These original 8mm films come to us from the relatives of the late Donald Jamieson, who was a family friend of the Scholl family. Don lived in Batavia, Ohio and owned a tool company behind the depot, so much of his footage is shot right in that area. However, he did venture to a few places with the Scholl family, or with Warren Scholl.
Don loved steam the most and tried to capture as much as possible near the end, but he only got a few things, before he realized the west end of the N&W was gone. He did get a rare shot of the Jawn Henry steam Turbine on a freight, a Class Z on the local, several scenes of a K1 on the local freight, plus a few steam passenger trains. This included the 603 on the official last steam run of the eastbound "Arrow". Later in 1958 he got some interesting footage of a major diesel freight wreck in Sardinia, and two days later once the line was open again we see the Powhatan Arrow eastbound, just two months before steam was eliminated. The power for this train was non other than the now famous 611.
After steam was gone from the west end, Don documented many of the dead engines that came through Batavia on the diesel-hauled locals headed to scrap companies on the west side of Cincinnati. Early GP9's powered these trains and we sometimes get to see some interesting switching moves at the two small yards at Batavia. We get to see lots of these trains with a good variety of dead engines. One noted engine was 4-6-2 number 563, one of the last two that was used on the Bluefield to Norton run. We also see various Y class 2-8-8-2's, Class A 2-6-6-4's, S class 0-8-0's, and K1 and K2a streamlined 4-8-2's. One wild surprise is a Virginian Allegheny, number 903 passing through in a local headed to scrap. While there might be a bit more dead engine coverage than some would like, its really kinda rare to see this amount of coverage and helps to document where these engines were finally sent in some respects. Many of the engines had the numbers blackened out, but some were identifiable with the number plates or had numbers chalked on the engines. One such engine was Class A 1232 which was the engine to pull the last time freight from Cincinnati in 1956, and we see it at the engine washer in Portsmouth in 1958.
Our show takes us to Portsmouth to see steam operations in the yard during October 1958, and then again for a final visit in January 1959. J class engines were kept there on standby to protect the passenger trains. We see one such light engine at Batavia in the form of 601 in October 1958.
In July 1959 we ride an excursion train from Roanoke-Bluefield- Cedar Bluff with Class A 1240, and Class Y6b 2174. After this we take a trip to Williamson in April 1960) to see 0-8-0 action just a couple weeks before the fires were dropped on N&W steam in that town, the last place for N&W steam. If some of you have the "Norfolk & Western Steam Freights" some of these visits will look familiar cause Warren Scholl was with Don on these outings. However, I can tell you the footage all different, as at Williamson Don stayed near the depot and got moves there, while Warren was elsewhere. There are scenes I never recalling seeing before since Don had shot them.
There is a lot here, and nice variety. Its not shot after shot of mainline steam blasting by, but rather as we say...Norfolk and Western transitioning from steam to diesel, as we see everything from steam runs, to diesels hauling dead steam engines, and visits to some of the last steam areas on the N&W. Its a nice historic chronicle which we are happy to preserve for others to enjoy!