23rd April 2019 · ‘O.Winston Link and the North & Western Railway’

Presenter: Bob Gellatly

Our speaker for last meeting of the season on 23rd April was Bob Gellatly with “O. Winston Link and the Norfolk and Western Railway”. Starting with the history of the N&WR Bob explained how it was the result of a number of mergers of small companies to become a large company covering most of the Virginia coalfield. Although part of one line was electrified in 1915 it returned to steam by 1950. The N&WR continued to use steam locos after the rest of the lines in USA had moved to diesel traction as it had a modern fleet comprising of 5 classes which were designed for particular types of traffic and continued in use until 1959. Each type ranging from 4-6-2 to 2-8-8-2 were described in detail.

In part 2 Bob covered the work of photographer O Winston Link who wished to record the steam scene on the N&WR before it disappeared. He decided that the only perfect light for his photos could be achieved at night with elaborate use of lighting equipment. In partnership with the railway, who used the arrangement for publicity purposes, he created a wonderful collection of scenes including many stage managed poses of rail staff or members of the public.

The images and short film sequences were an excellent conclusion to the 2018-9 season.