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 Tennessean train was jointly operated by N&W and Southern with a 24-hour run between Washington DC and Memphis. It made regular trips from 1941 until 1968.
The lady who mailed this didn’t have a particularly good experience:
“Train 8 hrs late arriving at Memphis. Phoned (someone). They will meet me in (something). Coach without heat all night – nearly froze. No food on the train except potato chips and crackers. Thanks for lunch. Love Mother”
The Memphis postmark is incomplete, but has to be from the ’50s, when postcard postage was two cents (1952 – 1958).
Card was printed by E. C. Kropp of Milwaukee.
These three are real photo postcards; that is, one-off postcards made by Kodak from negatives sent in by camera owners. The photo of the N&W hopper and the two crew cars can be dated to between 1904 and 1918, as can the shot of the steam locomotive. The one of the crane resetting a CC&O derailment is from the 1918-1930 period. There is no other identifying information on any of these cards. I think they’re fascinating and I snapped them up as soon as I saw them.
For the last few months, I’ve been recording the train depots (if available) and the post offices of many of the small towns we drift through on any given Sunday. Both the depots and the smaller post offices are slowly going away; the former from neglect, the latter through an excess of penury on the part of the USPS. Here are two standard issue, well-built train depots that have fallen into ungraceful disuse.
First, here’s the Appalachia depot, on the L&N.