Posts Tagged ‘norfolk southern locomotives’

A Trio on the NS Fort Wayne Line

July 28, 2022

Here is a trio of images made on from June 27, 2022, on the Fort Wayne Line of Norfolk Southern. No. 5321 is eastbound in Orrville with train C03. No. 6345 is eastbound in North Lawrence with train C67. NS 6308 is on the west end of NS 6345’s eastbound train. These trains are all locals.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

NS Continuing DC to AC Conversions

June 9, 2021

Norfolk Southern plans to convert about 100 locomotives a year from DC to AC traction.

Speaking to an investor’s conference this week, Chief Financial Officer Mark George said 54 percent of the railroad’s motive power fleet is now AC traction.

NS is seeking to bring that up to 65 percent. Management has said converting older DC traction models to AC traction enables the railroad to have a like-new unit for half the cost of a new locomotive.

They also say AC traction units are more reliable, cost less to maintain, are more efficient, and have provide better tractive effort.

Other steps NS has taken to improve the efficiency of its fleet include adding energy management systems, which now cover about 80 percent of its locomotives with a goal of expanding that to 90 percent.

George said nearly half of NS trains now operate with distributed motive power. That percentage is expected to grow as train lengths increase.

He said the average NS train is more than 7,000 feet long with 10 percent of trains exceeding 10,000 feet.

NS Settling on 10 Locomotive Models

April 30, 2020

The news that Norfolk Southern is slashing the size of its locomotive fleet has been out for a while but more specific details emerged this week.

Company officials said during the first quarter earnings call that the adoption of the precision scheduled railroading operating model will mean reducing the locomotive fleet size by 22 percent.

Most of the older models will be retired from the NS motive power roster as the carrier moves toward operating fewer and longer trains.

During an investor’s day last year, NS management said it planned to cut the locomotive fleet by 500 units, but since then the carrier has actually removed 703 units from active service.

As of March 31, NS had an active fleet of 2,801, which is 20 percent less than the 3,515 it had in late 2018.

At the end of 2018, NS had 606 units in storage. That figure grew to 1,022 units by the end of 2019.

NS plans to retain 402 of its stored locomotives as part of a surge fleet to handle a sharp increase in traffic.

Others in the stored fleet will be rebuilt as part of a DC-to-AC traction conversion program.

NS Chief Financial Officer Mark George said the carrier is removing from active service the oldest, least reliable, and least efficient locomotives.

In the process, it has eliminated the use of nine models and is creating a fleet of 10 models.

Company officials say that will save money by reducing the inventory of some parts and lessening the need for some mechanical shop workers.

During the first quarter of 2020, NS sold 300 locomotives and will sell or scrap the remaining units that it has in storage but doesn’t plan to keep.

Falling traffic and revenue has led to a reduced capital budget for 2020 and that has consequences for the motive power fleet.

NS will not accelerate its schedule for transforming DC units into AC ones and it will delay until next year some conversions that had been planned for this year.

The carrier will also suspend rebuilding units used in local service.

NS to Take Charge on Locomotive Disposals

April 17, 2020

Norfolk Southern said on Thursday it will take a $385 million charge in the first quarter of 2020 that is related to the disposal of about 300 locomotives and the designation of another 400 locomotives for sale.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, NS said the move is related to its adoption of the precision scheduled railroading operating model in 2019.

NS said PSR “continues to provide significant benefits to the network operations and has resulted in excess capacity.”

The non-cash charge will reduce first quarter diluted earnings per share by $1.1.

The railroad said it will report its first quarter results on April 29 as well as provide information on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected it.

Another Iteration of the NS ‘Mane’ Livery

September 3, 2016

NS third DC-AC

Norfolk Southern has another version of the “mane” livery that it is applying to rebuilt DC to AC conversion locomotives.

Known as the “Roanoke prototype, the difference between Mane 1 and Mane 2 is that the latter has Tuscan red accent striping along the simulated flying horse mane.

The scheme has been applied to ACMC6M No. 4000, which was originally standard cab D9-40C No. 8789.

The rebuilding took place in the Juniata Shops in Altoona, Pennsylvania, which also rebuilt and applied the Mane 1 livery to DC to AC conversion unit No. 4004.