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A Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. wreck crew, called in to assist out of C&O's Handley yard, worked one end of the wreck, while a Virginian wreck crew worked the other.

The wreck alarm reached the Mullens area Elmore Siding at 7:30 p.m. and crewmen rushed to assemble a wreck train to be sent to Cirtsville. However, their passage from the yard was blocked by a previously wrecked box car which stalled all eastbound operation out of the area. The VGN wreck crews got out of Elmore at 10:30 p.m. after, clearing the debris.

The wreck blocked traffic in both directions on the Virginian, and briefly stymied the scheduled arrival of Virginia's general manager from Roanoke on a special train enroute to Deepwater, which was scheduled to reach Elmore at 3:35 a. m. the day after the wreck.

Virginian Ry. Divison Superintendent B. Mills, of Princeton, remained at the wreck the first night, working out a 34 hour stretch with wrecking crews. Both locomotives would be repaired in the railroad's Princeton Shops, and would see more years of service. However, by 1955 the VGN's switch to diesels would cause both locomotives to be retired. No. 701 and No. 736 were among many VGN steam locos either cut up or sold for scrap during that year.

Virginian engineer Burt Kelly and fireman Charles H. Gibson were among the VGN train crewmen called out to relieve crews that had "hogged". Gibson's wife, Anita Gibson, took the photos in this series. The low-contrast B&W were "colorized" by C. L. Gibson.


  Cirtsville Wreck #1 -- More images from the 1949 VGN Ry. wreck.



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