Tribute to my Grandfather

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by kf4jqd, Jul 20, 2002.

  1. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Hello All:

    I am making a tribute to my Grandfather. Before World War II, he worked on the Southern Railroad.

    I thought I would make a small layout in N scale with the Southern Railroad. He lived in Indiana during that time. I know he taked about going to Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginas, and Carolinas. He passed away in 1994, so I can't get information from him. My Mom says she was told alot of stories about his railroad days, but nothing about the company itself.

    What I am asking, is there any websites devoted to the Southern before WWII? Or anyother information would help.


    For once I am not asking about the Rock!
  2. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

  3. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Thanks Cid!!!! That's what I was looking for.

    Here's how my Grandpa got started. He was looking for a job. Hard to do during the Great Depression!!! :eek: So he stoled away on a Southern train headed for Tennessee. He wanted a job on a TVA project.

    The story goes, the engineer caught him. The engineer needed a new fire man because his current one was being promoted. He had my Grandpa be came a fireman. Less then a year he was allowed to drive the train. The enigeer was so impressed with my Grandfather's skills on that ol' steam locomotive he became an engineer before his 20th birthday!!:eek: :eek:

    And yes, he did graduate from high school and even a tech school. What was his major? You guessed it. Steam locomotives! He ran rail frienght in Africa during WWII.

    After the war, he and my Grandmother moved to Bettendorf, Iowa. He stopped being an engineer and worked at JI Case until he retired in 1980. He still loved those trains!

    This little layout will be in memory of my Grandfather, Chester Owen Henry.

  4. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Your project sounds like a splendid idea.
    It's not often I get to help others but I think that by sheer luck I might be able to help you with your quest for information.

    My wife bought me an old library book from a library clear-out. It's title is "The Central Pacific & Southern Pacific Railroads" by Lucius Beebe and published by Howel-North Books (1966).

    Flicking through the pages I see it covers from 1860's to end of steam era. It also contains maps from Portland OR to Tucumcari NM and the sunset route to New Orleans.

    Theres 121 black and white photos of just about everything in it.
    It talks of the various takeovers and their costs.

    If there is anything you especially want to know I can look it up for you.

    hope this helps

  5. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I think you're confusing the Southern Pacific RR with the Southern Ry. Both great fallen flags, but they operated in very different parts of the country.
    I think this is a great idea you have, & a great inspiration for a modeling project!:cool:
    There's a lot of published material on the Southern. I saw a great book a couple of years ago at a train show, I believe it was called the The Southern Ry. In Pictures. I'm not sure, but it might have been published by Old Line Graphics.
    Another source for you would be this wonderful trilogy of books by Elmer Sulzer...
    Ghost RR's Of Indiana
    Ghost RR's Of Kentucky
    Ghost RR's Of Tennessee
    All three are published by Indiana University Press, & are fantastic sources of information on all the RR's operating in those areas, especially in the time frame you're interested in.
    The best of luck to you in your endeavor!
  6. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    It's just like you Americans to confuse we "alians" :D :D :D
    (Fortunately "beer" has the same meaning both sides of the Atlantic :) )

    Talking of Language, I used the expression "mooned" in one of my recent posts.... I meant "moonstruck"..... I found out yesterday what the American version of "mooned" is... I meant no offence to guys over there!

  7. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hey Errol,
    We've got plenty of confusion on this side of the pond too!
    I'm far less confused by your brand of slang, than by what comes out of the mouths of my own children!:D :rolleyes: :D
    And besides, when you've got 4 daughters, you're NEVER right, so please let me revel in it for just a bit!:D
  8. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Ha ha, you think that's confusing.

    I was doing some research yesterday for the determination of appropriate roadname freight cars on my layout, and came across this little nugget. I had to confirm it from three sources, but I think I have my info right.

    The Southern Railway acquired Norfolk Southern, and enveloped them into their organization (i.e., Norfolk Southern gonzo). Then, some time later, Southern merged with the Norfolk & Western, and their new name??? You guessed it - Norfolk Southern. So it appears as though there is actually two totally different variations of Norfolk Southern. Fortunately it doesn't impact my layout very much, as I model the Pac Northwest.
  9. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    That reminds me of a couple of railroader jokes I heard from one of my cousins, who was an engineer for CSX until he passed away earlier this year.
    Did you hear that Norfolk Southern was going to buy Roadway Trucking? What were they going to call it? Norfolk 'n Way! (insert drum roll here) :D
    Also when CSX bought out ConRail, he said he was hoping they would call it X-Con! (another drum roll, please)
    Thank you, ladies & germs!

    :D :D :D
  10. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member


    Kettlestack, you can checkout the pic in Vic's post "working on the railroad ???" in the real railroading catagory for a graphic illustration of "mooning" :D :D.

    Kf4jqd, I'll keep an eye out for Southern information too.

  11. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Thanks Everyone!

    Thanks for all the help! I was at my local hobby shoppe today. The good news is that they have the Southern steamer in N scale that my Grandfather drove. The bad news it cost $135.00!!!! Oh well. Now I am looking for coal cars.

    Thanks again,

    Still A Rock Island Railroad Fan!

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