Norfolk and Western Y6b

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Norfolk and Western Y6b
Posted by ROBERT E KRONE on Monday, April 6, 2020 11:43 AM

       A good friend of mine, Robert H. (Punchy) Powell, had worked at Roanoke for the Norfolk and Western's sales office in the early 1950's. I knew Punchy through the Silver Wings Fraternty chapter in Atlanta, GA and we often had Wednesday lunches together along with other avaition-related members. Punchy's story was about a day when the company needed official photographs of a brand-new Y6b. He claimed that union rules required three engine crews to accomplish removing the locomotive from the shops, running it west through Roanoke and then positioning it in the yard near Shaffer's Crossing. I surmise that the subject may have been Y6b 2197, the first of four of the Mallets built at Roanoke Shops in 1952. Photos of this newly-completed 2-8-8-2 were featured on specification cards and have been used in several books. Robert H. Powell, Jr. was from Wilcoe, WV and flew P-47 and P-51 fighters with the U.S. Army Air Forces in WW II. He is the author of a superb book titled Bluenoser Tales about the 352nd Fighter Group in the Eighth Air Force. The North American P-51 Mustangs that they flew were painted in that manner. He was a remarkable historian who love to talk either about flying or the N&W. Punchy left us at age 95 in 2016 and we lost a Prince of a guy as well as a genuine Star of the aviation world.

 

 

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Posted by BigJim on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 8:23 AM

ROBERT E KRONE
He claimed that union rules required three engine crews to accomplish removing the locomotive from the shops, running it west through Roanoke and then positioning it in the yard near Shaffer's Crossing.


I am inclined to disagree with this. Being that this was entirely inside the terminal, only one Hostler crew would be needed to move the engine. 
Now, there were "inside" and "outside" hostlers. Inside hostlers moved engines around only between the roundhouse and fueling & ready tracks. They did not go out into the yard tracks. 
Outside hostlers moved engines off the ready tracks to anywhere in the yard that they needed to be.
Moving engines around inside the confines of East End Shops was probably done by their own personel or an inside hostler if one was stationed there. 
Someone at East End Shops would have moved the engine to the shop gate and left it. An outside hostler crew would pick it up there and transport it to where the photo was to be taken. After the show was over, that same crew would take the engine to where ever it needed to be. So, if one wanted to get picky about it, I guess you could say that two crews handled the engine, but, that really is a stretch.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 11:07 AM

Dumb and easily-answerable question: so both the East End shops and Shaffer's Crossing were within common 'terminal limits', with no main running involved between them?

It is also at least possible that the status of the move -- for publicity only, rather than staging power for operations -- might be related somehow.  Could this have been considered a kind of 'revenue' move for company benefit under union agreements?

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 11:52 AM

ROBERT E KRONE

Great stories.

Nice to see you over on this site, I'm a big fan of your photography, especially the older shots:

https://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=34570

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by BigJim on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 12:08 PM

Overmod
so both the East End shops and Shaffer's Crossing were within common 'terminal limits', with no main running involved between them?


Yes, they are in the same limits and yes, there are main lines. However, that doesn't make any difference what-so-ever. Hostlers can go where ever they want inside yard limits.
Overmod
Could this have been considered a kind of 'revenue' move for company benefit under union agreements?

Really? You must be forgetting that "The Company" is a bunch of cheapskates!

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 12:23 PM

[quote user="BigJim"][quote user='Overmod']Could this have been considered a kind of 'revenue' move for company benefit under union agreements?[/quote] Really? You must be forgetting that "The Company" is a bunch of cheapskates![/quote]

No, I wasn't forgetting -- I'm thinking that clever union lawyers might have used that brief section of 'main' running as an excuse since the engine wasn't running entirely in the terminal area as part of being made ready for service.  

If the actual 'service' was purely for some Company benefit outside operation, which it seems to me 'publicity photography' is, then it might have been inside hostling+some main running+being spotted in the Shaffer's Crossing yard to a specific position, which is at least technically a yardman's task.   If I were a union-brother friendly lawyer, I'd look very carefully at the terms of the different agreements to see if as many different crafts as possible could receive benefit from that kind of move...

(And yes, I'd expect the Company to appeal it, and for it to go to some kind of government hearing, and for there to be some sort of record of actual adjudication; since the story was related as a 'done deal' there's at least the implication that the actual finale would be recorded somewhere...)

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Posted by timz on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 3:36 PM

Did union agreements ever refer to "terminal limits", whatever that is? Or just to yard limits, which included all trackage in the Roanoke area?

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Posted by BigJim on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 7:53 PM

timz
"terminal limits"


No such thing.
Just yard limits as in "Yard Boards".

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Posted by BigJim on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 7:58 PM

Overmod
I'm thinking...


You are way over thinking this!

 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 8:17 PM

BigJim
timz
"terminal limits"

No such thing.
Just yard limits as in "Yard Boards".

It depends on the railroad.  BigJim's obviously does not, mine did and still has them.  Some of our terminal boundaries change depending on whether or not your train has work at a specific location just outside the terminal's yard limits.

In my case the "yard limits" (now Rule 105 territory, or non-main track) are for operational and rulebook purposes, the "terminal limits" are for pay purposes. 

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, April 9, 2020 8:26 AM

BigJim
 
Overmod
I'm thinking...

You are way over thinking this!

Occupational hazard... Whistling

Seriously, though: the reason for the overthinking is that we have someone saying there were 'three crews' involved in the move.  Rather than just branding him a liar/exaggerator and moving on, I think we might look at whether there might have been circumstances that could produce what he claims happened.

And I have no distinctive competence in N&W principles or policies to know anything about the 'nuances', so I have to fall back on experts.  Perhaps a number of experts.  Some of whom may be 'more expert than others'.  And a certain amount of back-and-forth discussion.  Some of which may be excruciating for experts...

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Posted by BigJim on Thursday, April 9, 2020 11:25 AM

I wasn't branding anyone as a liar. I just disagree with what was said. Under normal circumstances, that being a single eight hour shift, I don't think more than one crew would be needed for a photo shoot. If the situation took place over more than one shift, I could well see that a like number of crews were involved.
That is my opinion based on my knowledge of Roanoke Yard.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, April 9, 2020 12:18 PM

I wasn't chastising you.  Of all the people here, I doubt anyone would likely know the railroad in Roanoke, or operations there, better than you do.

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Posted by ROBERT E KRONE on Thursday, April 9, 2020 4:34 PM

That's how Punchy told it to me years ago and I liked the story. You older fans may remember that the noted rail artist, Howard Fogg, also flew P-51 Mustangs from England at about the same time as Bob Powell. Howard Fogg was part of the 359th Fighter group.

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Posted by ROBERT E KRONE on Thursday, April 9, 2020 8:43 PM

I'm happy to share my images, especially old slides since I so enjoy seeing other photographers work from years ago. 

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