Talky Tuesday #60

I am unsure of the location of last week’s “WW #88”. My guess is “JK” switch east/north of Ellenton and west/south of Wheelerville. The photo appears to have been taken above ground level, likely from the rear platform of one of the S&NY’s cabooses. #118 is displaying the white flags of an extra, and may have just cut off as a helper from the train the photographer is aboard.

Once the fireman throws the switch in the distance, 118 will probably back downgrade to the wye at Ellenton as a light engine move, turn on the wye, and head back to Marsh Hill.

Lots of great modeling detail and atmosphere in this photo. The weathered ties, the cinder ballast, weeds encroaching on the right of way, the engineer leaning out of the cab watching his fireman walk to the switch while the 118 simmers in the sunshine. In a moment or two, the engineer will whistle off and let the engine drift downgrade through the switch. After the fireman climbs back aboard, he’ll let gravity continue to roll the 118 down to Ellenton. He’ll keep the throttle cracked open just enough to work a little steam and keep the cylinders from getting dry, and the fireman will be able to mostly relax on his seatbox and enjoy the mountain scenery glide by…

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