Saltville was an interesting place. Once a huge producer of chemicals, especially nitrates, it is now a shell of its former self. There are several locomotives plinthed in the city park, and when I was there several years ago there were freight cars (mandatory FC content) and cabooses scattered at several places around the town, remnants of a failed attempt to turn the branch line into a tourist road. The railroad had been shut down for years when I was there in the early 90s, and I'm sure all the track and equipment (except the steamers) has been removed.
My 1958 ORER lists 94 cars as belonging to Olin Mathieson Chemical Corportation. Of these, 44 were 10K tank cars operated by Republic Tank Car Co. for them under the SASX reporting marks. There were also two 10K tanks operated by Mathieson themselves under the CBMX reporting marks. The remaining 48 MAWX cars were dry ice cars of various types, many of them single cars or small lots of 2-3. What a mess! Home points for the dry ice cars were Chicago, Rochester, NY, and Saltville, VA.
I'm not sure of the parentage of the branch, but I think it might have belonged to the N&W at one time. It certainly connected with their system, so these dry ice cars would have been a seen in N&W freights.
On 2/2/15 6:54 PM, Matthew Hurst handbt33@... [STMFC] wrote:
If you have RPR Cyc 15, there is a photo of a Mathieson Dry Ice reefer on page 77. Photo taken in Saltville, VA in 1952.