NS Selling Its F Units

Norfolk Southern is selling the distinctive and iconic F units that have pulled its executive train for the past several years.

Word of the sale has been circulating around Facebook for a couple of weeks and Trains magazine reported on Tuesday having obtained a copy of the assets-disposition bidding sheets that NS distributed on Nov. 6 in advance of an auction of the F units and other oddball equipment on its roster.

The F units were acquired in 2006 by former NS CEO Charles “Wick” Moorman and had been a favorite of many railfans due to their Southern Railway-inspired “tuxedo” livery.

The A-B-B-A locomotives were rebuilt to GP38-2 standards by the Juniata Locomotive shop in Altoona, Pennsylvania, where the units and the 20 car executive train fleet is based.

Two of the NS A units (Nos. 270 and 271) were built as F7s by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors in 1952 for the Baltimore & Ohio.

The NS B units, Nos. 275 and 276, were built by EMD in 1950 for the Chicago Great Western.

NS also acquired three other F units of Chicago & North Western, Canadian National, and Canadian Pacific linage to use as parts sources.

The NS A units initially were given roster numbers 4270-4271 while the B units were numbered 4275-4276.

Earlier this year the digit “4” was dropped in order to free roster numbers for rebuilt standard-cab General Electric C40-9 DC-powered units into wide-nose AC44C6M AC-powered units.

The NS F units were regulars at such high-profile events as the Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia in April, and the Kentucky Derby in May.

At both events, the executive train served as a hospitality suite.

The units also pulled the executive train for other purposes both business and public relations related, including employee appreciation specials and appearing at special celebrations at railroad museums.

The Trains report described the pending sale of the F units as not necessarily a surprise, saying that this past September the NS executive train operated without the F units for the first time since they took to the rails on NS’s behalf in 2007.

NS owns a power car to provide head-end power to the executive fleet passenger cars so they can be pulled by any type of locomotive.

Other units that NS has put up for sale include former Reading Company EMD SW1001s Nos. 2104-2105; six former-Southern Railway EMD MP15s Nos. 2362, 2386, 2393, 2398, and 2403; modified EMD MP15E No. 2423; RailPower RP20BD gensets Nos. 100-101; RP20CD genset No. 3830; NS BP4 No. 999, a battery-powered experimental unit built by Juniata in 2014; and partially disassembled SD40-2 No. 3463 (former BN/CEFX No. 7083).

Bidding in the motive power auction will end on Nov. 20.

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