car so I walked to the N&W roundhouse, introduced myself myself to the foreman and was treated very nicely. For three days, I hung around the roundhouse and surrounding area. A Hostler took a liking to me and let me join him as he moved engines, filled them with water or coal and other tasks he had to perform. He let me pull the throttle on a Y6 (I think it was 2154) as the engine had to move to the coal dock for re-filling. I rode around the yard on one fo the S1a's. 
Needless to say but it was an experience I've always remembered and could not repeat today (or anytime after that trip).

I didn't know that 2190 would become the last one to run when I shot the pictures below but I'm glad I did. 2190 had had a flash of fame when it pulled one of the 1957 NRHS Convention trains that interchanged with the Virginian. Back then, it was shined up for it's role but actually only moved the train a short distance on the interchange from N&W to Virginian. At Williamson in April, 1960, there were a few sister Y's still running- 2118-2136-2154 and a few others, all used on mine runs and only when there weren't enough diesels on hand. But all were kept hot in case they were needed. 

I shot several S1a's but somehow missed the 291. But I did get the 290 working in downtown Williamson so I'm enclosing it below, too.

JH

1. 2190 waits for a call.
2. 2190 on the left next to 2118.
3. 290 works west through Williamson, most likely stretching a long cut of hoppers before backing into the yard.








Date: 05/07/20 07:16
Re: 60 Years ago today, May 7, 1960...
Author: ajax247

Really nice, thanks!



Date: 05/07/20 07:25
Re: 60 Years ago today, May 7, 1960...
Author: BKLJ611

Thanks for these photos of my favorite railroad.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 05/07/20 07:30
Re: 60 Years ago today, May 7, 1960...
Author: LTCerny

Thanks for sharing your N&W trip experience and photos.  I guess the next landmark date for the end of steam will be July 5, when the last DM&IR ore train behind a 2-8-8-4 ran in 1960.  This can be thought of as the end of steam in big-time class 1 revenue freight service in the U.S.



Date: 05/07/20 08:19
Re: 60 Years ago today, May 7, 1960...
Author: needles_sub

Was 2190 one of two Y6b's that sat in the scrap yard at Roanoke until scrapped in the late 60's?

Posted from Android



Date: 05/07/20 08:28
Re: 60 Years ago today, May 7, 1960...
Author: refarkas

Wonderful memories and photos.
Bob



Date: 05/07/20 08:49
Re: 60 Years ago today, May 7, 1960...
Author: JOHNY5ALIVE

very nice, thanks for sharing
 



Date: 05/07/20 09:22
Re: 60 Years ago today, May 7, 1960...
Author: Keystone1

I believe the 290, 0-8-0 shown here, is an ex-C&O engine.



Date: 05/07/20 09:54
Re: 60 Years ago today, May 7, 1960...
Author: Ritzville

Really NICE series!

Larry



Date: 05/07/20 10:05
Re: 60 Years ago today, May 7, 1960...
Author: gregscholl

Really cool stuff Jim.  Living on the west end of the N&W growing up I got to see a few years of steam.  We rode the 1959 fantrip with 2179, and 1240 to Bluefied, and beyond.  My dad and a friend went to Williamson probably about the time you were there.  They caught 2-3 0-8-0's moving around.  My dad went to the roundhouse area, and you can see steam coming out of one of the RH stalls.  Other than that there was no 2-8-8-2 action, just the switchers.  Glad he made the effort now to go down there.  Guess he knew it was near the end from some N&W sources he had that knew he was interested.  Ironically 611 made its last fantrip run to Williamson in Oct(24th) 1959, and my dad chased some of it.  They found out too late to get tickets.  Image today with the internet!!!!  I sure miss those old days!
Greg Scholl



Date: 05/07/20 10:26
Re: 60 Years ago today, May 7, 1960...
Author: RNinRVR

Love that last shot, in that it shows one aspect of railroading before the age of radio. On the left is the "ground man", probably the head end brakeman, who is relaying signals from the rear to the cab.

Sharon Evans
Glen Allen, VA



Date: 05/07/20 13:21
Re: 60 Years ago today, May 7, 1960...
Author: NKP715

Yes, thanks.  Spent 5 days in and around Williamson in June of 1958.  Arrived on a
Sunday, traffic was light, and most freight was diesel.  By about Tuesday, it had totally
reversed, with A's and Y's the rule.  Of course, all passenger was steam.  One afternoon, 
a westbound exchanged J's; but as there was a switching move involved (added cars),
an 0-8-0 got involved.

One of my favorite memories - - was along the main east of Williamson, and noticed a
mail bag ready for pick up.  Set up the movie camera, and waited.  Train came along, 
powered by a J, and the RPO picked up the bag.  There was a woosh over my head - 
hadn't thought that when a bag gets picked up, one gets tossed off.  Will never know if
whoever threw off the bag saw me, or was I lucky.

Thanks again for the post and photos.



Date: 05/07/20 14:10
Re: 60 Years ago today, May 7, 1960...
Author: davew833

needles_sub Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Was 2190 one of two Y6b's that sat in the scrap
> yard at Roanoke until scrapped in the late 60's?
>
> Posted from Android

According to the Facebook page "Lost Mallets of Roanoke", the N&W #2174 and #2143 were the last two Y6 type engines to be scrapped in 1976. Apparently #2143 was also at the scrapyard but was scrapped before the other two. Tragic loss!



Date: 05/07/20 14:11
Re: 60 Years ago today, May 7, 1960...
Author: steamfan759

JH -  Many thanks for posting these photos and sharing your memories!  I am glad you had the opportunity.  I was only 11 at the time, so I missed out!    The N&W #290 was a Roanoke built locomotive as it has the round Roanoke Shop plate on it.  The ex-C&O  0-8-0's were built by Baldwin and they would have the later version five side builder's plate!  I sure wish I could have been with you!  I have attached a photo of a builder's plates from one of the Roanoke built S-1a.  They really had a short life!!

Ron




Date: 05/07/20 19:44
Re: 60 Years ago today, May 7, 1960...
Author: Tominde

This is just one fantastic post!  Thank you for sharing.
 



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