Abandoned Rails

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N&W Locomotive Dead Line

Radford, VA - 1989


Carlos Fink shot these photographs in Radford, VA on July 24, 1989.  They show dozens of former N&W locomotives awaiting their demise having been retired from active service.  Radford might seem like an odd place for a dead line, but the N&W had so many inactive engines at the time, that there was not enough room to store them all in Roanoke.  Some met the scrappers torch while others were traded in to EMD when new units were purchased.  A lucky few found a second home on shortline railroads.   In addition to motive power there were a number of former N&W and Southern Railway maintenance of way cranes on the property as well.


Appreciation is extended to Carlos for allowing these images to be published on the site.  If you have any material you'd like to contribute, please contact me at jl.hawkins@comcast.net.



GP18 No. 949 was built for the N&W in July 1961.  Click here to see a photo of the 949 leading an eastbound coal train on the former Virginian near Pearisburg.  The 515 visible to the left was delivered to the N&W in November 1958. 



No less than 30 locomotives are visible in this photo.  At the bottom right corner is GP9 No. 690 which got a second lease on life with the Sequatchie Valley Railroad in Tennessee.  The last known photo of it was taken in July 2008.  To the left of the 690 is SD45 No. 1773 (built 2-70) followed by GP35 No. 2915 (built 4/64 as Wabash No. 544)



A trio of cranes sit idle in the yard at Radford.  The one closest to the photographer is NW 514921.  It was built in November 1927 as a steam powered hoist by Industrial Brownhoist Works of Bay City, Michigan.  In November 1958 the N&W's Roanoke Shops converted it from steam to diesel power. 
Louisville Scrap Metals purchased the crane in February 1990 and scrapped at their yard in Roanoke.  Thanks to Bob Bowers for providing the insightful history.   



Southern MOW crane 903019 and MOW flat car 930017.


Southern MOW crane 903020.





Copyright 2002- | Jeff Hawkins

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