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June 1996 - Page 4


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TJI THE EDITOR
I ) The Southern Railway NEVER operated 2 - 1 0-2s o n the Murphy Branch, in spite of Mr. Smith 's comments and those he references in the 1 949 R ailroad Magazine a rt i c l e . According to Timetable 89, dated December 1 8, 1 938, the largest motive power to operate on the l ine were Ms and Ms- I c l ass 2-8-2s, and they could only go as far west as Addie (the bottom of the western slope of B a l sam grade). These engines were not allowed on the line anywhere u ntil after the bridge upgrades were completed in early 1924, as stated in the Sep tember 1 923 Southern News Bulle/ill, t he predecessor to TIES. 2 ) While both classes of 2 - 1 0-2s (5000s and 5200s) used Ashvi l le as a base point, only the 5000s could run east to Spencer and south to Spartanburg via Saluda grade because of the floating front drivers (again, as stated in the 1 938 tit above). They could not be double headed unless separated by at least three cars. The 5200s (USRA Light 2-10-2 clones) did not have the modified driving boxes and were l i mited to travel ing between Ashv i l l e and points west on the Tennessee Division because of broader curves on the "river l i ne." 3 ) The Great S moky Mountains Rai lway h as always operated between mileposts T47 (Dil lsboro) and T 1 1 4.3 (Murphy). They share joint trackage with NS between T45 (Sylva) and T47 for the sole pur pose of accessing the NS/GSMR interchange but are not allowed to s w i t c h the two N S -serviced i n d u s tr i e s i n - between. G S M R h a s NEVER operated t o Waynesville (T28.5). In the early 1 990s, Norfolk Southern and the State of North Carol ina fai led to negotiate transfer of this portion of the branch. Since then, shipments of paper products from Jackson Paper Manufacturing in Sylva have increased and the intense desire by NS to rid itself of more "of the Murphy" has less ened. G S M R was prac t i c i n g w i s h fu l t h i nking when they printed schedules and advertised the new passenger service over B al sam Mountain into Waynesville. J i m K i ng Ashev i l le, N C

Dear Randy, I 've just finished reading Part 2 of G E Dash 9s b y Dave Bontrager and Don Zimmerman (April '96 MRG ). M ajor applauds to these guys for the very thorough job they've done ! It was most enjoyable for me to help Dave coordinate the technical aspects of the Dash 9 . I was especially gratified t o have the CSX Dash 9 "controversy" covered as this has been a pet peeve of m i ne for some time with other publications ' attempts to cover these particular locomotives. I 'd l i ke to point out other Dash 9 "spotting features" of the CSX units not covered in the article. Note that these engines i ncorporate an earlier version of spl it coo l i ng as evidenced by the radiator awning's thicker cross section. A down-on v iew of the radiator area would reveal four large radiator panels (a l a Dash 9) versus s i x smaller radiator panel s found on Dash 8s. Another notable feature is the larger, Dash 9-style exhaust silencer stack. On another note, as this article's deadl ine was breathing down everyone's necks I was just compiling info on the NS Dash 9 "Fat Cabs." As luck would have it, some notable features on these locomo tives did not make it into the article, so here they are: ... NS Dash 9-44CWs have ditchl ights at both ends. ... There is an add i t i onal notch in the fuel tank (right s ide), just below where the two air-tank reservoirs meet (see lead photo of article). This enables easier access to the manual drains on the air tank reservoirs. ... There is a spare-knuckle box on the walkway, behind the air-con d it i oner unit, and as a res u lt, there is a supplemental handrail attached to the standard handrail where it vertically drops from the extra-long stanchion at this location. On a final note, for those attending this year's N M RA National Convention in Long Beach, CA, some of your readers may be i nter ested in attending a c li n ic I w i l l be giving on the evolution of GE locomotives from Dash 7 to AC. John Welther Bow l i ng Green, KY

D ash 9 C overa g e

R eb utta l to J i m K i n g's Letter
Dear Randy, The i n form ation t h a t J i m i s q u o t i n g i s from an e m p l oy e e s' timetable dated 1 938 and is correct. The article that was used as refer ence, dated 1 949, has two photographs from two d ifferent sources, shot at two different locations, stating that Santa Fes or 2- 1 0-2s were used on the l ine. However, upon closer examination of the Cowee Tunnel photograph, what are labeled doubleheaded 2 - 1 0-2 look more l ike doubleheaded 2-8-0s. While the number is extremely difficult to make out, it does look l ike 7 1 8 in the lead. Definitely a Ks c lass loco motive. The dead g iveaway is the domes; but it took a very c lose comparison with Prince's Southern Railway System o f sim ilar loco motives to verify this. This also makes the second photograph suspect as to accu racy. H owever, the construction of the Fontana Dam required the relocation of 15 m i les of track that was built to 1 942 standards, and it is conceivable that Southern upgraded the entire l ine to 1 942 standards, al lowing the u se of heavier locomotives, thus explaining the existence of the photograph. The fact that the GSMR operated into Wayne s v i l l e strict l y for interchange purposes came from material provided by the railroad, with maps indicating serv ice to Waynesv i l le. There never was an indication from the railroad of serving any industries between Way nesv i l le and D i llsboro. In fact Jackson Paper was never mentioned by the railroad. This piece of information would add to the overall fun i n the operation of the model railroad, because N S locomotives c a n b e used from the staging yard at Waynesville to D i l lsboro. As to the operation of the GSMR into Murphy, the railroad discontin ued service to Amerigas in 1 995 due to trackwork not being up to stan dards for transpiration of hazardous materials. Thi s has since been corrected and service is expected to begin to Ameligas in the near future. LaITY Smith, M M R Pelham,AL

B i r m i n g h a m Term i n a l Rel ocated
Dear Randy, Just fll lished my "first" look over of the May issue. I have never been to Hamlet, NC, but it would be very unusual if it had a depot l ike the B ilmingham Terminal Station in B i rmingham, AL. I wonder how many letters you' l l get over this. I am sure the depot that is so distinctive in the p icture on page 45 is the old B i rm i ngham depot which was torn down in 1 969. Even the smoke stack behind the SCL 3056 is a dead giveaway. It was a beautiful structure; too bad some body didn't stop its destruction. If you tel l me the depot is in Hamlet, I won't believe it unti l I go there and see it for myself. Ralph Ward's S outhern Railway Depots has a picture of the B i rmingham station before it was torn down. Did you think you were going to get by with this m istake without some body notic " i ng John Morgan Quitman, MS P.S . Love your magazine.

it? Never

(Oops! Chalk this one up /0 me. -Randy)

S outhern's M u rphy Branch
D ear Randy, Thank you for your continuing coverage on southern and south eastern l i nes, both from h i storical and modeling perspectives. Our region has been overlooked by the model press far too long. And, w i t h the p u b l i shed word, sometimes come m i s takes. I n Part 2 of Larry Smith's article on SR's Murphy Branch (April 1 996), there are three g l aring m i stakes that must be corrected.
4 .. M O D E L RAI LROA D I N G

J U N E 1 99 6

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