Posts Tagged ‘heritage units’

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.

Pa. Short Line Operating Wabash Heritage Unit

October 10, 2020

There’s another Wabash heritage unit on the rails.

The Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad has given am Alco C424 Wabash Railroad markings

The Scranton, Pennsylvania-based short line railroad noted that locomotive No. 2409 was built in 1964 as part of a cancelled order of seven units for the National Railways of Mexico.

The Wabash purchased the units shortly before it was merged by lease into the Norfolk & Western system.

The unit operated for N&W until the late 1970s when it was sold to an industry in the Midwest.

The D-L recently acquired No. 2409 and applied “Wabash” lettering to the blue-painted unit.

However, the Wabash look is temporary. D-L plans to repaint it eventually into its  “Corporate White” livery.

A Southern Kind of Saturday Morning

August 17, 2019

I had seen a few days earlier on Heritage that Southern Railway heritage unit No. 8099 was trailing on Norfolk Southern train 206.

Then on the night of Aug 9 I saw on HU that No. 8099 as reported leading NS train 205 at 7:55 p.m.

The next morning when I woke up I checked if anything was reported on the 8099. I was assuming it had already passed through Northeast Ohio. But nothing had been posted.

At 8:24 a.m. I checked again and saw a post of a sighting at 8:22 a.m. at Kingsville, Ohio.

I opted to photograph it at Riverside Drive in Painesville, using as a photo prop the huge steel deck pieces for the new Vrooman Road high-level bridge being constructed a few miles to the east.

This bridge is being constructed by the same builders who had constructed the NS bridge over the Grand River behind me.

Let the record show that Southern 8099 showed up at 9:05 a.m. on the morning of Aug. 10.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Pleasant Surprise Pushing on the Rear

September 27, 2018

Norfolk Southern train 14K is known for having helper locomotives. You might find one in the middle of the consist or on the rear.

I was talking with fellow railfan Sheldon Lustig in Berea a while back when the 14K lumbered through.

Fortunately, I had my camera with me because on the rear was a pleasant surprise, the Central of New Jersey heritage unit.

It is at least the third time I’ve been trackside when a train showed up with a heritage unit that I did not know was coming.

I’ve also caught the Penn Central and Interstate H units that way.

Miss Liberty may not have been leading the 14K, but she wasn’t trailing either.

It Was Dark, But I Got My H Unit Leading

January 23, 2017

It took more than four years, but I finally got the Lehigh Valley heritage unit leading a train.

It took more than four years, but I finally got the Lehigh Valley heritage unit leading a train.

It wasn’t the most ideal of conditions to be photographing a train, even with a digital camera. But this wasn’t just any train that was coming.

OK, so a stack train is any train. But on the point was Norfolk Southern No. 8104, the Lehigh Valley heritage locomotive.

I’ve only seen the 8104 once and that was more than four years ago. And it was trailing.

The light was good then, but, you know, trail equals fail.

The Lehigh Valley H unit has not been a frequent visitor to Northeast Ohio. It got stuck in service down in the West Virginia and Virginia and took a long time to escape.

So when word came that the 8104 was leading a westbound 25Z, off to Olmsted Falls I went.

It was almost 5:30 p.m. when the 25Z showed up. It was cloudy and the sun was setting.

There was barely enough light to record anything. I shot at f3.5 at 1/500th of a second at ISO 6400 and at one full f stop over.

That netted a grainy, though usable image. But, hey, I finally got on the lead a heritage unit that had eluded me since June 2012.

As I processed my images in preparation for this post, I also came to appreciate how the conditions enable me to create some mood and effects that don’t exist in broad daylight.

Given a choice, I would rather have had ideal lighting when the 8104 showed up. But sometimes making do with what you have can yield some surprisingly pleasing images.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The 25Z with the Lehigh Valley heritage locomotive on the point was following the 25T and the 21Q as it left town. It is shown passing the depot in Olmsted Falls.

The 25Z with the Lehigh Valley heritage locomotive on the point was following the 25T and the 21Q as it left town. It is shown passing the depot in Olmsted Falls.

Hard on the heels of the 25Z was a westbound manifest freight whose headlight can be seen in the distance on Track No. 2. The 25Z was on Track No 1. In an hour's time, NS sent six westbound trains through Olmsted Falls.

Hard on the heels of the 25Z was a westbound manifest freight whose headlight can be seen in the distance on Track No. 2. The 25Z was on Track No 1. In an hour’s time, NS sent six westbound trains through Olmsted Falls.

The containers of NS train 25Z catch the last rays of daylight as the train heads into the sunset.

The containers of NS train 25Z catch the last rays of daylight as the train heads into the sunset.

SP Heritage Unit Does the Mon Valley

March 24, 2013

On Friday night the Southern Pacific heritage locomotive of Union Pacific came through Cleveland. Saturday morning found it sitting at Shire Oaks, Pa., waiting to take its train to Bailey Mine.

We burned rubber to Pittsburgh and looked for the NS Interstate heritage unit which was reportedly sitting at Conway.

Not finding anything there, we continued to Shire Oaks. At the south end of the yard was the SP heritage unit trailing a four-unit consist.

After an hour, he was rolling south to Bailey Mine with NS train N22. After getting some decent sunlight shots we proceeded to West Brownsville. A northbound CSX train then a southbound NS went through before our train showed up.

No less than three cars cut in front of the train on the street running trackage there, with one of them cutting it very close. We chased further south, catching him again at Clarksville in some sweet light. We caught him once again before the light started to give out and we headed for home.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

New App Helps Land NS Heritage Unit

September 10, 2012

I bagged Norfolk Southern’s  Norfolk & Western heritage locomotive this weekend and here are some pictures and a story.

Using a new app that will tell you what NS heritage units are within a certain radius from where you are at (say 100 miles), we were able to chase down and get the N&W 8103 on Saturday.

The app said that it had been spotted at Sandusky about two hours earlier, the time being 1 p.m.). So we loaded up and went to find it.

We checked to no avail several logical places, including the north end of the yard, the docks and the former New York Central local yard.

We then checked the south end of the former Pennsylvania Railroad yards and found the 8103 sitting out in the open. It was a successful trip using Internet reports.

However, not all Internet reports can be trusted. The same app also said that the Lackawanna heritage locomotive was on the former Nickel Plate Road in Pennsylvania heading to Buffalo.

If true it would have traversed Cleveland about 9 a.m., yet there were no sightings or reports here.

Well that was because the Lackawanna unit was sitting at Roanoke. Va., Somone had misposted its location, which they corrected later, but such is the problem with Intenet posts.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Labor Day Weekend Heritage Hunt Yields 2 Units

September 4, 2012

I went down to southern West Virginia on Labor Day weekend because a large concentration of Norfolk Southern 30th anniversary heritage locomotives were reported to be in that area.

On Friday night, we drove to Ashland, Ky., and spent the night there. Saturday morning found us traveling to Kenova, W.Va., because a heitage unit had been spotted there. But we didn’t find anything.

We continued following the former Norfolk & Western main eastward. We found a giant mainline coal dock about 20 miles east and set up for a photo. Surely a train would pass, but after two hours of waiting nothing did.

The website had a report of the Savannah & Atlanta engine going through Columbus, Ohio, about 7 a.m. with an empty coal train bound for Williamson W.Va. But we didn’t know exactly where it was.

Following the line further east we found a nice sun-lighted tunnel, No. 7 I believe. This would make a nice photo if we had a train, but the signals were solid red.

As we were about to leave the signal turned green. After a short wait, a train appeared with the S&A unit leading.

We chased it into Williamson, catching it several times.

We then moved on to Bluefield. However, we got completely lost – there was no cell phone or GPS reception in the mountains – and the Delorme atlas wasn’t much help either. We arrived  after dark.

In the meantime, we found out that had we stayed home we could have gotten the Monongahela heritage locomotive that was going through Cleveland on Saturday morning.

On Sunday morning, we talked to a couple of railfans who said that NS heritage unit 8114 (original Norfolk Southern) was working helper service on the other side of the yard.

Alas, we didn’t find it either. They also told us that the Lehigh Valley heritage locomotive had gone west during the night heading for Ohio.

Striking out again, we headed for Roanoke, Va., where some other heritage units had been reported to be.

Again, we found no heritage units; they were in the shops for repairs.

We did visit the Virginia Transportation Museum where the N&W 1776 Bicentennial and an Alco C630 high hood had been recently repainted. So the trip here was not a complete loss.

On the drive home, we heard more reports of 8114 at Bluefield, but we still missed it.

On Monday back in Cleveland, the Central of Georgia (NS 8101) came west on the 11V, which we did get at Olmsted Falls.

So I ended up with two heritage locomotives for the weekend although I had hoped for more. Nonetheless, while we were lost on Saturday, we did find some scenic coal branches that were not being used over the weekend. It was like being adrift in the ocean surrounded by water but with nothing to drink.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Some Good Luck in Friday the 13th

July 15, 2012

On Friday, July the 13th, I heard that the Reading and Lehigh Valley heritage locomotives of Norfolk Southern had tied up at Bellevue early that morning with a coal train of 865 empties that had come in from Detroit.

I got off work early and headed there to try and catch them. I didn’t have my computer and nobody that I called seemed to know anything so took a chance. Of course they weren’t there when I arrived.

I drove south to Marion hoping that I wasn’t too far behind the train with the heritage units. I got a couple northbound (railroad westbound) NS freights but saw no sign of a coal train.

Upon reaching Marion I was told by some railfans from Indiana (also searching for heritage power) that the 865 went west to Ft Wayne and then Muncie. I learned later that I had missed them by about an hour and that they went to Chicago where they headed a train bound for the Power River basin.

Bummed out, I headed east and followed the old Big Four/Erie line. After crossing U.S. 23, I caught a light Kansas City Southern power move. It was picking up a stack train at the Marion Industrial Center.

After getting this and some plant switchers, I continued east.

I didn’t get any activity at Galion but I did get pictures of the Erie bridge over Rt 309 at Ontario. This served a now closed GM plant. Look closely there is a small Erie diamond logo still showing.

My last photographs were of the only freight car painted for the ill fated Southern Pacific-CSX merger. SPSX 30034 was sitting outside a plant at Mansfield.

OK, there was no SP-CSX merger but I made you look).

All in all it was not a bad Friday the 13th.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

The Monongahela Lives On

June 17, 2012

A couple of Monongahela Railway cabooses are still used in work train service. Shown is one of them in the street at West Brownsville, Pa., on June 13, 2012.

The Monongahela Railway disappeared into Conrail in 1993, but it has been given a new sliver of life with the painting of a Norfolk Southern 30th anniversary heritage locomotive in Mon colors.

Although Mon locomotives vanished years ago, not so a pair of Mon cabooses that are still used in work train service on former Mon lines. I caught one of them on Tuesday, June 13, 2012, running down the street in West Brownsville, Pa.

I was there in hopes of catching two NS heritage units that were known to leading a coal train loading at Bailey mine on the former Monongahela Manor Branch. The first train that we saw was a southboud work train.

We didn’t know this bay window caboose was on the end, so it was a pleasant surprise, a sort of heritage piece of rolling stock.

And, yes, we caught the heritage units in the street, too. See the post below.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

The Monongahela logo is still visible on the side of this Mon caboose.

The first vehicle “tailgating” the Norfolk Southern work train at West Brownsville is an NS MOW truck.