But It Sure Looks Pretty

There was no getting blocked by CSX this time as the Virginian heritage locomotive passes through Berea.

There was no getting blocked by CSX this time as the Virginian heritage locomotive passes through Berea as had happened three years ago.

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The engineer of Norfolk Southern train 15J wasn’t all that pleased with her lead locomotive.

She was exchanging greetings with a crew member on an eastbound train as they passed between CP Max and Berea.

The lead unit on the 15J wasn’t pulling as well as she would have liked and there had been a problem with the horn.

“But it sure looks pretty,” she said after listing the engine’s shortcomings.

Indeed it did for it was NS No. 1069, the Virginian heritage unit wearing its bright yellow and black livery that has prompted some wags to call it the bumble bee.

The 1069 and a trailing unit passed through Berea on late Sunday morning.

I had expected to see the Virginian working solo because the engineer had made reference to having a one unit wonder. Maybe the trailing unit was off line.

It was the second time that I’ve seen No. 1069 at Berea. The first sighting occurred on Oct. 5, 2013, and I had dashed over from the Great Berea Train Show to catch it despite rainy and cloudy conditions.

Yes, I saw the 1069, but it was obscured by a passing CSX intermodal train. And the 1069 was trailing.

I also got blocked this time, too. CSX train Q158 — also an intermodal train — was bearing down on Berea as the 15J approached.

But this time there was enough separation to get clear images of the 1069.

Interestingly, I’ve seen a handful of NS heritage units in Berea, but the 1069 is the first one I’ve bagged that was leading. All the others had been trailing. There was no failing this time.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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