Author Topic: West Virginian slim logger  (Read 6811 times)

John Stone

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West Virginian slim logger
« on: December 14, 2018, 08:29:53 PM »
I ran across this sub-two foot system, which once ran in the deep woods of West Virginia, just across the border from Virginia. It's a 60ccm system which once connected with the standard gauge Winchester and Wardensville in Wardensville, WVA. The equipment is WW1 surplus. 2-6-2T's, maybe 5 of them and identified as Vulcan products, provided the inspiration to roll the lumber to the interchange. It looks like they weren't real particular as to where they put then engine. The line was owned by Winchester Lumber Company, some photos also calling it the Lost River Railroad, which sounds like a Disney attraction. A couple of photos identify it as the "J. Natwick & Company". I think that may have been a company which succeeded Winchester Lumber/Lost River.
The map shows three branches radiating from Wardensville, which appear to be several miles (or should I say kilometers, since it's 60cm?) in length.

I stole these pictures from the "Wardensville" fb site. I've tried to attach photos with this fascinating lecture, but was rebuffed at any, as they apparently exceed four, which is the maximum allowed. I will attempt an additional post, which will not exceed four.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 09:23:40 PM by John Stone »

John Stone

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Re: West Virginian slim logger
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2018, 08:47:41 PM »
Ok. Posting these photos is beyond my paygrade.

John Stone

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Re: West Virginian slim logger
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2018, 09:36:12 PM »
possible eureka

John Stone

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Re: West Virginian slim logger
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2018, 09:37:48 PM »
pay went up

John Stone

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Re: West Virginian slim logger
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2018, 09:39:30 PM »
And I'm not even from West Virginia

John Stone

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Re: West Virginian slim logger
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2018, 09:42:31 PM »
never say never

Bill Baskerville

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Re: West Virginian slim logger
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2018, 10:07:08 PM »
It looks like the locomotive and cars were slimmer than ours are.  Our equipment seems to hang about 24 to 26 inches on each side past the rails.  These look narrower, sort of like 52 before the running boards were added.
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John Kokas

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Re: West Virginian slim logger
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2018, 12:19:24 AM »
Well, with the reference to the Winchester & Western RR, we have a connection today as the W&W still exists and runs out of Winchester, Va.
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John Stone

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Re: West Virginian slim logger
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2018, 01:18:50 AM »
Bill, from what I can tell, almost all of the equipment was Army surplus 60cm battlefield light railway equipment. In looking at some of the video footage of the light railways, it does seem significantly smaller than the Maine two foot equipment. I believe those little prairie tank engines only weighed about 16 tons, or almost 3 tons lighter than #9! And from the looks of the ease of effort with which the battlefield track components were handled, I'm guessing rail weight in the 25lb range, maybe less. Gotta run some little stuff on those toothpicks!

John Kokas

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Re: West Virginian slim logger
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2018, 08:55:06 AM »
It would be neat if by some chance a WW1 engine would end up in our lap.  Imagine the WW1 reenactment scenes one could stage.  Just think'in ………….
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Dag Bonnedal

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Re: West Virginian slim logger
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2018, 10:42:09 PM »
Quite a coincidence. I had never heard of the place, but just a few hours before I read this thread, I ran across this collection of photos:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/58198050@N03/44322367332/in/photostream/

Right click to see all 10 images, or "<- Back to photostream" to see an overview.

Dag B

John Stone

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Re: West Virginian slim logger
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2018, 11:50:01 PM »
Thanks Dag! Those photos really flesh out this post! The drawings are fantastic! It seems that Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette ran an article on this pike, maybe 20+- years ago. I don't get that magazine, but I'm certain that other WW&F guys probably do. Reference to that article keeps popping up when I've scrounged around for further information. I'm guessing this operation didn't last much into the 30's. That area was hard hit by the chestnut blight and, of course, the depression didn't help things either.
West Virginia remained a haven for steam logging roads up into the early 60's. Standard gauge Meadow River in Cass being a prime example. I wonder why the war surplus stuff didn't seem to take off in those woodsy places. Logging roads are rough and ready operations, using a minimal amount of grading with murderous curves and grades to reach very temporary destinations. Very SR&RL like.  Sounds like an ideal application for cheap, light weight, 60cm equipment!

Bill Baskerville

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Re: West Virginian slim logger
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2018, 03:49:55 AM »
... this collection of photos:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/58198050@N03/44322367332/in/photostream/Dag B

Can anyone figure out the length and width of the steel flat car?
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Mike the Choochoo Nix

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Re: West Virginian slim logger
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2018, 04:03:48 AM »
flat cars 22 feet long, 5 foot 7 inches wide, standard WW1 US military 600mm flatcar. From Richard Dunn's book.
Mike Nix
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 04:55:43 PM by Mike the Choochoo Nix »
Mike Nix

Dag Bonnedal

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Re: West Virginian slim logger
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2018, 09:11:13 AM »
I think the drawings in the link are scaled down versions of the drawings in Richard Dunn's excellent book Narrow Gauge to No Man's Land.