A Sunday in Appalachia: March 7, 1965

by Ron Flanary, Ridin' the Rails
This content is for subscribers only. Log in or sign up for a free trial below.

The only way to turn anything at the old Southern yard was on the wye, and F-unit No. 4217 has just been taken around that wye so it can lead a section of train 88 to Yuma, Virginia. The head brakeman is riding the step to the cab while the fireman is looking out. That 40-foot Southern box car is probably a partial load of LCL (less than carload) freight to be off-loaded at the combination yard office and freight station. Just ahead of the F-unit is a contraption that monitored for broken wheel flanges. It had small metal fingers that depressed as the flange passed. If there was a break in the progression, it set off an alarm inside the operator’s office.