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An Apprehensive Meeting at Asheville (editor's title)

Looking back, this quiet meeting on the platform at Asheville, North Carolina, may well be the most significant happening of the inaugural trip in 1966 of locomotive 4501. The participants : D. W. Brosnan, who had proudly dieselized the Southern Railway in 1953; W. Graham Claytor, Jr., who proudly brought steam back to the Southern; and Walter Dove, general road foreman of engines and engineer for the 4501. Bill Schafer recognized both Brosnan and Claytor in an article in Trains magazine’s millennium issue in 2000 (reprinted in the Classic Trains Newsletter of November 2, 2011), listing the two among the ten legendary railroaders—individuals who transformed 20th century railroading. Brosnan (1903-85) was Southern’s sixth president from 1962 to 1967. His “vision, nerve, and drive transformed Southern into a lean money machine.” Schafer also commented on Brosnan’s "ruthlessness and disregard for the quality of life of his managers.” Brosnan's attitude without doubt accounted for the nervous whispers as the steam special approached Asheville, where Brosnan spent his summers in his office car. Claytor (1912-94) succeeded Brosnan as Southern president, then went on to become Navy secretary and president of Amtrak from 1982 to 1993—a distinguished career indeed. His wife, Frances (1915-2008), had been along for the inaugural trip and shared Graham’s enthusiasm for steam.
Alternate Title Locomotives 4501 and 630: 13
Source John Gruber
Coverage Spatial, Asheville, North Carolina; Temporal, August 25, 1966
Rights John Gruber
Date Created 1966-08-25
Resource Type
Extent 8 in. by 10 in.
Depicted Railroad
Location Asheville, North Carolina
Equipment, Locomotive No. 4501, Mikado
Builder, locomotive Baldwin Locomotive Works, October 1911
Creator Description John Gruber is a founder of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art and editor of its journal, Railroad Heritage. He has been a free-lance railroad photographer since 1960. He received awards from the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society in 1994 for lifetime achievement in photography and in 2010 for an article. He is author of Classic Steam: Timeless Photographs of North America Steam Railroading (2009) and co-author of four books. He photographed both the 1966 and 2011 events.
Collection John Gruber Collection
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