January-February 2018 Article

This Month's Article: January-February 2018
The Nelson & Albemarle Railway Roster - 2018 Update
 
This is the 2018 update of information on the Nelson & Albemarle Railway equipment and includes steam, diesel, and motor-car information.  If you have additional information on the roster, or have a previously unknown photograph of any equipment, please write to NelsonAlbemarle@comcast.net and share your data. We are especially looking for data on the first #2 and #3; engine #8 and the Fairbanks-Morse motor car (velocipede).

"Since C. E. Fisher first compiled a two-page document chronicling the motive power of the Nelson & Albemarle Railway in the 1940's, there have been 4 published collections of data that provided detail on the equipment used by the soapstone companies that was leased or provided to the Nelson & Albemarle Railway for it's use.  C. E. Fisher's roster is held in the Youngstown State University (Ohio) Archives Library in the Lester L. Dickson Collection and is a minor part of C. E. Fisher's lifes work.  He was author of such books as The Early Railroads of Kentucky, The McConnell Locomotives, and The United States Military Railroads."
 
Nelson & Albemarle Railway Roster
NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
Schuyler RailwayTrolleyN/A---Lewis & Fowler1891Unknown1899-1905

Three (3) Lewis & Fowler single truck, open platform trolley cars purchased secondhand from Lynchburg Street Railway.  Originally built with Eickemeyer trucks (jack shafts and side rods) there were 6 cars purchased from the manufacturer in Brooklyn, New York and received starting 3 March 1891 and ending 5 May 1891 as the Lynchburg Street Railway's first trolleys.  Schuyler Railway purchased and received them in summer/fall 1899 with Maguire #20 trucks and Westinghouse motors that had been retrofitted in May 1892.  Though the Lynchburg Street Railway had tried a different version of the Eickemeyer trucks, they were no more successful than the original and were discarded in favor of the change out to Maguire trucks and Westinghouse motors.  A fourth trolley may also have been purchased to use for parts (or as noted in Hill City Trolleys by Harold E. Cox. this may have been used solely as locomotive). Noted in soapstone company memorandums, one car had all seats removed for use as locomotive.  Two remaining trolley had some seats removed to provide mixed train service.  Three non-powered freight cars were also noted as owned.  It is significant to note that while at a reunion of sorts, Thomas Drumheller reported that some of the trolley cars came from trolley systems in Washington and Baltimore though no documents have been found to support that recollection.

* Photograph in Hill Street Trolleys by Harold E. Cox in NEARHS colletion of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia.  Copyright Protected - Permission requested to use.

NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
Alberene RailroadC&O         Equipment---------------1897-1903

Leased by the C&O immediately upon completion on 13 July 1897 for five years as their Alberene Branch, the line was subsequently purchased by the C&O on 15 February 1902.  All equipment used on the line was C&O power.  Albemarle Soapstone Company likely had own small locomotive (ST) to manage quarry operations moving soapstone to mill.  Typical motive power on branch lines by this time were the Consolidations (2-8-0) and a C&O roster is available for locomotives that were purchased and in use from 1890 through 1901 and likely available to use on branch lines.

* Digital photo of the Roundhouse model 84773 Chesapeake & Ohio steam locomotive 2-6-0 #425 typical of the era (though paint scheme more likely black) and typical type used on branch lines from photograph of model in the NEARHS collection of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia.

NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
1 (1st)0-4-0T7x1228"PorterMay 18878361903-1920

Former Richmond City Railway #1 "Belle" an 0-4-0DY based on Vulcan catalogue style, "Lake Side"; subsequently sold to SI&E in 1920 as #1599; thence to Pierce-Williams (Fruit Basket Company) in Jonesboro, Arkansas on 17 April 1924.  Only known photograph available in Smithsonian Institution, Negative #893603, Frame 42077.

* Photo Print on heavy photo paper from NEARHS collection of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia.

NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
2 (1st)Unknown---------------1903-1920
Likely small 0-4-0T unit serving quarry operations at either Alberene or Schuyler.  No record of this locomotive has been found as of 1/1/18.
NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
3 (1st)Unknown---------------1903-1920
Likely small 0-4-0T unit serving quarry operations at either Alberene or Schuyler.  No record of this locomotive has been found as of 1/1/18.
NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
42-6-2T14x20---PorterDec 190431071904-1924
Built by Porter in December 1904, the first NEW locomotive for Nelson & Albemarle Railway provided mainline power for 19 years and was subsequently sold to SI&E in 1924 as their #1939.  From there it was sold to the Batesville & Southwestern on 13 September 1924 as an 0-6-0 with 8 wheel tender becoming B&SW #11 in Batesville, Mississippi.  The locomotive was resold to SI&E as #2483 for scrap in 1942.

* Photo courtesy of David Price collection with permission provided for use.  View as seen at Southern Iron & Equipment before conversion to 0-6-0 with tender.  Print now in NEARHS collection of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia.


NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
50-4-4T12x1642"PittsburghJan 189415101905-1924

Former Manhattan Ry. 2nd #60; Class K-2, engine weight 47000#, weight on drivers 33000#, wheel base 16', 1"; number of tubes=14, heating surface 546sf; boiler diameter 42" with Belpaire firebox; water capacity 512g; built 10 January 1894; (20 total locomotives built in this series). Noted to have vacuum brakes.  To Virginia Alberene Corp. via P. McManus, Cape Charles, Virginia (dealer).  Sold to Virginia Soapstone, 6 March 1905.; reportedly resold to P. McManus around 1920 though no documentation found to support the resale.  Commonly referred to as a Forney-type locomotive.

* Photograph is from Collection of New York Transit Museum Archives (see copyright restriction embedded in thumbnail image) from NEARHS collection of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia. Courtesy of the New York Transit Museum Archives.  "This image cannot be reproduced without the written permission of the New York Transit Museum Archives."  Please do not copy or infringe on these rights. Copies are available from the New York Transit Museum Archives via their websitehttp://www.mta.info/mta/museum/archiveguid.html

NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
60-4-4T12x1642"PittsburghDec 189315081905-1924
Former Manhattan Ry. 2nd #56; Class K-2, engine weight 47000#, weight on drivers 33000#, wheel base 16', 1"; number of tubes=14, heating surface 546sf; boiler diameter 42" with Belpaire firebox; water capacity 512g, built 22 December 1893; (20 total locomotives built in this series). Noted to have vacuum brakes. To Virginia Alberene Corp. via P. McManus, Cape Charles, Virginia (dealer); Sold to Virginia Soapstone, 19 May 1905.;  reportedly resold to P. McManus around 1920 though no documentation found to support the resale.  Commonly referred to as a Forney-type locomotive.

* See photograph from N&A #5 above (note restrictions from copyright and see the New York Transit Museum Archives at their website:  http://www.mta.info/mta/museum/archiveguid.html 



NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
72-4-2T8x1226"BaldwinNov 188788741905-1920

Ex-Proctor Coal Company #1, "Hutchcraft"; Used as primary locomotive on Schuyler to Rockfish run; sold to SI&E in May 1920 as their #1597.  thence to A. F. Langford Co. #2  Bartey, Florida on 23 September 1920 with cylinders changed to 17x24.  Original Photo in Smithsonian Institution, Negative #893602 - Frame #42076.  The photograph that has been requested for permission to use is now from the R. C. Ballard Thruston Collection of the Filson Historical Society Special Collections Library at the University of Kentucky.  This was likely photographed when the locomotive was newly acquired from Baldwin Locomotive Works.  Note the lettering under the cab, "Hutchcraft".

*  Original photo in use was of photographic print "Nelson & Albemarle Railway Baldwin 2-4-2 Tank Locomotive", circa 1920, Thomas Norrell Railroad Collection, NMAH.AC.1174, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number 80, folder 17, digital file number 893602/42076 from NEARHS collection of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia.  In 2017, we have received permission to use the photograph now shown providing credit to the R. C. Ballard Thruston Collection of the Filson Historical Society Special Collections Library at the University of Kentucky.  The high-resolution image was used for the topic of the April 2017 This Month's Article on this Baldwin-built locomotive when first in service at the Proctor Coal Company.

NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
8Unknown---------------1905-1920

Remembered by 'old-timers' as having a tender; however no known photographs or references.  Except, the Virginia Alberene Corporation stock certificate (blank) has a soapstone train depicted with a small locomotive with tender which could have been #8.  Stock certificate noted has preprinted 192_ referencing that the issue would be during that decade and likely after locomotive #8 was scrapped.  Personal Note:  The use of the steam locomotive with tender on stock certificate looks to be a Forney locomotive but with a tender providing water for continual use.  However, this view does not have a smoke stack of the height of the #5 or #6 locomotives.  This could be a third locomotive purchased from former-Manhattan Railway surplus, but there is no record or documentation as to that effect. And it should also be noted that some switching locomotives sold by the Baldwin Locomotive Works included separate tenders to extend the operational capacity of the locomotive when access to clean water was not always available.

* Image taken from Virginia Alberene stock certificate blank in NEARHS collection of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia.

NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
"Maude"4-whl  "Sheffield" Velocipede------Fairbanks-Morse CompanyUnknown---1903~05-Unknown

A unit purchased through Fairbanks-Morse, a Sheffield Velocipede, (though term velocipede had been changed to 'Sheffield Car') was used in early days of N&A for the personal service of the general manager and executives though frequently allowed to be used for other purposes.  Purchased by J. W. Foster of the N&A Railway several years before 1910 (Reference:  Memo to Fairbanks Morse in 1910 where the unit is called 'Maude').  Note:  Sheffield Velocipedes had model names that all started with the letter "M" including "Maude", though no catalog has been found with the specific model mentioned.  There was continued search for this in several higher education libraries (Vanderbilt University, Southern Methodist University, etc.) during 2017 and only possible lead on this unit was a photo book of F-M Velocipedes priced at over $2500 that will not be purchased to see if "Maude" has a photograph included.  The search for an illustration of "Maud" or "Maude" continues with the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution in 2018.  Calls to Fairbanks-Morse Engines in Beloit, Wisconsin did not yield results even though this is a descendant from the original company (Wheeling Eclipse Windmills).

* Photograph from public domain copy of Fairbanks-Morse catalog circa 1905.  No.2 is Code Word, Minturn while Code Word Maude is another model though similar to this depiction from the NEARHS collection of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia.

NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
1 (2nd)0-4-0T7x1224"VulcanJun 19056751916-1920

Old Dominion Soapstone Company was merged into the Virginia Alberene Corporation in February 1917 and their locomotives became part of the soapstone companies operations though on separate properties. Built for Old Dominion Soapstone of Esmont, Virginia as "Vulcan".  Company headquartered at Damon, Virginia at time of merger. Sold by the Nelson & Albemarle Railway to Southern Iron & Equipment in 1920 as SI&E #1600.  There was no record of resale from SI&E.  Photo in Smithsonian Institution, Negative #893604 - Frame #42078.

*  The image in use is a copy of a photographic print "Nelson & Albemarle Railway Vulcan 0-4-0 Tank Locomotive", circa 1920, Thomas Norrell Railroad Collection, NMAH.AC.1174, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number 80, folder 17, digital file number 893604/42078 from NEARHS collection of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia.


NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
2 (2nd)0-4-0T11x1630"VulcanOct 190914361916-1942

Old Dominion Soapstone Company was merged into the Virginia Alberene Corporation in February 1917 and their locomotives became part of the soapstone companies operations though on separate properties. Built for Old Dominion Soapstone on 4 October 1909, the locomotive had service weight of 41,000#, tank capacity of 750 gallons, Fuel capacity of 500#; a working pressure of 145# and rated tractive effort of 9050# and an oil headlamp.  Company headquartered at Damon, Virginia at time of merger.  Received new boiler in June 1926.  Continued in service until 1 December 1931 noted as out-of-service on the quarry property.  Virginia Alberene merged with Alberene Stone Corporation in April 1935 with no change to numbering or out-of-service status of locomotive except added to the Nelson & Albemarle Railway roster.  Though noted as sold to American Cyanimid in 1942, records from the Virginia Blue Ridge Railway held by the Whippany Railway Museum confirm that the locomotive was sold to the Virginia Blue Ridge Railway in June 1942 for $600 as their first #4 where it was used for a year and a half hauling ballast trains as the railroad upgraded its roadbed to accommodate  increase of traffic from aplite plants and Southern Mineral Products facility.  Noted historian, Tom Lawson, Jr. (author of Locomotives of the SI&E Company) received detail from Alan Maples in 2014 that showed that VBR had shipper, American Cyanimid at Piney River pay for work on the locomotive and they did not have an ownership stake in the engine.  The Virginia Blue Ridge sold the locomotive when no longer needed to Leas & McVitty, Inc. a tanning extract manufacturer in Buena Vista, Virginia on 22 December 1943 for $2500.  Taken out of service in the late-1950's, the locomotive was sold to Charles Watson in 1962 who displayed locomotive in front of a motel in Marion, Virginia (with the saddle tank removed).  Purchased later by Will Harris of North Fork Lumber Company of Goshen, Virginia where the locomotive remains in static condition on siding (next to a Shay) in private collection and viewable on request.  This is the only remaining Nelson & Albemarle Railway rostered-locomotive not scrapped.

* Photograph part of misc. set of photo prints purchased from dealer at Railroad Memorabilia show at Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles, Illinois with no identified photographer and now part of NEARHS collection of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia.

NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
92-6-2T17x2446"VulcanApr 192030451920-1952

Vulcan built the next new locomotives for the Nelson & Albemarle Railway 15 years after #4 was purchased from Porter.  2-6-2ST #9 was purchased by Virginia Alberene Corporation and delivered to Schuyler, Virginia in 1920 weighing 74 tons (148,000#).  The locomotive became the primary mainline engine from delivery until replaced in the 3rd (and last) set of new locomotives with GE 44-ton diesel #1 taking over in 1951, 30 years after #9 arrived.  #9 would be scrapped in 1952with scrapping likely occurring in Richmond, Virginia at Peck Iron & Metals (though actually at Deepwater Terminal where C&O, SAL, ACL locomotives were scrapped in long lines of processing that put the scrap metal on ships for eventual export).

* Photograph from unknown photographer with negative in the NEARHS collection of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia.

NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
102-6-2T15x2442"VulcanDec 192232781922-1953

Built for the Nelson & Albemarle Railway as 2-6-2ST #10 two years after #9 was built, this slightly smaller tank locomotive was purchased by Virginia Alberene Corporation and delivered to Rockfish, Virginia weighing 56 tons (112,000#).  Used for traffic between Schuyler and Rockfish and also as the secondary locomotive for mainline between Schuyler and Esmont/Warren whenever #9 was out of service.  With the arrival of GE-35 ton diesel #2 in late 1952, #10 would be scrapped in 1953 with scrapping likely occurring in Richmond, Virginia at Peck Iron & Metals (though actually at Deepwater Terminal where C&O, SAL, ACL locomotives were scrapped in long lines of processing that put the scrap metal on ships for eventual export).

* Photograph is W. H. Thayer picture postcard from NEARHS collection of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia.  A negative of this photograph is also in the NEARHS collection.

NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
112-4-2T14x2240"VulcanOct 190913811923-1954

Built for Culver & Port Clinton Railroad, Gypsum, Ohio as their #2, this Vulcan-built locomotive weighed 43 tons (86,000#) and served a mining industry (Gypsum) in much the way locomotives served the Nelson & Albemarle Railway support for the soapstone works.  #2 was said to have received a new boiler (#2929) in July 1916.  Due to an as yet unknown reason, #2 was at the Vulcan shops at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania before being sold to Nelson & Albemarle Ry in March 1923 (noted as going to N&A in April 1923).  Another new boiler was noted as installed in 1927 (though shown places as same boiler #2929 from 1916).  While said to have been scrapped in 1954, there is a known photograph from 1951 with #11 in Warren where the locomotive was usually operating only in Schuyler (likely meaning that both #9 and #10 were out of service and #11 was the only available engine before GE 44-ton #1 arrived) .  With diesel power replacing #9 as the mainline locomotive, #11 would be the last active steam survivor on the N&A with scrapping taking place in 1954.  Like #9 and #10, #11 may have traveled via the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway into Richmond, Virginia to be transferred onto the Seaboard Air Line Railway at C&O's 17th Street rail yard (next to the former Richmond Locomotive Works) for transport to Peck Iron & Metal (at Deepwater Terminal) where the locomotive would have been cut up by torch for scrap metal that was then loaded onto ships.

* Photograph is an unknown photographer print from photo taken on 20 August 1941 from NEARHS collection of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia.  N&A #14 is also shown in photo (and photo from opposite direction is also in the NEARHS collection).

NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
120-4-0T12x1833"VulcanFeb 192434261924-1953

During the boom years in the early 1920's, Virginia Alberene Corporation purchased additional motive power from Vulcan including 0-4-0T #12 which as delivered to Rockfish, Virginia weighing 30 tons (60,000#).  Like the remainder of steamers, diesel power would cause #12 to be scrapped 1953 once GE 25-ton #3 was delivered early in the year. Scrapping likely occurred in Richmond, Virginia at Peck Iron & Metals (though actually at Deepwater Terminal where C&O, SAL, ACL locomotives were scrapped in long lines of processing that put the scrap metal on ships for eventual export).

* Photograph is an H. Reid picture postcard from NEARHS collection of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia.

NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
Not Named or Numbered4 wheel - gas powered------Plymouth (Fate-Root-Heath Company)Oct 192418601924-1963

Puchased by Phoenix Stone Company of New York City for delivery to Standard Soapstone of Arrington, Virginia as 42" gauge locomotive, this gas-powered, 4-wheel unit was built 13 October 1924 as Model DLC, Type 6.  When soapstone companies merged, the ownership was transferred to the Virginia Alberene Corporation on 18 December 1930 and converted to Standard Gauge at some point.  A single photo of tracks by a quarry appear to show the unit at Schuyler, however, the photo may actually be of a side-dump ballast car that the N&A owned.   According to an article by Ed Fielding in The Short Line: The Journal of Shortline & Industrial Railroads in January/February 1978 (Volume 6, Number 1; TSL #31), this Plymouth unit (un-numbered) was in the engine house at Schuyler in 1965 making it the last of the roster to be present on the original property.

* Photo from NEARHS collection of prints.


NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
140-4-0T12x1833"VulcanFeb 192535071925-1953

Built in February 1925 (though shown some places as built in 1926) this Vulcan 0-4-0T was purchased by the Virginia Alberene Corporation as Nelson & Albemarle #14 delivered to Schuyler, Virginia weighing 30 tons (60,000#) and a basic duplicate of N&A 0-4-0T #12.  Scrapped 1953 as #12 was, the scrapping likely occurred in Richmond, Virginia at Peck Iron & Metals (though actually at Deepwater Terminal where C&O, SAL, ACL locomotives were scrapped in long lines of processing that put the scrap metal on ships for eventual export).

* Photograph is an unknown photographer's picture postcard from NEARHS collection of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia.

NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
150-4-0T12x1633"VulcanJan 191725901928-1953
Originally built for the Chile Exploration Company, weighing 26 tons (52,000#), the company never took delivery of the engine.  It was sold to the Rhodes Construction Company.  On March 7, 1928, the locomotive was then sold to the Virginia Alberene Company.  Used on their subsidiary, Alberoyd Company of Esmont, Virginia as their #1, it was assigned to the crusher plant at Damon where it would remain until the crusher plant was moved to Schuyler and the locomotive followed (becoming #15).  Disposition unknown but assumed scrapped around 1953 along with #12 and #14. Scrapping likely occurred in Richmond, Virginia at Peck Iron & Metals (though actually at Deepwater Terminal where C&O, SAL, ACL locomotives were scrapped in long lines of processing that put the scrap metal on ships for eventual export).  Note that the Richmond Deepwater Terminal where Peck Iron & Metals were located nearby was serviced by the Seaboard Air Line Railway and traffic destined for scrapping arriving from the C&O made interchange to the SAL from the adjacent C&O 17th Street yard in Richmond.

Note:  Previously, the only known photograph of N&A Railway #15 was the copy of the original builder's photograph found within a copyrighted book.  While this was originally reported to be in the Library of Congress (see This Month's Article - March 2016) it was recently found at the Smithsonian Institution archives where their Department of Transportation moved the entire Southern Iron & Equipment collection including photographs circa 1903-1960 between departments in 1989.
NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
1 (3rd)B-B------GEDec 1950308561951-1963

GE 44-ton B-B Diesel c/n 30856 was built in December 1950 for the Nelson & Albemarle Railway #1 (the third #1) on requisition #RIC-29947 555/733/D-17000 and was rated at 44-tons and 400hp.  It was shipped to the N&A on 9 January 1951.  (The D-17000 is technically rated as 2, Caterpillar V-8 diesel engines at-180hp each plus 2-134kw motors though listed as 400hp for this unit).  This diesel replaced 2-6-2T #9 as the mainline engine until the end of the N&A line when shutdown in 1963.  Officially transferred to Georgia Marble ownership in 1963, the diesel was moved to Tate, Georgia.  After some time, the diesel was sent to Gantt's Quarry in Alabama, then sold to Industrial Maintenance (Service) Co. in 1976 but never sent to their property before being sold to Hamburg Industries of North Augusta, South Carolina (Hamburg Industries was later purchased by TTX).  The diesel did get painted in a Hamburg Industries color scheme and numbered as their #2.  (Photograph in Hamburg Industries color scheme exists but no permission to use at this time).  Last known photograph taken 30 July 1982 by Mac Connery of Durham, North Carolina.  When TTX planned a re-engine project, 30856 was not selected for upgrades.  Instead, #2 was used as spare parts for the remaining 44-ton units on the property, stored for a short time on the west side of the TTX property until eventually scrapped with Progress Rail (possibly as a trade-in for another 44-ton unit).  Noted as scrapped at Patterson, Georgia, but Progress Rail reports that any unit sent for scrapping would have been forwarded to Mayfield, Kentucky.  The detail on how TTX handled the disposition and scrapping of former N&A #1 (Hamburg Industries #2) was relayed verbally while visiting the TTX facility in North August, South Carolina.

* Photograph is from Photographer, Charles Wales (slide) taken on 30 October 1953 near Esmont, Virginia and is original slide from the NEARHS collection of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia.

NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
2 (3rd)B------GENov 1952317681952-1963

GE 35-ton B Diesel c/n 31768 (rare unit) was built in November 1952 for Alberene Stone Corp. as Nelson & Albemarle #2 (third #2) on requisition #RIC-49116-2 558/733/NHBIS and was rated at 35-tons and 234hp.  It was shipped to Alberene Stone Company on 5 December 1952.  Diesel #2 replaced multiple steam locomotives used in quarry operations and was in service until the end of the N&A line when shutdown in 1963.  Officially transferred to Georgia Marble ownership in 1963, the diesel was sent to Alabama Marble Division, Gantt's Quarry, as Alabama Marble #2 in Sylacauga, Alabama (repainted into Georgia Marble colors at some point) and served the Imerys Pigment Plant (merger activity of Georgia Marble).  Last know photographed in 2005.  Confirmed scrapped for metal in 2009 or 2010 by security personnel at Gantt's Quarry on August 26, 2015 while onsite in Sylacauga, Alabama.  Unit was rusted out badly and no longer able to perform workload.  Working to confirm what company scrapped the diesel with Abel Mendoza, Imerys rail operations manager in Georgia.

* Top photograph is from an original negative owned and in the NEARHS collection of #2 when still new on the Nelson & Albemarle Railway in 1953 at Schuyler, Virginia.  The original photograph shown at the bottom was taken by Tom Lawson, Jr. on 8 June 1963 at Gantt's Quarry Alabama and is from a picture postcard in the NEARHS collection of N&A Railway memorabilia..

You might remember that Tom Lawson is the author of "Locomotives of the Southern Iron & Equipment Company" available from Cabbage Stack Publishing in Birmingham, Alabama 35219 (P.O. Box 19912) for $49.95. Go to this webpage to complete form and forward for purchase:  http://www.cabbagestkpub.ns2.atspace.com/sieform.html   If you haven't bought "Locomotives of the Southern Iron & Equipment Company" yet, don't delay!  The book is an invaluable resource to anyone working to find locomotive history such as that of the N&A Railway. 

NumberTypeCylindersDriversBuilderBuiltC/N or S/NYear Range
3 (2nd)B------GEJan 1953317781953-1963

GE 25-ton B Diesel c/n 31778 was built in January 1953 for Alberene Stone Corp. as Nelson & Albemarle #3 (second #3) on requisition #RIC-49116-3 1503/747/HBI and was rated at 25-tons and 150hp.  It was shipped to Alberene Stone Company on 6 February 1953.  Diesel #3 replaced  steam locomotives used in quarry operations and was in service until the end of the N&A line when shutdown in 1963.  Officially transferred to Georgia Marble ownership in 1963, this small diesel was sent to Nelson, Georgia where it remained stored out-of-service for quite some time.  Lewis Rhodes of Railrhodes, Inc. of Monroe, Georgia acquired the diesel and in 2002 made the sale of the 25-ton diesel to Great Lakes Calcium company in Woodville, Ohio.  In 2004, GLC Woodville site was sold to the National Lime & Stone company who almost immediately closed the Woodville Plant.  Conversation with NL&S found that no 25-ton unit was involved in the takeover of the Woodville Plant facility or movement of materials to NL&S's main site in Carey, OH.  While thought to be scrapped prior to 2004, there was a comment mentioned by NL&S that #3 may have been involved in a wreck at the Woodville Plant property and might have been shipped to GLC's Green Bay, Wisconsin facility.  With no additional sightings since 2003, unconfirmed photos of a GE 25-ton unit appeared in mid-2008 taken by Michael Ostertag (and posted on rrpicturesarchive.net) on 14 June 2008 that appeared to be GE c/n 31778.  Then in late-2013 photographs were taken describing the location as Great Lakes Calcium in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  Great Lakes Calcium in Green Bay was contacted by phone and they advised on 14 February 2014, that the unit is in use daily to move cars and is indeed GE c/n 31778.  There are at least 2 photographs on Flickr from photographer Kim Kafura of the Green Bay engine taken in late-2013 and he has granted permission to use his image(s) here (shown at bottom).  During 2015, this last remaining diesel was visited in Green Bay, Wisconsin and opportunity was provided to not only ride in the diesel but also pilot the locomotive on the Great Lakes Calcium site (under guidance of a licensed engineer!) and photographs of this experience have been shared in a This Month's Article during 2017.

* Top photograph is from an original negative owned and in the NEARHS collection of #3 when still new on the Nelson & Albemarle Railway in 1953 at Schuyler, Virginia quarries.  The bottom photograph was provided by Kim Kafura to the NEARHS collection of Nelson & Albemarle Railway memorabilia.  Thanks also go to Tom Lawson, Jr. for additional historical and personal detail on 31778 that was previously unknown and fills a large gap of the missing story.  Tom knew Lewis Rhodes of Railrhodes, Inc. when they were both with Republic Locomotive Works in the early 1980's.  Tom tried to purchase 31778 (d/b/a Locomotive Marketing, Inc.), but Railrhodes, Inc. won out.

Remember:  31778 started life in Erie, PENNSYLVANIA; then went to Schuyler, VIRGINIA; from there to Nelson, GEORGIA; and on to Woodville, OHIO before appearing in Green Bay, WISCONSIN.  64 years old and lived in 5 different states!

Reference:  All photographs are available from sources as noted with each picture used in the article. Copyright 2018 - Nelson & Albemarle Railway Historical Society.

Send email to NelsonAlbemarle@comcast.net if you have any comments or questions or wish to contribute to future articlesCopyright 2018 - Nelson & Albemarle Railway Historical Society.

If you're wondering about our Nelson & Albemarle Railway Book, yes, it's still being prepared (albeit slowly).  Chapters 1, 2, and 3 are done; Chapters 4, 5 are being re-written; Chapters 6, 7, and 10 are done; Chapters 8, 8A, & 8B are yet to be written with expectation that they will not be done until late-2018; Chapter 9, a compilation of articles from the This Month's Article series on Photographers of the N&A, is done; Chapter 11 is being re-written; It is a long-drawn out process to prepare a book of any nature, but this one is also being formatted for both an internet-based book and publication as a soft-cover book.

Cover - Photo of #9 with boxcar and combine from California Railroad Museum (a Charles Clegg photograph from the Mixed Train Daily series)
Inside - Detailed map of Nelson & Albemarle (to be prepared from multiple sources including plats, valuation maps, diagrams from COHS, topographical maps, etc.)  Note:  This map has been created, but there is a notable gap in the track diagram for the Rockfish, Virginia area which has kept this map from being completed.  We continue to look for that detail as we move forward to publish this book.
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 - Origin of the N&A; predecessors Schuyler Railway, Alberene Railroad, Lease of the C&O Alberene Subdivision
Chapter 2 - Soapstone Company histories; (Albemarle, Virginia, Alberene + others such as Old Dominion that merged)
Chapter 3 - Nelson & Albemarle Railway - how it began, leases, where it ran, topical discussions on why and where
Chapter 4 - Depots, Yard(s), Sidings, Interchanges, Timetables
Chapter 5 - Steam Locomotives (1, 2; Old Dominion 1, 2; the mystery of 3; 4; 5 & 6; 7; the mystery of 8 and how it got on the N&A Stock Certificate; 9 & 10; 11; 12, 14, 15.)
Chapter 6 - Diesel Locomotives (1, 2, 3 and their subsequent histories)
Chapter 7 - Misc. Powered Equipment (4-wheel Sheffield Velocipede bought from Fairbanks-Morse Company model="Maude" which name it kept)
Chapter 8 - Mixed Train Service (great chapter for photographs, but also to showcase the requirement of mixed trains to serve needs)
Chapter 8A - Passenger Service, Equipment, + Caboose(s) including 1 former RF&P (passenger only trains, equipment 'borrowed' from the C&O, end of passenger service, caboose as passenger service)
Chapter 8B - Freight Service, Equipment + off line equipment such as freight dollys, soapstone dollys for gang saws, etc.; (boxcars from NYC, etc.; hoppers, ballast car, flat cars to service quarries and gang saws;
Chapter 9 - Photographers (Charles Clegg, August Thieme, H. Reid, etc.), Motion Picture Photographer (only 1 known - August Thieme), and Authors (Archie Robertson, Lucius Beebe, Richard Prince, Garth Groff, Mallory Hope Ferrell)
Chapter 10 - Publications, etc. on N&A (the web site detail here)
Chapter 11 - The N&A what if and what is (what if the N&A had continued to exist; what is left of the N&A today and how Soapstone is again in a revival period)
Inside back - Fanciful map of the sightseeing along the route, plus the industries other than soapstone served by the line including school 'bus' service.
Copyright 2018 - Nelson & Albemarle Railway Historical Society.
Comments