RailPictures.Net Photo: LN 847 Louisville & Nashville EMD F7(A) at Loyall, Kentucky by Ron Flanary
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Photo Location Map Locomotive Details Location/Date of Photo

» Louisville & Nashville (more..)
» EMD F7(A) (more..)
» Loyall Yard (more..)
» Loyall, Kentucky, USA (more..)
» June 07, 1964
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
» LN 847 (more..)
» LN 66 (more..)
» Ron Flanary (more..)
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Remarks & Notes 
“Good luck, boys!” That was the last utterance Benny Adams and I heard from our friend Earl Rosenbaum, a brakeman on the L&N’s Cumberland Valley Division. On this Sunday afternoon—June 7, 1964—Benny and I had arrived at Loyall, KY after my grandparents picked us up two miles back at Harlan Junction, while train 66 set off empty hoppers. We had just completed a 60-mile ride aboard train 66 (unauthorized, of course) from Appalachia, VA—a grand adventure as we rode the third unit (RS-3 118) on a glorious day. We had rushed to Loyall to get a final photo of Earl and train 66. As F7 847, gleaming in an early version of L&N’s gray and yellow livery, rounded the curve into Loyall Yard, Rosenbaum and fireman Morris Hill waved, and Earl yelled his farewell to us. From here, the train continued to the north end of a yard, picked up a cut of northbound coal, and dropped an RS-3 at the engine terminal for a Monday morning mine run. Train 66 then departed on the long un-signaled siding in CTC territory that stretched three miles along the Cumberland River to Wilhoit, where a power switch diverted the siding into the main. However, the Corbin dispatcher on duty that afternoon forgot to return that switch to normal after an earlier train had taken the same northbound path as number 66. Southbound train 65 (66’s counterpart on the Corbin, KY-Norton, VA route) got a restrictive signal at Wilhoit, and went through the crossover into the siding. Since neither train was aware they were on the same track (these were early days of radio communication, and trains did not “call” signals on the radio), they continued toward each other, colliding head-on in a curve about a mile beyond the turnout at Wilhoit. In the ensuing carnage, virtually all head end crewmen on both trains were injured, with two fatalities. Fireman Hill was one of the most seriously hurt. Our friend Earl Rosenbaum was riding—backwards, on the fireman’s side—of trailing RS-3 104. The collision drove the rear of F7A 847 back and over the rear of the Alco, pinning Rosenbaum’s legs between the seat boxes. A fuel leak that ignited almost immediately consumed the RS-3’s cab, burning Rosenbaum alive. A track worker who got to the scene at that time was powerless to help, as the flames consumed him. The track worker said Earl was screaming for help until his last breath. So, this shot taken with my cheap Kodak Brownie will always haunt me—a memory of a great train ride that ended in tragedy. Earl Rosenbaum has but an hour to live as he waves from the door of the lead unit, but his memory still lives in the silver halide crystals of an old Kodak 127 negative.
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