Sunday, February 15, 2009

Isaac Henry Fry and the Virginian Railway

Isaac Henry Fry (Dave's maternal grandfather) worked for the Virginian Railway in West Virginia and was in the Virginian Railway Feature Magazine in June, 1933. It's been transcribed below:
I. H. Fry, Yardmaster, Virginian Ry., Elmore, W. Va. Born: Monroe County, W. Va. Married: Alice Alderson, Nicholas County, W. Va.; nine children. Entered railway service with the C. & O. in 1901 as telegraph operator. In 1904, went with the B. & O. as agent and operator, and in June 1906, he came to the Virginian (then known as the Deepwater) as agent and operator at Page; July 1, 1907, he was made timekeeper and clerk to the division superintendent; next served as second-trick dispatcher and traveling auditor west of Princeton. In April, 1909, he entered train service and in August of the same year was promoted to conductor.
September 1928
In 1921 he was made assistant trainmaster, and in 1928 was promoted to trainmaster; in August, 1932, he was made yardmaster in Elmore. After years of experimenting, Mr. Fry devised the system of handling trains down heavy grades without the use of the retaining valves, and without changing the equipment on either cars or locomotives, a system which is now used and known as an overcharge trainline. this method of braking eliminates the necessity of stopping the train at the top or bottom of the hill to turn up or down the retainer valves in order to apply or release the brakes. This system of braking facilitates the uninterrupted movement of traffic.

Below is an engine which turned over on the Virginian between Page and Deepwater. Alice Fry was in the caboose of the freight train.

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