Going, Going But Not Yet Gone

NS and truck 03-x

In recent years, I’ve made it a point to photograph Norfolk Southern high-hood locomotives when I see them.

Show above is my most recent sighting of a high-hood. It was the third of three units on a train departing Bellevue.

Because it was placed behind two massive Union Pacific units, the GP38-2 looked a little out of place.

NS plans to auction off 50 GP38-2 locomotives this month although that doesn’t mean that we’ve seen the last of them in revenue service.

In a recent column posted on the Trains¬†magazine website, Jim Wrinn, the magazine’s editor in chief, noted that he grew up seeing the high hoods in North Carolina as an everyday occurrence.

Of course, that was when they worked for the Southern Railway. Jim ended his column saying he didn’t think he would see another GP38-2 in NS paint.

But a poster said in response that this is not the beginning of the end for the GP38-2 on NS. That poster noted that NS has 68 GP38-2 units in storage, which includes the 50 it plans to sell.

That leaves about 150 of them in revenue service. Some might be rebuilt, but receive a short hood in the process.

I don’t know if No. 5114 is slated to be auctioned off, placed in storage or to continue in revenue service.

But high hood locomotives on Class 1 railroads aren’t what they use to be. So when I see one, I’ll do more than watch it pass by.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

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