Posts Tagged ‘Heritage locomotives’

CN Unveils Heritage Fleet

November 18, 2020
Canadian National CEO stands in front of his company’s fleet of heritage locomotives

One of railroading’s worst kept secrets is now official.

Canadian National on Tuesday announced that it will operate a small fleet of locomotives in the liveries of some of its predecessor railroads in observation of its 25th anniversary of transitioning from a government-owned Crown Corporation to a private entity.

The locomotives wear liveries of the Illinois Central; Wisconsin Central; Elgin, Joliet & Eastern; BC Rail and Grand Trunk Western.

CN issues an initial public stock offering o n Nov. 17, 1995.

“The privatization of CN was anticipated with widespread skepticism, but executed with startling success and today it is the source of enormous pride for our employees and all those involved over the years,” said CN CEO J.J. Ruest said in a statement.

“It allowed CN to unleash the powerful creative and competitive forces of our railroaders. I want to thank everyone who contributed to this success as well as our employees for their dedication to safely moving the economy for our customers and for the communities where we operate.”

The first CN train led by one of the heritage units left Toronto’s Macmillan Yard on Sunday with ET44AC No. 3115 in the BC Rail red, white, and blue “hockey stick” livery.

Other CN heritage units include Grand Trunk (No. 8952); Elgin, Joliet & Eastern (3023), Wisconsin Central (3069), and Illinois Central (3008).

A GP40-3 and slug sethas been repainted in the pre-1961 CN green and gold livery.

Lighting Can Strike Twice When Railfan Good Fortune Finally Comes Your Way

October 14, 2020

For eight years the Reading Lines heritage locomotive of Norfolk Southern eluded the efforts of Ed Ribinskas to photograph it leading a train.

Then last Saturday his fortunes turned when NS No. 1067 led a westbound stack train through Cleveland.

Ed drove to Bedford to catch the SD70ACe under cloudy skies. But the weather didn’t bother him. He now had all 20 NS heritage locomotives leading a train.

Forty-eight hours later the 1067 was back in Northeast Ohio, this time leading the 22K eastward on the NS Lake Erie District just minutes from Ed’s home.

And this time the weather was good. The train is shown above crossing the bridge over the Grand River in Painesville. There is even a touch of fall foliage to book.

Photograph by Edward Ribinskas

CN Reportedly Creating Heritage Units

October 14, 2020

Canadian National has joined the ranks of Class 1 railroads operating heritage locomotives.

Although the company won’t yet official confirm the plans, three CN units have been repainted.

Trains magazine reported on its website that 18 heritage units are being planned.

The repainted units are in Grand Trunk blue and red; the red, white, and blue BC Rail livery; and the Illinois Central “death star” look.

The Grand Trunk unit carries the CN logo and also features “25” and the U.S. and Canadian flags, reflecting the 25 years since the privatization of the formerly government-owned railroad through its initial public stock offering.

The repainting has reportedly to date been done a shops not owned by CN.

Patience Was a Virtue

May 28, 2020

Here is something that took over seven and a half years to get. The first two photos are from September 2012. The 8025 was the first Heritage Unit I got with my new digital camera. It is shown crossing the old Painesville trestle over the Grand River that was built by the Nickel Plate Road.

On Wednesday I saw on HeritageUnits.com that the Monongahela H unit was on the lead of 22K. Patience is a virtue. I got it on the Norfolk Southern bridge over the Grand River in Painesville on the Lake Erie District.

Article and Photograph by Edward Ribinskas

CP to Field 10 Heritage Units in Tuscan Red, Gray, Gold

September 17, 2019

Canadian Pacific released this photo of the first two SD70ACU units to wear the Tuscan red and gray livery.

Although Canadian Pacific owns no track in Ohio, its locomotives do make regular appearances in Northeast Ohio, particularly on intermodal run-through trains Q165/Q166 on CSX between Chicago and Buffalo, New York.

So you might want to be on the lookout for one of the 10 heritage units CP will be putting on the rails.

The carrier said this week that it is repainting 10 rebuilt SD70ACU locomotives into its former Tuscan red, gray, and gold paint livery.

The first units to receive that treatment were Nos. 7010 and 7015. The heritage units will be in the 7010 to 7019 series.

The remaining eight heritage locomotives will painted by the end of this year.

Trains magazine reported on Monday that the heritage units that Nos. 7010 to 7014 will have script lettering on the long hood while Nos. 7015 to 7019 will have block lettering.

CP has ordered 60 SD70ACUs, which will be rebuilt in Kentucky by Progress Rail using stored SD9043MACs.

The first four rebuilt units, Nos. 7000-7003, recently entered revenue service in British Columbia.

The first two heritage units are expected to be moved from Kentucky to Canada within the week.

It is the second time that CP has reached back into his history when repainting its locomotives. In 2017 it revived its beaver logo.

Trains reported that the heritage units are primarily expected to see duty in western Canada so they might be rare visitors in Northeast Ohio.

CP in the early 2000s painted GP38-2 No. 3084 into the Tuscan livery and the FP9s used on business and excursion trains also wear that scheme.

Valley Girl Makes Couple Passes Through NEO

July 31, 2019

Sometimes you only get one heads up that something out of the ordinary is coming. That was the case with the Lehigh Valley heritage unit of Norfolk Southern.

Ed Ribinskas reported that he saw a report on Trainorders.com that NS 8104 was approaching Berea at 9:50 a.m. on eastbound stack train 206 on Monday.

No additional sightings were reported to HeritageUnits.com until 10:53 a.m. when the 206 was passing through Willoughby.

By then Ed had already located to the bridge over the Grand River near his home in Painesville where he got the 206 just after 11 a.m.

Another railfan was there watching trains but didn’t know the “Valley Girl” was coming.

Perhaps he was the guy who reported the 206 through Painesville at 11:05 a.m.

Previous reports on HU showed the 8104 was leading NS train 23M westward late Sunday.

So it would have gone through Cleveland in the wee hours of the Monday morning.

Photograph by Edward Ribinskas

Sneaking Through Northeast Ohio

March 6, 2018

Early Sunday morning Todd Dillon sent me a text that no Norfolk Southern heritage units were on the horizon in Northeast Ohio.

That was too bad because it was a nice sunny day although a bit cool.

Later I got a text from Todd saying that the Reading H unit had snuck through Cleveland on the lead of train 421.

Todd caught it at Leetonia on the Fort Wayne line at about 9:45 a.m. as seen above. He said it caught him by surprise.

The previous sighting of NS 1067 posted on Heritage units.com had placed it in Michigan on Saturday morning.

It just goes to show that some days it is better to be lucky than good.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

Indiana Short Line Applying Heritage Liveries

November 9, 2017

An Indiana short-line railroad company is not done creating heritage units.

Indiana Boxcar Corporation has debuted an F8 wearing the colors and markings of Erie Mining, as well as a high-hood GP38 in Southern Railway inspired markings and a GP9R in a Grand Trunk Western style livery.

The F9 is being used on the Vermilion Valley Railroad, the GP38 has been assigned to the Chesapeake & Indiana Railroad and the GP9 went to the Camp Chase Railway in Columbus, Ohio.

Indiana Boxcar recently purchased three high-hood locomotives from Norfolk Southern and plans to keep them for now in their NS roster numbers of 5093, 5115, and 5152.

In time, all three of the units will wear the Southern-inspired livery and retain their controls for long-hood forward operation.

CSX Repaints Locomotive to C&O Livery

June 7, 2017

CSX shop workers in Huntington, West Virginia, have repainted another diesel into heritage colors.

The Huntington Locomotive Shops has adored former Chesapeake & Ohio SD40 No. 7534 into the livery it wore when it left the Electro-Motive diesel assembly plant.

The locomotive was repainted on behalf of the Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society, which plans to display it at its museum in Clifton Forge, Virginia.

The unit was previously CSX No. 4617 and was the last locomotive in the CSX fleet to wear C&O colors.

The C&O group might use the locomotive to pull trains on the Buckingham Branch Railroad.

Rob Catlin, project manager at the C&O Historical Society, told Trains magazine that although the locomotive is serviceable, it is missing six traction motors.

Earlier this year, the Huntington shops repainted a locomotive in Chessie System colors. That unit is currently in Erie, Pennsylvania, waiting to be moved to the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania.

How About a Heritage Jet?

April 17, 2017

You’re heard of the heritage locomotives of Norfolk Southern that pay tribute to its predecessor railroads by adorning them with a livery once used by those fallen flag companies.

Some airlines also have painted select planes in heritage liveries that pay tribute to predecessor companies.

Among them is American Airlines, which has painted a few jets in liveries that pay tribute to predecessor companies that it either acquired outright or which were merged with a company that American merged with.

Shown is the Piedmont Airlines tribute jet after landing at John Glenn Columbus International Airport upon arriving on a flight from Phoenix.

The original Piedmont operated primarily in the southeast United States as a local service carrier between 1948 and 1989 when it was acquired by USAir.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Piedmont had a hub operation at Dayton International Airport.

USAir, which later renamed itself US Airways, was acquired by American in 2013, although the two carriers continued to operate with separate identities until October 2015.

The Piedmont retro jet wears the Piedmont livery that the carrier’s planes bore until the merger with USAir.

The aircraft type was featured on the tails of some Piedmont aircraft. However, Piedmont never operated an Airbus jet. Its fleet in its final years consisted of Boeing 737s and a few 727s.

It is noteworthy that for a time Norfolk Southern had an ownership stake in Piedmont.

The Piedmont name remains in use for a regional carrier once known as Henson Airlines, a feeder carrier that today operates flights for American Eagle.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders