May 2012 - Paducah Railroad Museum


May 2012 - Paducah Railroad Museum
Paducah Chapter
National Railway Historical Society
May 2012
Slices of History.
I feel a need every so often to go hunting through old newspaper articles to see what life was like 100 or so years ago. Newspapers had information in them almost like today’s Twitter on the
computer. There was a complete column of “Railroad News
From the Railroad News Section of The Paducah Daily Sun,
March 16th 1897 we find the following:
A few Local otes of .General Interest,
MRS. W.J. HARAHA VISIT HERE Arrived Last ight With Her
Left This Morning for Louisville.
Mrs. W. J. Harahan, wife of the Illinois Central Superintendent ,and children, of Louisville, came down from Dawson on the
"cannonball" this morning and stopped overnight at Paducah in
a private car at the union depot. This morning she left on her
return to Louisville at 8 o'clock, but .Mr. Harahan remained
over. This morning the big Illinois Central Locomotives began
backing around the union depot "Y", the track having been torn
up and reconstructed within the past few days. The exchange of
Locomotives was formerly made at Harrison Street. On the Memphis division of the I.C. there is no water over the track any place
but at Wolfe river, a few miles out of Memphis, the flood is within a few inches of the rails.
Flagman Bob Perry tells a good Joke on one of his fellow brakemen that occurred on the ., C. &St. L. seventeen years ago
while'clubbing 'em down Raccoon mountain. In running over the
top of the cars one night he ran off of the end of a high car and,
of course the first thought that entered his mind was ,that the
train had parted and his body would in an Instant be ground into
bologna sausage beneath the humming wheels while his soul
would be hurled into eternity without a moments preparation, a
More History.
To go along with the newspaper
articles I have found an online resource of Sanborn Insurance Maps
of Paducah from 1910. It is very
interesting to see what was where
in 1910 and what remains today.
The Cohankus Manufacturing Co.
Cotton Cordage Factory was at N.
9th and Boyd St. and had its on
From ov 25th 1930 From Lewiston Maine ewspaper
lie more than one of us has said “oh Lord save me,” a moment
later the “brakey” found himself lying on a flatcar unhurt, and
with a piteous look he turned his eyes heavenward and exclaimed “ never mind now Lord”
From The Paducah Daily Sun ov 16 1896:
It is now almost certain that after January 1st all passenger
trains coming to Paducah will run into to the union depot. As yet
no official notice has been received in Paducah to this effect, but
it is nevertheless true that the Illinois Central has made to the
ashville, Chattanooga and St Louis road a proposition tending
to consolidate the two depots, and a prominent official of the
latter road, who Is In a position to know says that In all probability the proposition will be accepted, in fact it Is so favorable
that it could hardly be rejected. If so the new service will be
Inaugurated Jan 1st. It will not, however affect the freight department of the C & St L, which will remain where it now is.
Such an arrangement would result in many advantages to the
traveling public, and especially those who desire to transfer
from one road to the other.
Paducah Daily Sun Feb 15th 1897
First and Second Section of o.172 Go Together. Caboose,
Three Cars and a Locomotive Smashed Up. A destructive rear
end collision of freight trains occurred yesterday morning about
9:30 o'clock at Obion, Tenn., on the Illinois Central. The first
section of train o. 172 was struck by the second section. The
first was pulled by engine o. 285, and Engineer Granger, and
the second section by locomotive 273, Engineer Kelly and conductor Anderson. The trains met on a curve, and the second
section crashed into the first section with great force. Both sections were en route to Paducah, and the accident was due to a
confusion of orders. The caboose on the first section and three
of the cars were demolished, and the locomotive on the second
section badly injured. An investigation will be held to place the
blame where it properly belongs.
Bob Johnston
Bob Johnston
month, I inadvertently gave the wrong
name for one of Jack & Kate Johnston’s
twin grandsons. The correct names are
William Henry and Emmet Michael Garrison, sons of Lindsay & Matt Garrison,
born in Chicago on March 1sth
RHS: Perhaps some of us have not
kept up as well as we should with the
significant changes underway in our parent organization, the National Railway
Historical Society. The NRHS, like all
other civic, fraternal, social, and even
religious institutions in our country, has
been affected by the vast and accelerating
changes in technology, social networking,
economic conditions, communications,
and family structure, to mention a few.
The NRHS leaders realize this and the
board is implementing changes in structure and philosophy to make it more relevant and valuable to the members. I
strongly recommend you carefully read
any mail you receive from the NRHS, and
especially the current (April) NRHS
NEWS, and the article entitled REBULLDIG RHS FOR THE FUTURE,
President Greg Molloy, and also pay attention to, and vote any ballots you receive.
The Paducah Chapter probably does not
take advantage of our national membership as much as we should, but being a
part of it does give our chapter and the
museum more credibility and attention
than we would receive otherwise, especially in asking for assistance and recognition from governmental agencies, civic
groups, and applying for grants. This is
what a group of us in the original organization, WEST KENTUCKY RAIL
PRESERVATION, believed many years
ago, when we decided to apply for NRHS
membership, and I believe it still to be
Lee, retired Union Pacific executive and
manager of their famous steam program,
passed through Paducah on April 14, and
was kind enough to meet with John Deming, Jack Johnston, and me at the at the
1518 train display on the river front,
where he inspected the locomotive and
cars, both inside and out. Several days
later, he sent a copy of his findings, along
with a recommendation to the railroad
equipment renovation company he now
represents, to make a proposal (not a bid)
and a “ball park” figure on the cost. This
will be very helpful for the city and anyone else trying to raise the money for the
much needed renovation. We are very
grateful to Steve and his unique expertise
for taking this time. His company is presently involved in the renovation and return to operating status of a 0-6-0 steam
locomotive to the used on the Blue Heron
tourist railroad at Stearns, KY near the
Big South Fork Recreational Area.
P&L: The P&L has officially moved
into their new 24,000 sq. ft. building, and
the building at 1500 Kentucky is vacant
for the first time in 85 years; the new address is 200 Clark St. At the time of the
move, the company announced a number
of promotions and new positions, according to the Paducah SUN: Mike
Wheatley, vice president & chief mechanical officer; Susanne Moorman, vicepresident & controller; Russ Burzynski,
assistant vice president of purchasing and
materials; Karen Tucker, senior director
of corporate services; Kevin McEwan,
marketing director; Paul Smith, director
of information technology; Alayna
Stinnett, corporate services manager;
Candie Henry, customer accounting manager; Tasha Headrick, manager of general
accounting; Judy Mohney, technology
application specialist; and Jody Goins,
director of customer services…..CEO
Tony Reck, President Tom Garrett, and
Exec. Vice-President and Treasurer, Tom
Greene, all attended the American Short
Line Conference in Indianapolis, this
VMV/PROGRESS: I thought there was
going to be nothing of interest to report,
but on April 26, I saw the first (for me) of
the rebuilt SD 60s for the “Suzy Q,” described in the April NEWS & VIEWS. It
was NYSW 3810, and was in the
“bumblebee” yellow and what appeared
to me to be dark green paint, but according to the write up is black paint, and lettered “SUSQUEHANNA” across the
April 28th, I journeyed to McMinnville,
TN, and on Sunday, the 29th, my daughter, Jane, and I traveled the Caney Fork
& Western Railroad, a short line which is
the former N.C. & St. L. branch from
Tullahoma to Sparta. It was a beautiful
day, good track, and very nice ride over
rolling country, and several high bridges.
is the 150th anniversary of the hijacking of
the Western & Atlantic 4-4 “General” at
Big Shanty, GA, by Union Army spies,
led by James J. Anderson, who planned to
destroy the line from there north to Chattanooga, thus severing the Confederacy.
The result was the “Great Locomotive
Chase,” involving the 4-4, “Texas,”
manned by William A. Fuller. The event
was made famous by the Disney movie. A
display describing this event, and the subsequent history of the two locomotives, is
in the Paducah Railroad Museum; the
connection being that the Western & Atlantic was the predecessor of the Nashville, Chattanooga, & St. Louis Ry. which
served Paducah, and especially that the
wooden passenger car used for many
years as the yard office at P&I Junction
(in Littleville) was said to be, and authenticated by at least one expert, to be one of
the cars pulled by the “General.” A photograph of that car is also in the museum,
courtesy of the William Clark Museum.
UUSUAL SIGHTIG: On April 7, at
the Clark St., spur, I saw a work train of
six “continuous,” gons, including one
powered by locomotive 5230 (also la-
beled, “Georgetown Railway Equipment”). Checking the internet, this appeared to be “slot train,” also called a tie
recovery train, and was apparently being
used to pick up ties replaced during the
work on the P&I, mentioned in the April
NEWS & VIEWS. …Work is progressing
slowly on installation of the crossing
gates at Pines Road, with only the support
for the east gate installed at this writing.
big enough to remove the wheels so they
can be sent to a shop where they can be
reprofiled, returned, and reinstalled. A
few days later, in some more bad luck, the
844’s accompanying boxcar, 9336, also
called the “step car,” because it is where
the portable steps, used by visitors to access the engine cab, are kept, was damaged when it collided with a gondola at
SPECIAL TRAIS: The days of special
trains (at least for officials) at major
sporting events have not yet passed. At
the recent Masters Golf Tournament in
Augusta, GA, there were at least three
executive trains consisting of office cars,
sleepers, and diners: BNSF had ES 44
DC 7896 with 4 cars; Norfolk Southern
had F9A 4271, F9A 4270, F7B 4275, and
F7B4276, with 15 cars, including the
diner, Kentucky, and CSX furnished
F40PH-2 9993 and 9993 with 13 cars
including the sleeper, Kentucky….We
look forward to the Kentucky Derby.
LOOKIG UP! Amtrak is approaching
a new record, up 3.7% over the same period in 2011….
CSX profits are up 23% over 1st quarter
2011, with a ratio record of 71.1% (CSX
was also named one of the top 100 corporate citizens (and the only Class I RR) by
“Corporate Responsibility Magazine’);
UP reported record 1st quarter profits of
862 million, with operating ratio of 70.5%
and average train speed up to 26.3 mph;
CP embroiled in a fierce stock holder
battle for control, reported 1st quarter
earnings up $ 108 million from 2011, and
an operating ratio of 80.1%.
MUSEUM: We had 283 visitors in April
which is about the same as in 2011. The
quilt show crowd was steady with many
states represented. The P&L display has
been rearranged with the system map and
the various photographs of engines and
industries arranged on the wall behind the
“N” gauge display. David Long has donated two large painting by the late Al
Meadows; one is of the loading dock of
the I.C. Freight House at 6th & Campbell
St. and has been hung in the freight office
area, and the other is of a steam I.C.
switch engine coming from behind the old
Yopp Seed Co., buildings that were
across from the museum, and entering 2nd
street, with the Marine Ways and the
MODELER ALERT: Athearn is reportedly coming out with a P&L GP in HO
UP 844: This famous UP 4-8-4, which in
March stopped at Dexter, MO enroute to
West Memphis carrying Civil War reenactors, was bad ordered at Hearn, TX
on April 20th, due to flat spots on the drivers. This is a serious and expensive defect. The steamer was replaced on the
special passenger train it was pulling, by
the UP A-B-A E-9 set which was rebuilt
in the Paducah Shops several years ago,
and behind which some of us have ridden.
The 844 was taken to the Georgetown
(TX) short line shops which has a drop pit
flood wall pumping station in the background. It has been hung with other
Meadows’ painting in the back entrance
hall. Other case rearrangements have
been made, which you need to come see
if you have not done so already. In my
opinion, the museum looks better and
more professional than it ever has.
PROGRAM: We will be privileged to
be one of the first groups to get a tour of
the new P&L office building. We will
meet at the museum (instead of the library) at the regular time and go in a
group to the facility. When the tour is
completed, we will return to the museum
to transact any business.
From The Breckinridge ews Jan 1906
(Cloverport Ky)
Published monthly by the Paducah Chapter,
National Railway Historical Society. Send your
news, photos to:
Editor — Charles Gibbons
[email protected]
President..............Logan Blewett
Vice President.......John Deming
Secretary........Charles Gibbons
Historian........Jack Johnston
Treasurer..................Glen Pollender
Program..........Dick Kastas
National Director...Bob Johnston
Directors.....Dick Kastas,
Charles Gibbons, Logan Blewett
L& Depot in Mt Vernon IL as depicted in this 1912 postcard was razed this past
December. It had sat empty and decaying for several years.
Membership — Charles Gibbons
3409 Central Avenue, Paducah 42001
Gosh! Its almost time for
the meeting! We sure
don’t want to miss it.
Roundhouse Notes
% Charles Gibbons
3409 Central Ave
Paducah KY 42001
Gate mounts ready for burial.
When it needs fixing, Duct Tape it!
Gate Mast installed on one side
May 8th
7 PM
Meet at the
This crossing signal appears to be duct tapped in place. It is really
temporary electrical connection weather proofing.
Work progresses on the crossing gate
installation at Pines road.