Casto writes book about C&O's old days
October 16, 2006
-- It is August 1956, the twilight of steam operations on the
Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, as a mine run crewman prepares
to pick up orders "on the fly" and deliver yet more
empties to a coal mine somewhere in southern West Virginia.
Huddleston photo/C&O Historical Society, Jame
mine run leaves Peach Creek yard to deliver empties up some
hollow south of Logan, W.Va., in August 1956.
operator at FD Cabin, sandwiched between the busy Peach Creek
yard and the passenger station in Logan, is preparing to "hand
up" the orders, tied in a bundle and anchored temporarily
in a Y-shaped wooden hoop.
TThe fireman -- or maybe he's the brakeman -- has his arm extended
so it can pass through the top of the Y as the train passes. The
anchors will give up the twine and and bundle of orders will be
caught in the crook of the crewman's elbow until he can retrieve
them, read them and pass them over to the engineer.
is the locomotive backing? We're told that many of the mine runs
ended at a loadout at the head of some hollow, where there was
no room to install a turntable or wye track upon which to turn
the locomotives. So they ran up the hollows backward as they tugged
the empties, and headed back to civilization properly pointed,
pulling the loads.
Evans of Huntington, who hired out with the C&O in time to
fire some of those sooty old steam engines, said many a man got
a stiff neck from running engines so far in reverse.
photo is one of more than 200 vintage black-and-white photographs
featured in a new book
by James E. Casto, senior public information specialist for the
Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing and
retired associate editor of The Herald-Dispatch.
Chesapeake & Ohio Railway: Images of Rail is essentially
a picture book that shows much about the way it used to be on
the railroad, garnished with Casto's well-written captions.
128-page paperback -- which has been published by Arcadia Publishing
of Mount Pleasant, S.C., retails for $19.99 -- soon will be available
at Border's Books Music Movies & Cafe and Empire Books &
News. Casto will do a signing at Border's on Saturday, Oct. 21,
starting at 2 p.m. How long he stays depends on how long you come.
here for more details on about the C&O book.
Copyright © 2006
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