Accomplishments on railroad activities by Blue Ridge Chapter members

Diacont book

Dale W. Diacont releases: Yesterday's Trains: Across the Commonwealth.

Yesterday's Trains Across the Commonwealth is a truly different book focusing primarily on Virginia's more obscure railroad operations that are now either defunct or integrated into larger, less colorful operations. Most of all, Yesterday's Trains is a railroader's narrative in which you'll ride the end of a boxcar with a trainman, OS a passing train from a now-abandoned depot and mill about the hostler's track with simmering steam locomotives. Working on one of Virginia's railroads for over forty years has given the author a ringside seat from which to share.

Illustrated in the seemingly lost art of black and white, Yesterday's Trains is also a photographer's book. Its horizontal pages include over 100 photographs, of which thirty are full page. An array of accomplished photographers helped the author complete his coverage. Don't be left at trackside—get on board Yesterday's Trains Across the Commonwealth.

Available early April 2012 for $40.


Yoder 1

Yoder 2

The Ralph E. Yoder Railroad Slide Collection

Former Blue Ridge Chapter member Ralph Yoder passed away in September 2009. He left a collection of some 3600 color slides of mid Atlantic and mid Western railroads taken from about 1960
through the early 1990’s. Most are on Ektachrome film, but have been carefully stored and retain good color.
Ralph was extremely knowledgeable about railroading (and several other fields), leaving a collection of 1500 railroad books, 400 employee and public timetables, 5000 history, geography and natural
sciences books, and 500 USGS topographic maps. He was very meticulous, typing out two 3x5 file cards for every one of the 3600 slides he made, then filing one card chronologically and one by subject matter.

The extensive collection has been assembled by Gary Quale. Details about the slides is available and access to the remaining slides may be arranged through Gary Quale (434-384-6308) or at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

mono machines15

Rail Web Site:     

Ralph Hawkins fascinating presentation of Railroading in the South.

"My recommended viewing for this month is Ralph Hawkins website. Most of you know Ralph as a former BRC member and the designer and previous Webmaster of our Blue Ridge Chapter, NRHS Website. Ralph built the house so to speak and our current Webmaster John Siegle has done an excellent job as the caretaker since Ralph and his lovely family moved to Pennsylvania. I’m not going to let you know what’s on Ralph’s website. I’m going to leave the surprises for you to see."

Norris Deyerle


Aubrey Wiley releases: Virginian Railway Pictorial - Pictures and Stories.   

The book was not published by a large book company, but under Aubrey’s personal direction. He has researched the material for years, wrote it, laid it out, designed and financed the whole process.

It is 144 pages. Hardback printed on 100 lb. gloss paper with over 225 pictures. It was printed in the USA and the print quality is top of the line. It was printed by Mid Atlantic Printers which has a plant in Altavista.


BRC member Kurt Reisweber has announced his father Robert C. Reisweber and Dalton P. “Billy” McDonald’s book on “The Original Norfolk Southern Railway 1883-1974.” Is a long awaited history on a railroad that has not been frequently documented especially to this degree.  It covers the entire history of the railroad between Norfolk, Va. and Charlotte, NC.  Predecessor railroads are also covered, as are electric train operations in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk area.  There is a little bit about steamboats and car ferries as well.  There are even photos of a Baldwin diesel that crashed through the Albemarle sound trestle lifted out of the water!  Ed Fielding has quite a few photos included from his personal collection.  The 216 page hardcover book with dust jacket contains over 500 black and white photos.  The price is $50.00 per copy. 


KIWANIS Restoration

The Kiwanis Club has been working for several years on a project to cosmetically restore the train in Rivermont Park in Lynchburg. The coach has been removed , the engine is 99% finished, and the caboose is nearly ready.  That's where we need HELP.  The city has been allotted money to upgrade and improve the park. They are urging us to complete the project as soon as possible.  Work is scheduled every Saturday morning from 9-12 and  sometimes work longer. For information get in touch with Bill Hodges: 582-1997 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  If you can give us a hand in any way, we would appreciate it.
For the Kiwanis Club, BRC member Gene Campbell