Bob Gray

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Bob Gray is a retired railroad engineer of the Columbus and Greenville Railway in Mississippi. Bob is an avid live steamer. He has attended meetings at the Annetta Valley & Western Railroad in Texas for over 40 years. AV&W's Gray Yard is named in honor of Bob Gray.

Bob owns an 0-6-0 switcher in 1.5 inch scale built by Paul Brien.

Stamey Loop

Bob's experience as an engineer on a full-scale railroad really shows out on the 7-1/2 inch gauge track. An example of his skill at the throttle was shown at the Spring 2013 meet of the AV&WRR. The track at AV&WRR has very little grade, with the exception of the newly added Stamey Loop, which climbs 3% coming out of the loop and into a curve.

He put together a 12-car train, with 3 riding adults, behind his beautiful 0-6-0. We didn't think he would make it out of Stamey Loop. He didn't on the first try, his drivers just started spinning. So he slowly backed up half way back up the hill, then took a running start. He came flying around the corner, and steadily climbed up the hill and out of the loop. It was a sight to see. Dick Melcher and Daris Nevil witnessed the event from the Shady Rest siding.

Movie Role

Bob played an uncredited part in the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?". He appears as the fireman in the locomotive at the opening of the movie.

Stan Garner, Train Coordinator for the production company, describes the filming of the train scene as follows:

The train is featured in the opening sequence. It was shot on the Columbus & Greenville Railway near Leland, MS and consists of Dardanelle & Russellville Railroad Locomotive #4 from North Dardanelle, Arkansas (Baldwin 2-6-2 built in 1913, W.T. Carter & Brother #4, Reader RR #4). The stock car (CB&Q), tank car (Superior Oil) and outside braced box car (NP) came from the Texas State Railroad at Rusk Texas. The hopper car, steel box car and flat car are from the C&G Railway and the wood caboose is from the Reader Railroad at Reader, Arkansas. Everything, except the C&G equipment, was brought to the C&G at Greenville, MS by truck.

Then and Now

Terry Shirley posted the following on FacebooK:

I had the chance to create a "then and now" set of photos of my Good Friend, Mr. Bob Gray, at the Southwestern Live Steamers train meet in Annetta, TX. this past weekend. I took the first shot in 1978, but I didn't know him personally then. Here he is on the same engine, in the same pose in 2015, almost on the same spot. Mr. Gray is 85 years old and made the trip up from Mississippi to attend this train meet.