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To the best of my knowledge, there were four wrecks involving the N&W J Class locomotives. These include:
 
604 derailed pulling the Powhatan Arrow at Powhatan, WV in 1946

604_06121946

 

607 also derailed pulling the Powhatan Arrow at Franklin Furnace, Ohio in 1948

607_1948

 

611 derailed pulling the Pocahontas at Tug River near Cedar, WV in 1956

611_1956

 

613 Rear-ended a timed freight near Bristol, VA in 1957 

613_1957

 

I have seen and read the accident reports for the 604 and 611. Given that there are numerous photos of the 604 and 607 in the 1950's, they were obviously rebuilt. The only thing I have found regarding the 607 and 613 are these single photographs. Does anyone have links to the 607 & 613 accident reports?

 

It has been thoroughly discussed that the condition of the 611 following being rebuilt after the 1956 accident was a factor considered when the 611 was saved. Is it safe to assume that the 613 was scrapped following it's 1957 accident?

 

Were there any other wrecks of these locomotives that I'm not aware of? For a class of 14 locomotives, having more than 25% of them wrecked during their career is most unfortunate.

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  • 613_1957
  • 604_06121946
  • 607_1948
  • 611_1956
Last edited by Gilly@N&W
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Originally Posted by Gilly@N&W:
To the best of my knowledge, there were four wrecks involving the N&W J Class locomotives. These include:
 
604 derailed pulling the Powhatan Arrow at Powhatan, WV in 1946

604_06121946

 

607 also derailed pulling the Powhatan Arrow at Franklin Furnace, Ohio in 1948

607_1948

 

611 derailed pulling the Pocahontas at Tug River near Cedar, WV in 1956

611_1956

 

613 Rear-ended a timed freight near Bristol, VA in 1957 

613_1957

 

I have seen and read the accident reports for the 604 and 611. Given that there are numerous photos of the 604 and 607 in the 1950's, they were obviously rebuilt. The only thing I have found regarding the 607 and 613 are these single photographs. Does anyone have links to the 607 & 613 accident reports?

 

It has been thoroughly discussed that the condition of the 611 following being rebuilt after the 1956 accident was a factor considered when the 611 was saved. Is it safe to assume that the 613 was scrapped following it's 1957 accident?

 

Were there any other wrecks of these locomotives that I'm not aware of? For a class of 14 locomotives, having more than 25% of them wrecked during their career is most unfortunate.

Interesting that the 613 numeral in the photo is not the painted number on the locomotive but a handwritten "613", probably on the negative. My guess is that the number on the engine didn't photograph well in the artificial light so the number was added for the historical record.

Last edited by Nick Chillianis

A lot of locomotives on a lot of railroads have been wrecked and repaired.  That was one of the jobs given to the large backshops, which were filled with the proper equipment and the skilled employees to do this work.  In most cases, nobody seeing or running the repaired locomotive would know.  



In the diesel era, EMD repaired a small number of wrecked engines, and Alco also did a smaller number.  That was the owning railroad's decision, based on a number of factors, but they could have made their own repairs if they had desired to do so.  In the steam era, there was no such option, and many steam engines were repaired and returned to service after serious wrecks.

Last edited by Number 90
Originally Posted by SteamBoy:

But the best thing about steam engines if it breaks down ( ik a bit off topic ) it rolls for a while.

For a Diesel, not so much. 

Really??  Ever seen photos of a steam locomotive with a broken main rod, or side rod?

 

With a diesel electric locomotive, it could have a catastrophic engine (prime mover) failure, and the unit will still roll right along.

Maybe I should've cleared this up better sorry

 

What I really meant was if the steam locomotive had something wrong inside but was not the boiler. The driver could stick the engine into neutral, power off, and do his best to keep it moving before something else bad happened. 

 

But if the Diesel stalls, then a steam engine like the 844 can help its 100+ car train slowly but easily. 

Originally Posted by SteamBoy:

Maybe I should've cleared this up better sorry

 

What I really meant was if the steam locomotive had something wrong inside but was not the boiler. The driver

 

The "driver"?????  Please, you must be new at this. He/she would be the Engineer. The term "Driver" on steam locomotives, is generally used throughout Europe.

 

could stick the engine into neutral, power off, and do his best to keep it moving before something else bad happened. 

 

Nope.  Shouldn't do that either, as without lubrication carried by the steam flow to the valves/cylinders, both would subsequently be damaged. Also, the running gear on steam locomotives do not like to be in "neutral" while moving.

 

But if the Diesel stalls, then a steam engine like the 844 can help its 100+ car train slowly but easily. 

 

That was only one unit that had a grounded traction motor, on that freight train. Also, with 844 pushing on the rear, we got the train speed back up to about 20MPH.

 

Originally Posted by SteamBoy:

Well the only knowledgeable part about steam locomotives I know are:

1 - The type

2 - The configuration

3 - The controls

and thats about it...

OK then, this is the place to LEARN specific details by asking questions, no matter how simple. Remember to try and refrain from making assumptions, i.e. if you don't know,,,,,,ASK.  There are a number of steam qualified folks on here that have actually worked on/with steam, and will be more than happy to help.

@Hot Water posted:

Why resurrect a 6 1/2 year old thread?

He must have used the search function, which your a strong proponent of.

It looks like he wanted to know why 611's drivers are stamped 605.....and you still didn't tell him.

"this is the place to LEARN specific details by asking questions, no matter how simple. Remember to try and refrain from making assumptions, i.e. if you don't know,,,,,,ASK."

Last edited by RickO
@RickO posted:

He must have used the search function, which your a strong proponent of.

It looks like he wanted to know why 611's drivers are stamped 605.....and you still didn't tell him.

"this is the place to LEARN specific details by asking questions, no matter how simple. Remember to try and refrain from making assumptions, i.e. if you don't know,,,,,,ASK."

Well, to explain, the question was "Anybody know why..." to which he answered "Yes." Try asking the question again by deleting the first two words.

@joker34 posted:

Hot water, can you please explain why the drivers are stamped 605 on the 611?

Of course, and thank you for a logically stated question.

After reading this thread I m curious to know now.

Most of the large railroad heavy repair shops, generally called "Back Shops", developed more efficient systems for repairing/remanufacturing major components of a steam locomotive. Generally speaking, when a locomotive entered the shop, the tender was separated and moved to a completely seperate facility (called a 'Tank Shop'). The engine could/would then be lifted off of it's wheels, and placed on stands in order to access the various frame and boiler components, such as brake rigging, springs, driving boxes, pedestal jaws, appliances (air pumps, water pump, boiler checks, turbo generators, safety valves, gauges, cab fittings, exhaust stand & nozzle, boiler tubes and super heater units, and throttle components).

Major components were transported to specific areas within the shop for inspection and rebuilding as required/scheduled. Wheels and axle assemblies where inspected and new tires installed, maybe new crankpins installed, and any necessary machining performed on the axles. All side rods and main rods received new bearings, etc..

When the boiler work was fulling completed and all the appliances reinstalled, and the engine was ready to be re-wheeled, an appropriate set of completely rebuilt wheels and drivers were transported back to the main "Erecting Bay" in order for the engine to be lifted (by the big over-head cranes) and re-wheeled. If there were other locomotives of the exact same class in the Back Shop at the same time, it really didn't mater whether the exact same machinery components were returned to that same engine. The N&W Rwy. was one on the very best developers of highly efficient component rebuilding, with very quick turnaround, so that any locomotive could be completely rebuilt, in the shortest length of time.

Thus, since the N&W J Class 4-8-4s were all home designed and built by the N&W, all the major components, like driver assemblies, where all identical, it never really mattered which of these components were returned to their original host locomotive, if there happened to be more than one J Class in the East End Shop at the same time. Whichever major components were rebuilt first, they would be installed in the first J Class locomotive ready to be re-wheeled, and finished. As a side note, the N&W also had a separate numbering system for their various classes of tenders, which were all built/rebuilt in a separate facility there in Roanoke (still part of the East End Shops complex). Thus, the locomotive number never appeared on the tender.

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