Three sets of SD units wait on crews to head north out of Black Mountain yards to the Leatherwood branch in the coal fields of Eastern, KY

Friday, July 13, 2018

Derailment on the KV&O

Must have been a derailment somewhere. KV&O U30B 5500 has been coupled up and supplies loaded onto the derailment train.

KV&O 2-8-8-2 2197

After a couple year restoration, KV&O 2-8-8-2 2197 is complete. The locomotive will be put on display at Black Mountain yard at the railfan museum.

Transfer Cars at D&D Steel.

Couple transfer cars working the high line today. Two blast furnaces going keeps these transfer cars busy.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day

I like to take this time to remember the ones that have been lost on active military duty today. Please take time to say a prayer for there families for what they have gone through for there lost and say a prayer for the ones who are still in active service. 

I also like to thank the ones that are still in active service for what you have done and given for our country.

Hope everyone has a blessed Memorial Day. 

Take care, Stay Safe, Happy Modeling and God Bless

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Layout Visited

While on vacation, we stopped by to see a good friend's (Ron) house that lives in Florida and seen the updates on his layout. This layout is one of the best detailed layouts that I think I have seen. Ron is a great guy and takes time to talk and to show all the new areas and ideas that he has come up with. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Kling Hot metal

An experimental Kling double pot hot metal car has been put into service at The D&D Steel Works. First couple test has seen good result. There will be more done before the car goes into production.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Story of KV&O #1791

Was out filming inbound and outbound trains at Black Mountain yards today when an older gentleman walked up to me and we started talking. The guy’s name was Sam Wiseman. He had worked for the KV&O when steam still ruled the rails. He told many stories but one that stood out was the day that a set of four FA diesels stalled on Black Mountain and one of the last operating steam locomotives come to shove the train over the mountain.

The was the fall of 1956 when C541 had doubled over 150 loads in Dent yards to take south to the interchange with C&O at Martin, KY. Headend power was 2 FAs and 2 FBs. This was a normal practice and nothing was any different about this day than others. Minutes before departing the 150 car train had been rerouted over Black Mountain on the Leatherwood branch. This was one of the steepest grades on the KV&O and a lot of the engineers did not like going up or down this mountain. Black Mountain was known for its electrification and some of the electrified locomotives that work here were brutes. But this day all electrification had been suspended due to upgrading generators in most substations along the line.

The engineer on C541 C. Harrison. Harrison was a newly promoted to engineer and still was pretty cocky and was ready to take the train up Black Mountain. Due to tonnage, it was suggested a pusher crew be put on duty and assist the crew up the Mountain. Not wanting to wait for the pusher crew Harrison was able to talk the dispatcher into letting him try the hill without a pusher. Only other train that would be on the line would be a Steam execution train pulled by KV&O #1791. It was a 2-8-8-2 that had not been taken out of service but only used for execution trains and for short local runs. It is also one of the last running articulated steams locomotives still on the KV&O. It was an hour or so behind schedule due to delays in getting out of Hazard yards, waiting on coal from a local dealer.

With the Okay C541 took off up the Leatherwood branch with there 4 engines and 150 loaded hoppers and caboose. The trip started out pretty good surprisingly. The way these 4 engines ran Harrison thought they would be able to make the mountain with no problem. At MP 0LF264 was when the grade really started getting steep, but the way the line was laid out, the train would have to go up a grade then they would enter a section of track that would level out and they would be able to get their speed back up before the next grade. 25 miles into the 125-mile run was when the problems started. At MP 0LF284 the 3rd unit a B unit shut down. The train was able to limp to one of the section of level track where Harrison could check the engine out. After a good look over, he found out the engine was running low on water and couldn’t be restarted. Harrison felt that he had enough power to make the rest of the hill but it would be slow. At MP 0LF286 the rear A unit shut down. With the smoke a rolling they knew what happened to that unit and there was no reason to check it out. Blown motor said, Harrison 4th unit back. So there they were stuck on the side of the Mountain dead in the water, not enough power to go forward and not enough power to go back to keep the train from running away downhill. Luckily there was a squawk box about a ¼ mile from where they were. With radio being new to the railroads KV&O depended on squawk boxes along the track. Squawk boxes are telephones that are a direct line to the dispatcher. So crew can get permission for track or report problems or emergencies. The conductor made his way to the squawk box and told the dispatcher of the situation. The only train that was between Dent yard and C541 was KV&O #1791 pulling the 11 car excursion train.

KV&O #1791 was stopped at MP 0LF274. With KV&O #1791 stopped and the conductor on the box, the news was told of the stalled train ahead. The excursion train included the president of the KV&O and with him being a railroad man he wanted to know what was going on, he made his way up to the engine and was told of the situation. The old head crew on 1791 was familiar with the situation and had run into it before but not with 150 loads. After a little decision, it was decided that they would assist the stalled train but the drawback of this was 1791 had to take the 11 pass car with it due to cold fall weather and steam from the engine is what kelp the cars warm. After a job briefing with C541 and a few comments made from Harrison about the old steamer not having power #1791 coupled to the rear of the train. With a long blow of the whistle to let the headend know they were ready Harrison eased into the throttle and released the brakes. With the weight of the train pulling back Harrison felt the train start to inch forward. 1791 started pushing from the rear and the slack could be heard slowly bunching up. With a bump felt from the rear C541 started picking up speed milepost by milepost the speed rose and by the time the summit of the mountain was reached they were at 15 MPH surprising that was pretty good from a train that starts from a dead stop. Once the siding was reached and C541 pulled their train into it to wait on a set of engines, Harrison turn in his seat and flipped a switch on the back panel of the locomotive. To this day the conductor said it was the run switch to the lead locomotive, which if this is true, only one unit on the head end was pulling from the head end, and 1791 was pushing the bulk of the train. When Harrison was asked about the switch his reply was “I can’t remember everything”. KV&O 1791 was never officially retired from service and to this day is considered one of the strongest locomotive KV&O owns.

(This is a story of fiction, names are made up, some places are real while others are not.)