Jordan Spreader

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I’d forgotten I had this picture.  This much-used Jordan Spreader, SBD 774760, was sitting in the eastern part of Kingsport yard back in 2012.  I thought it might have been used to clear tunnels of ice.  That was fanciful.  When I looked it up, I found that the unit is used to dig and clear ditches, regulate ballast and even to plow snow.  Sturdy and reliable, and, of course, it’s been replaced by more modern things…so it goes.

Boxcar on a Siding

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It was raining slightly and I saw these boxcars sitting on a siding off Tilthammer Drive, in the industrial park behind Evergreen Garden Center in Kingsport.  A few years ago, I came this way and the rails were getting a little rusty.  I thought that this siding was unused, but, as you can see by the rails now, it is getting steady use by one of the companies down there.  Nice to see.  Go, railroads!

The Milwaukee Road

This is a postcard travel folder, printed by Kropp & Co. in Milwaukee…late 40s.  The locomotive is The Olympian.  There are 18 views, printed on standard-weight paper, in this foldout piece. Most are views (scenics, cities, bridges), but two are of other locomotives, which I have scanned in.  I found this folder in Erwin TN.  It sells on ebay for around $5.

Double Tipple

 

I don’t have the foggiest where this is and neither does my buddy, who knows a thing or two about tipples.  Since this was in the early 60s, over 50 years ago…it’s probably long gone by now.

There are a few thin clues to where it may have been:  The Unknown Collector put his acquisition date as April 18, 1963 (that was a Thursday, I looked it up).  The photographer was C. H. Ruth, who took chromes like this around the area, generally for Haynes Publishing, in the 60s.  This one, though was published by  “Mountaineer Post Card Service, Chilhowie, Va.”.  Printed by Dexter in West Nyack, N.Y.

The hopper just visible under the front tipple is marked L&N.

Lines of Hoppers

Lines and lines of empty hoppers parked in Southwest Virginia.  This is looking more or less southward into Dante Yard.  We were moving from Scott County into Dickenson County and back and saw a lot of these idle units.  Anecdotal reports indicate that they’ve been there for a considerable time (several weeks or so).  We were seeing both CSX and N&S (and some old Southern and Norfolk & Western units, too).

The Twins, Again

I always liked The Twins (I like Kent Junction, too.  I’m irrational at times).  This is looking at the North Twin, south portal, from the South Twin, north portal.  South Twin is 236′ and North Twin is 308′.  Faceup date on both is 1912.   They’re about 5.6 miles northeast of Clinchport on Highway 65.
Up in North Carolina, on the loops, I was able to get three tunnels in one shot.  To get any more than that would take tunnels like Bee Rock lined right up.

Camelback 4-6-0?

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This is a RPPC, a Real Photo Post Card, a one-off.  The configuration around the “Place Stamp Here” on the back with all four corner triangles pointed up puts its manufacture between 1904 and 1918.  I’m no expert on locomotives, but it looks like a Camelback 4-2-2 (note the bull’s horns above the lamp).  Or, if I’m looking at it wrong, it could be a 4-6-0 (Clinchfield had four 4-6-0s early on, but no 4-2-2s)  If this dates to the mid- to late-teens, this gang could be laying track for the Clinchfield Railroad, which may have occasioned the picture.  Or they could be cleaning up a wreck.

The only reason I think it’s Clinchfield is because I bought it locally.  Weak reasoning, I suppose.

King Bridge

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This Clinchfield Railroad trestle is only King Bridge Company (Cleveland OH) unit I’ve found.  Made in 1907.  That’s the Clinch River it’s crossing (no, it’s not..see below.  It could be Cove Creek, though).  This deck girder is just off Hwy. 65 south of Ft. Blackmore in Scott County VA.

Appalachia Train Station

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The L&N came into what was then known as Intermont in 1891.  It formally became Appalachia in 1906.  This Craftsman style train station was built around 1910.  Notably, it has a slate roof.
The card was printed by The Tecraft Company in Tenafly NJ.  That company registered The Tecraft Company as a trade name in 1946, when it was over 70 years old.

Judging by the quality of the photo and comparing it to other Tecraft cards on line, I would think this card dates to the early 20th century.  It’s in fair to good condition with just  two minor creases.

Note: back in 2012, I’d posted a picture of how the station looks now.  As the comment below notes, it’s a wreck.

Seaboard Coast Line Caboose

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I didn’t track this too carefully, but it was noted as being in Marion NC around 1984.  Makes sense, it’s now on some guy’s property about 8 miles south of Spruce Pine, beside an active CSX line at Sevier Crossroads.  Looks to be in pretty good shape.  It’s sited at 35 48 10.89N, 82 00 59.22W on Old Linville Road.  Family Lines System only existed from 1972 to 1982 and this predates that, since it carries a Seaboard Coast Line ID number.  It is, I think, an ACL (Atlantic Coast Lines) M-5.  I could be wrong.  When I was a kid, attracting chiggers on a mountain side in the foggy dawn light while by brother listened for squirrels, I looked over and saw what I thought was a cat and called to it.  My brother: “Hush, Bobby, and, anyway, that’s skunk, not a cat.  Now be quiet!”

Surprise! Big Four, No Daylight

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Photo by Lee Stone.
I like the composition of this shot.  That’s Big Four #2 up ahead.  Just beyond it is Big Four’s Walmart (formerly a K-Mart).  This 174′ tunnel may still be scheduled for daylighting (removing the overburden and opening it up) in that corridor improvement project, but, as of November, 2106, it’s still a tunnel.  That’s Elkhorn Creek on the left.
Incidentally, when I was researching this tunnel, I learned that the community of Big Four was named after the four owners of the major mines in this area.  Keep the big people happy, and distracted.

20th Century Limited Leaving Chicago

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I like postcards.  I especially like pre-WWI, probably German-printed, dramatic cards…with a train. This is one of them.  The title of this post is what is printed on the front of this card.

The back notes it is card 51 of, perhaps, a railroad series.  There’s a rather wordy puff piece about the 20th Century Limited.  But the message is the interesting item:

Hello Blanche.  Recd. your card all O.K  Was disappointed a few weeks ago, guess you know why.  Sincerely C.B.

It was posted from Rogersville TN on March 3, 2pm, 1911, to Miss Blanche Gladson, Rogersville Tenn R#4.

Now, let me tell you about Blanche.  I’ve run across more cards sent to her than to anyone else. She had a large family and, apparently, throngs of friends, all merrily posting cards to her.

She probably enjoyed them all.  I know I have.

Southern Pass

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T
his Southern Railway Company pass, 4 x 2.5″, was issued to Miss Josephine Morris, dependent daughter of W.H. Morris, Agent, Harriman, Tenn, in 1921.
The back looks like a pass that didn’t print well.  There’s a clover pattern overall and “NTOW”, part of some word or other. I hope she enjoyed her visits to and from Knoxville.

I didn’t have any luck tracking down the name of the vice-president who signed this.

Polly Switchers

Here’re three more pix of those switchers in Polly KY:

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This is looking at the back of the switcher.

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These are the controls by the engineer’s chair.  Note the intercom speaker.

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This is the registration plate on the back switcher (the front one was gone).  It’s been smoothed down over the years, but I think the model number is D904703 (that “D” could be a “O”) and the serial number is 52G155.

Two Blue Switchers

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Ran across these at a mostly abandoned coal mine and processing plant in Polly KY.
I am no expert on engines, but these are switchers made by the General Motors Electromotive Division…maybe carry the NW designation, which would mean they date from the early 40s.  I was able to get the serial number, but it didn’t yield any information when I conducted a search.

These have been hit by vandals.  That’s no surprise.

Trestle, bridge

I got to thinking: trestle or bridge?  Both, I discovered.  A trestle bridge is a span supported by piers or bents (says Google).  This solidly built deck girder trestle bridge spans the French Broad River near Marshall NC.  The man standing to the left is my buddy, who kindly entered the shot to provide a sense of scale.  The bridge is over 600′ long.
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Fancy Livery

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This is a 1960 ALCO 125-ton diesel locomotive, according to the web.  Quite fancy livery, too. The Sunny Knott Loadout is located at Lackey, Knott County, Kentucky.  We couldn’t tell if it was active.  The gates were wide open and, even though there was security of a sort, we weren’t hassled at all.  From the looks of the surrounding area, this must have been a busy site once upon a time.

Up in Harlan County

I don’t post a lot of pictures of bridges.  My buddy’s always saying, “Look at that bridge!  You want to stop and take a picture of it?”  And I say, “No.”  I figure if it’s a mighty truss bridge, then Calvin (Sneed) has already posted it on bridgehunter.com.  Otherwise, it’s just trestle…

However, this really sturdy deck girder is a relic of the once-mighty coal-driven railways that the L&N pushed though out of Harlan KY.  They built strong.  The rails on this trestle have “Tennessee 1938” notations on them.  It’s a dead line, but I bet it supported one hell of a lot of tonnage in its day.

The trestle crosses Catron Creek at about 36.79852, -83.33855.

Wakenva Default Detector

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Okay, this is the default detector at Wakenva VA, about halfway way between Trammel and Nora on the original Clinchfield line (now CSX).
My question is: Every reference source I’ve gone to says that “Wakenva” is a portmanteau word (mashup, i.e.) comprising West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia.  People, look at the word!
It would have to be “WEkenva” for that to work.  Hmm.

The Eye

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All it says on this 1940s Asheville Post Card Co. issue is “A-38 THE LOOP ON THE L. & N. RAILROAD, NEAR TENNESSEE-GEORGIA LINE”

Actually, this is the Hiwassee Loop, the “eye” of the “Hook and Eye Line” built in 1898.  It goes around Bald Mountain near Farmer TN.

I found this pristine card while rummaging through a bunch of crap cards.  Never know what you’ll find, sometimes.