Posts Tagged ‘New Castle Indiana’

Giving it a Rolling Inspection

March 13, 2022

The crew of the New Castle Southern job was just about done for the day. They had tied down their train in New Castle, Indiana, and were wrapping up some loose ends before going off duty and going home.

But then Norfolk Southern grain train 50Q showed up headed toward Cincinnati. The NCSR crew stopped what they were doing and got into position to conduct a roll-by inspection of the 50Q.

Nothing was amiss so the NCSR crew finished their work, got in a couple of vehicles and drove off to other things until it was time to report to duty again.

New Kid on the Block

November 24, 2021

I found this freshly painted GP15-1 in a sharp livery for the New Castle Southern Railroad in its namesake city in Indiana.

It was at the head of a cut of covered cars that had been positioned on a siding next to a city street and a portable unloading device.

The NCSR began operating in September a 21-mile former Nickel Plate Road branch between New Castle and Beesons.

The short line leases the track from Norfolk Southern which earlier this year canceled the lease held by the C&NC Railroad, a.k.a., Connersville & New Castle, which had operated the branch since Dec. 22, 1997.

At Beesons the C&NC and now the NCSR make a connection with the Big Four Terminal, which operates a former New York Central (Big Four) branch to Connersville.

A portion of that former NYC route south of Connersville is now used by the White Water Valley tourist railroad to Metamora.

NCSR No. 1671 is owned by Indiana Boxcar Corporation and I was unable to determine its heritage.

Breaking a Year Long Drought

November 21, 2021

I should have left for home more than a half hour earlier. The sun had sunk below the tops of the trees and shadows enveloped the tracks of the New Castle District of Norfolk Southern in its namesake city in Indiana.

But I wanted to get “one more” even though I knew the images I might make would be marginal from a lighting standpoint.

That “one more” was not an ordinary train. It was NS train 282, a container train operating from Simpson Yard in Jacksonville, Florida, to Landers Yard in Chicago, with ES44AC No. 8102 on the point.

You might recognize that as the Pennsylvania Railroad heritage locomotive. An added bonus was that I would be catching the 8102 on rails that once had been the Pennsy’s primary passenger route between Chicago and Cincinnati.

It wasn’t like I haven’t photographed the 8102 before. I’ve caught it several times, including with such Pennsy artifacts as position light signals at CP Mace in Massilon and a bridge with a PRR keystone logo still painted on it in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

Getting the PRR heritage unit in and of itself, though, wasn’t what was keeping me trackside.

It had been a year and two days since I had last caught an NS train with any heritage unit leading.

For that matter it had been more than seven months since I landed an NS train with a heritage unit trailing. My luck has been that bad.

I had known for several hours about the 282 having the PRR heritage locomotive. There had been reports on HeritageUnits.com from Kentucky and in Cincinnati.

The last of those, at 12:40 p.m. reported the 282 was moving north in the Cincinnati terminal after having worked in the yard.

An unanswered question was how long it would take the 282 to get up from Cincinnati to New Castle. There had been no more reports on HU.com of en route sightings.

By late afternoon I knew the 282 was tantalizing close. The dispatcher had contacted the 282 crew to give it a 25 mph speed restriction. And I had heard a voice say the 282 was on the approach, whatever that meant.

Two trains, the 122 and the 174, were ahead of it and I photographed both in the nice late day light of late autumn that I was hoping would linger long enough for the passage of the 282.

As each minute ticked away the sun got a little lower and the shadows moved a little further over the rails. Sunset would be at 5:22 p.m. and it was now nearly 5 p.m.

It was shortly after 5 p.m. when I finally heard what I had been waiting to hear. The detector went off at milepost 95.3. The 282 was about five miles away.

Several minutes later came the sound of a locomotive horn blowing for grade crossings I couldn’t see. Then around a curve came a headlight.

Looking looked through my telephotos lens I determined that – yes – the nose was Tuscan red with gold pinstripes.

Two of the several images I made were decent enough to show, especially after I processed them in Adobe Photoshop. Still they are grainy and feature a dark locomotive in shadows.

I hope my next heritage unit on the lead sighting won’t take a year to get and that it will be in better lighting. But who knows.

There is a lot of luck involved in finding heritage and tribute locomotives. It is the proverbial being in the right place at the right time. Some places tend to be more right than others.

All I can do is get out there and hope the sun, the stars and the moon are all in alignment.

In fact, last Friday, when I made the images of the NS 8102 was a full moon day. You don’t think . . . nah, that can’t be it. Or is it?

More Than a Stack Train

March 17, 2021

Norfolk Southern train 200 originates in Danville, Kentucky, and is goes to the Global 2 facility on the Union Pacific in Chicago.

At first glance it might appear to be a stack train. But in an era of precision scheduled railroading you might find intermodal trains carrying a variety of freight. Behind the containers was a long string of mixed freight.

The westbound train is shown running parallel to Indiana Avenue in New Castle, Indiana, on the New Castle District.