The Cy Crumley Scrapbook
ET&WNC Railroad

Tour 11: Standard Gauge Years


Your host and narrator for this tour is Ken Riddle, close personal friend of Cy Crumley, legendary conductor of this great railroad. From 1906 until 1960, Cy worked on the ET&WNC as Brakeman and Conductor. This is his scrapbook of those years and his story.

Click on each photo to see a larger view.

Back where it all Began
Date: 1950

These 2 great police patches had to be worked into the story somewhere. After the last run of the narrow gauge in 1950, the ET&WNC retreated back to serving only the Cities of Johnson City and Elizabethton, Tennessee with standard gauge locomoties: first steam powered and later diesels. Meanwhile an idea was percolating just over the mountains in North Carolina to bring Number 12 and the narrow gauge Tweetsie Railroad back into full scale operation as a tourist attraction.




207 at State Line Road
Date: 1960s

Engine 207 beside where Blossman Gas is now on State Line Road in Elizabethton.



207 at Bemberg Tank
Date: 1960s
Looks like Mr. Hobbs has just had the spray train out as the 207 gets a drink at the Bemberg tank.  Looks a lot different over along U.S. 321 in Elizabethton today doesn't it!



204 in York
Date: 1940s

Here's the 204 down in York, Alabama on the Alabama, Tennessee & Northern right before she was sold and came to Johnson City.



Date: 1950s

Here is a great shot of the 204 drifting backwards past the old narrow gauge car shop on Legion Street.  Bet she sure sounded better carrying the whistle off the narrow-gauge 7 in this picture than that dixie-fried hooter she had on the AT&N! She sure looked better after Andy Kern got ahold of her and worked his magic.



Date: 1950s

This was a great shot of the standard gauge 205, but I got a bad copy negative on it a long time ago and it has since been preserved by a noted rail historian in an undetermined location. This is the 205, that came to the fold not long after the 204, sometime in the 1940s I think.  Here again ask Johnny Graybeal or John Waite.  What I do know is that she was from the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac railroad and had been their number 13 and was bought from a used engine dealer in Cincinnati.  The old boys said she was a real stout puller but would beat you to death jumping up and down as she had no engine truck.  She was sold in 1956 to the Cadiz Railroad up in central Kentucky and then sold again to the Crabtree Coal Company.



Date: 1950s

Here's a great picture of a popular standard gauge engine, the 206.  She was a speed demon they said, handed down from the Illinois Central, the road that brought you Casey Jones. Everybody always talked about that big whistle she had here in this picture.  It went to the 208 when they scrapped her, and then on to nearly all the Southern Railway steam locomotives they used to haul their excursions up into the 1980's.



Date: 1966

Here is another great color photo of the 207 wheeling through the Johnson City yards.  



Date: 1967

Here's the 208 sitting by the yard office in 1967. This was just a tiny print in the scrapbooks. I was a frequent cab rider on this engine when I was a boy.  



Return of old 208
Date: 1971

The ET&WNC swapped the Southern Railway its last two steam engines, the 207 and 208 for two diesels in 1967. They had originally come from the Southern in 1952, hand picked by Clarence Hobbs from several used engines in Asheville. The 207 was numbered as 630 on the Southern, and 208 was 722.   In 1971, the Southern brought one of their excursions through Johnson City headed up by my old friend the ET&WNC Engine 208 (Southern 722). Dad and I caught the excursion at Johnson City's old Southern Railway depot before the city fathers tore it down for a new street and we rode her all the way up to Marion, Virginia that day. They took the engines off at Bristol and serviced them and got them both a tank of coal and water. I made this picture at Bristol that day.


The Conductor "Un-retires"
Date: 1963

This is a picture of Mr. Crumley that H. Reid made when he was working on the book, Extra South.  Mr. Crumley was already retired, but put on his work duds and went over to the shop and posed for the picture with Engine 208.  Cy was only about 5' 6", so H. must have been flat on this back to make this picture.  Mr. Crumley didn't like it because he said it made him look "too fat."  Ruth would tell him "Poppa, you are too fat!"

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Feel free to copy and use these photos.


Kenneth Riddle
Johnson City, Tennessee
November 2005