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Edition #29, May 1, 2006

The Last Day

Photographer: Mike Mullins

                                               Photo 2005 by Mike Mullins

The Last Day

Due to CSX having some "unfinished business" on the ex-C&O Loup Creek Branch I was going to visit The West Virginia Southern for the first and last time. On July 7, 2005 the last run from Mt. Hope West Virginia, to South Side Junction (Thurmond, WV) under WVS ownership took place. With the crew of 3 on the train and a couple others on the ground, the last shortline train departed Mt. Hope

At about 6:30 AM I woke up to my alarm clock with a sad look on my face, knowing the day of railfanning would be short-lived; it would fly by and be over before I knew it. I stepped outside, to find a dreary, foggy and misty morning, just terrific for photos. When we arrived at Mt. Hope, it was already raining at 9:30 AM. I was accompanied by two of my fellow railfanners, Nick Marakovits, and D.L. Burks. We finally found the Georgia Pacific plant where the WVS keeps one of their two engines. The plant guard paid us a visit and told us that the crew was to show up shortly and to sit tight.

At 10:54 AM the crew finally arrived and things got under way. When they started up 1407 it was pouring the rain and continued to vary from light to heavy rain all day. It was kind of fitting though, for the occasion anyway.

We arrived at the last crossing in Mt. Hope to find puddles everywhere and seconds to set up our tripods before the train came. I also needed to find a dry place to set my recorder. Lighting was bad enough that day so ditch lights did help in this photo situation, as well as the one of the two lit nose marker lights. This was my first time using a digital camera but I was fairly satisfied with this photo... for the conditions.

Mike Mullins

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