What happened to N&W J #607?

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What happened to N&W J #607?
Posted by selector on Wednesday, June 09, 2010 1:11 PM

There are some photos in the J section on railpictures showing it on its side with a rail stuck through the nose cone and lots of tanglement around it.

The reason I ask is, ...ummm....this:

 

 

-Crandell

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Posted by feltonhill on Wednesday, June 09, 2010 5:27 PM

 607 was retired Feb 1959, some time after the wreck you mentioned.  Very nice photo, BTW!

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Posted by selector on Wednesday, June 09, 2010 8:58 PM

Thank-you, Sir!  You know, I didn't have much of a hankering after this class of engine for the first several years of my modeling, but suddenly....I HAD to have one.  Dunno what happened, but it became THE engine to get.  Of course, they were scarce, except for the Spectrum engine by Bachmann which I soon came to loath.  I found this one, from Broadway Limited Imports, courtesy of a sympathetic fellow from Oz who saw my complaint on the Broadway Limited forums, except it was a later 'stealth' model with no decoder.  

Once I get a particular model, I like to find out more about it, and the only photos I could find, including on fallenflags, were two or three on railpictures, and they weren't pretty.

Darn...what a beautiful engine class, and to have it end up on its side with its nose broken...it just isn't right. Disapprove  But, looking further, I sure hope no one was badly hurt.

-Crandell

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Posted by SantaFe158 on Thursday, June 10, 2010 2:26 PM
I read that the Fireman was killed. But it was hard even to see that beautiful machine in a twisted pile of metal like that.
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Posted by selector on Thursday, June 10, 2010 4:39 PM

A member here responded privately with a copy of the ICC report.  It happened in 1948, but the engine was repaired and ran for another decade-plus.  The fireman was killed (thanks for that, above...) and there were 20-plus other injuries.

The engineer failed to heed a signal aspect warning him that he would diverge ahead, and that he should reduce speed for the turnout. The engine derailed.

For any modellers looking on, consider that the turnout was probably a #12 or a #14, or something in that order, and not the generously "acute" angle we would enjoy in a #8 turnout.   I have no trouble slamming this or any other of my engines through my hand-laid #8's.  Apparently a real J doesn't like the even longer turnouts at track speeds, and the people who run railroads know this.

I don't imagine the engineer kept his job, and it would be good to know how he was as a character and how he behaved when the fault was attributed to him.

-Crandell

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Posted by oldline1 on Saturday, June 12, 2010 5:41 PM

 I think you guys may be getting two separate N&W J accidents confused.

The #607 is the one with the rail penetrating the smokebox and lying on its side. It was near Gennett, OH on 2/20/48 that the 607 ran past a stop signal and hit a curve too fast. The engineer could not see because of heavy exhaust smoke blowing along the right side of the boiler. He was relying on signals called by the fireman who called them as clear. The fireman was killed and the engineer and 7 train employees were injured.  The passenger count for injuries was 36.

The high speed incident was the #611 and she tried to take a turnout too fast and derailed along with several cars on 1/23/56. She was pulling the Pocahontas near Cedar, WV. She landed with her tender in the Tug River and the engineer was killed. The engineer was believed to have had a heart attack. He hit the 30 mph curve at an estimated 57.6 mph. The fireman, 6 crew members and 50 passengers were injured. The #611 still has the long, deep dent along her left tender side as a result of this accident.

 

Roger Huber

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Posted by selector on Saturday, June 12, 2010 7:25 PM

This is what was provided to me, and it says the engineman missed a signal aspect and took a turnout too quickly:  (I am only copying the first page of several in the document provided to me.) {{sorry about the gobbledygook...it is something to do with this server and Firefox and Microsoft Word Ed 2007}}

  Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON

INVESTIGATION NO. 3168

NORFOLK AND WESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY

REPORT IN RE ACCIDENT AT GENNETT, OHIO, ON FEBRUARY 20, 1948

Inv-3168

SUMMARY

Railroad:                                                Norfolk and Western

Date:                                                       February 20, 1948

Location:                                               Gennett, Ohio

Kind of accident:                                  Derailment

Train involved:                                     Passenger

Train number:                                       26

Engine number:                                    607

Consist:                                                 6 cars

Speed:                                                    77 m.p.h.

Operation:                                             Timetable, train orders and automatic block-signal system

Tracks:                                                   Double; tangent; 0.3 percent ascending grade eastward

Weather:                                                Clear

Time:                                                      11:17 a.m.

Casualties:                                             1 killed; 44 injured

Cause:                                                    Train entering turnout to siding at excessive rate of speed, as    result of failure to obey automatic block-signal indications

INVESTIGATION NO. 3168

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Posted by selector on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 7:20 PM

I don't know why all the code appears in the post above, but it disappears when I go to edit.

To close this thread off, I now understand what must have happened as concluded by the investigating team.  The wind drift was strong enough across the tracks that it drove the smoke plume low over the boiler's right side, even at the speed the train was moving.  It obscured the driver's view of signals, so he relied on the fireman to call them...a common practice.   Unfortunately, the flagman who had dutifully walked forward, well past the turnout that caused the accident, also was not visible, and the engineer passed him by without acknowledgment   Being on the engineer's side of the engine, neither did the fireman.  The last signal called by the fireman was just a minute or two prior to the encounter with the siding turnout, and he had declared it clear, according to the engineer.

It was just a very sad accident.

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Posted by BlueSkyTraveler on Saturday, May 19, 2018 8:45 AM

Hello Folks,

I am new to the forum. My dad was in engine service on The Pocahontas Division from 1947 to 1987. he fired all The J Class Locomotives in passenger service many times. (Not enough seniority to be engineer at that time.) I grew up with The family of the fireman on The 611 when she went over the bank in '56.  I knew him as a man with white hair even though he was fairly young in my first memories. One of the often told stories was that his hair turned white almost overnight after that incident. There was a great fear of a boiler explosion or coming  into close contact with the firebox contents when an engine left the tracks in the steep terrain common on The Pocahontas Division.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, May 21, 2018 7:29 PM

Welcome aboard Blue Sky!  Very interesting story. 

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Posted by BigJim on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 7:53 AM

oldline1
The high speed incident was the #611 and she tried to take a turnout too fast and derailed along with several cars on 1/23/56. She was pulling the Pocahontas near Cedar, WV. She landed with her tender in the Tug River and the engineer was killed. The engineer was believed to have had a heart attack. He hit the 30 mph curve


Just to clear up any confusion from the above, a "turnout" was not involved in the 611 accident. It was the speed restricted curve.

I would suggest that anyone interested in the N&W join the N&W Historical Society. You can also search the archives for photos and info on your favorite N&W & VGN locos & rolling stock on that same site.

.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 9:32 AM

BigJim
 
oldline1
The high speed incident was the #611 and she tried to take a turnout too fast and derailed along with several cars on 1/23/56. She was pulling the Pocahontas near Cedar, WV. She landed with her tender in the Tug River and the engineer was killed. The engineer was believed to have had a heart attack. He hit the 30 mph curve

Just to clear up any confusion from the above, a "turnout" was not involved in the 611 accident. It was the speed restricted curve. 

I would suggest that anyone interested in the N&W join the N&W Historical Society. You can also search the archives for photos and info on your favorite N&W & VGN locos & rolling stock on that same site.

http://dotlibrary.specialcollection.net/Document?db=DOT-RAILROAD&query=(select+3684)

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 2:18 PM

For further clearing up, this is the actual link to the accident involving 607:

http://dotlibrary.specialcollection.net/Document?db=DOT-RAILROAD&query=(select+3192)

(infuriatingly, the numbers in the database key don't match the ICC report numbers!)

Note that this is not a "turnout" accident as most of us would define it.  The 'siding' in question is actually a center pocket track between the two mains, and was being used to allow #26 to run past a slower freight standing on the eastbound main.

Something I had not noticed before: the ICC notes the CG height of engine 607 as 84", but 611's as 77".  I was not aware of that dramatic a difference.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 4:39 PM

Overmod
Something I had not noticed before: the ICC notes the CG height of engine 607 as 84", but 611's as 77".  I was not aware of that dramatic a difference.

I suspect the calculations were performed by different personnel.  At that time we had not perfected the calculations necessary to put man on the Moon and electronic calculators had yet to be invented.

         

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 11:51 PM

Overmod

For further clearing up, this is the actual link to the accident involving 607:

http://dotlibrary.specialcollection.net/Document?db=DOT-RAILROAD&query=(select+3192)

(infuriatingly, the numbers in the database key don't match the ICC report numbers!)

Note that this is not a "turnout" accident as most of us would define it.  The 'siding' in question is actually a center pocket track between the two mains, and was being used to allow #26 to run past a slower freight standing on the eastbound main.

Something I had not noticed before: the ICC notes the CG height of engine 607 as 84", but 611's as 77".  I was not aware of that dramatic a difference.

 

The report calls the center track a siding and that is exactly what it is.  A center siding that trains in either direction could use.  

Jeff

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Posted by BigJim on Thursday, May 24, 2018 8:10 AM

jeffhergert
The report calls the center track a siding and that is exactly what it is.  A center siding that trains in either direction could use.  


On the N&W, these were referred to as a "Middle Track".

.

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Posted by Yankingeorgia on Thursday, May 24, 2018 5:10 PM

Excerpt:

Overmod

Something I had not noticed before: the ICC notes the CG height of engine 607 as 84", but 611's as 77".  I was not aware of that dramatic a difference.

 

Is it possible that the differences in the two calculations take into consideration the water level in their respective boilers at the time of their accidents?

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