Condensed From "Railroad Magazine" and "Train Magazine"
The great and dramatic end of Ohio's Last Narrow Gage took place on Memorial Day, 1931. The company was, at this time, owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad but was still called the OR & W. The consolidation engine #9669, 2-8-0, and a red wooden passenger car and a baggage car of the same type pulled out of the station at 9:10 AM. In the switch yard beside it, a switch engine was placing cars never to be used again. By the side of the road stood Sam Heath, who saw the first train start out and the last train start its last run. It slowly chugged down the center of Main Street in Shadyside, which it shared with the towns one trolly, a broad gage, at that. Here a Mogul type #967, 2-6-0, joined in with five dead head cars for a siding in the hills for there was no room in Bellaire or Shadyside for them. At Gravel Junction with the Mogul in front followed by the five cars and the regular train they joined the broad gage track running to the Weegee mine. Upon leaving Weegee, it entered the "Switzerland of Ohio." Finally nine miles out of Vallonia, it left the valley, to start up by way of Hey Trestle which was 500 feet long and contained 82,000 board feet of lumber, which was also one of 64 on the 42 mile line, to Jacobsburg, 600 feet above Bellaire.
It stopped and backed into position for a picture that appeared in newspapers all over America. At Captina mine the dead head cars were left and at Armstrong Mills it took on water from Captina Creek. Here it seemed to jump from hill to hill making its way to Beallsville. All along the Railroad, whenever a highway crossed it, it was jammed with cars tooting their horns. Leaving Beallsville for Woodsfield, the terminus, it entered upon Sunfish Valley and there the line's lone tunnel which was 200 feet long was located at Standing Stone Run. The train arrived 1 hour and 40 minutes late because at every flag stop someone wanted aboard and it was all up hill. Hart starts on the hills were done thus: the head engineer whistled twice, the others answered then the throttles were thrown wide open and with a shower of cinders on the bystander, it spun its way into motion. Every person was on hand at Woodsfield to see the train for the train was the very life of the town. The Legion fired a volley salute and the band played. The mayor and the first conductor were the speakers. The engine turned in the turn table west of town, and the last run returned to Bellaire, in three hours. It was to be placed for the torch the next day.
From The Spirit Of Democracy Newspaper
Other information about the railroad in 1931:
there were 84 pieces of rolling stock.
O.C. Schaad, Division Superintendent;
Fred Carpi, Division Freight Agent;
D.W. Weldon, Assistant Train Master;
A.W. Lombard, Freight Representative;
4 locomotives; 5 passenger and baggage cars;
75 freight cars; Double header load limit 250 tons. Trains had to be broken on the steep parts and brought over part at a time. There were 53 crossing, 64 bridges, and 59 wooden trestles. Vice President Charles Daves is said to have helped survey Hey Trestle.
Crew on the last run:
Rex Armstrong, Engineer;
Alma Morris, Conductor since 1892;
Harry Nowell, Fireman;
C.W. Orr, Brakeman;
H.C. Nowell, Engineer since 1901;
C.C. Vandyne, Fireman;
R.C. Hackley, Brakeman;
Two other important men on the railroad were B.D. Pennington, who served since 1882, and J.R. Nowell who served since 1897.