Posts Tagged ‘Norfolk Southern’

NS Resumes Service in Southeast

September 15, 2017

Norfolk Southern said on Thursday that it has restored service on mainline track throughout Georgia and Florida.

However,  the railroad said that in the wake of damage inflicted by Hurricane Irma last weekend it continues to “meter in traffic” to Savannah and Brunswick, George.; Jacksonville, Florida.; and the surrounding areas.

In a service update, NS said it is working with customers in area affected by the hurricane to identify switching needs and communicate service plans.

“Customers should continue to expect delays of 48 to 72 hours for traffic moving through and to impacted areas as NS works through congestion caused from the storm’s service interruptions,” railroad officials said.

In related news, Florida East Coast Railway has resumed full rail service across its network between Jacksonville and Miami, although it said that for safety reasons trains are operating at slower speeds than normal.

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NKP 765 Ferry Move

September 13, 2017

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 made a road trip on Tuesday, traveling on Norfolk Southern rails from its home in New Haven, Indiana, to Cleveland in preparation for two weeks of excursions on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The engine spent the night in Cleveland and was to move onto the CVSR today to get into position for this weekend’s trips.

Reports on HeritageUnits.com indicated that No. 765 entered Ohio sometime in mid morning. It was spotted at Payne not far from the Indiana border at 9:55 a.m.

The ferry move took No. 765 over former NKP rails to Vermilion, where it went through the connection to get from the Cleveland District onto the Chicago Line west of town.

Akron Railroad Club member Robert Farkas made a road trip to Bellevue to capture the 765 ferry move in a couple of places.

In the top photograph, the train is on Fostoria District by the New Haven Connection in Bellevue. In the bottom photograph No. 765 is on the open road.

NKP 765 Ferry Move: 2

September 13, 2017

Akron Railroad Club member Todd Dillon also went out to photograph the ferry move of Nickel Plate Road No. 765 after it reached Northeast Ohio. Here are three of his photographs.

Top photo: Crossing the Vermilion River in Vermilion as seen from the South Street boat launch.

Middle Photo: Passing the signals near milepost 192 on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern and across from Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Bottom photo: Moving through the switches at CP Max as seen from Interstate 480 as the train enters Rockport Yard.

 

Fishing for the NKP Heritage Unit

September 12, 2017

I was in Conneaut last Sunday when Norfolk Southern delivered a surprise.

NS 8100, the Nickel Plate Road heritage locomotive, was leading Bellevue to Buffalo train No. 316.

The 316 had work to do in the yard, so I had the opportunity to capture it in two places, one of which is the NKP-built trestle over Conneaut Creek.

A bonus for that image was a fisherman wading in the creek to cast his line as the 8100 rumbled over.

I made it a point to get 8100 with the NKP era block signals still standing west of Chestnut Street.

They won’t be there much longer. New signals have been put up and are waiting to be placed into service.

Vestiges of the Nickel Plate are falling by the wayside. Even the NKP trestles are being replaced, although if NS has long plans to replace the bridge in Conneaut it is likely to be awhile.

Better Than I Initially Recognized

September 9, 2017

There have been times when I’ve given a second or even third look to an image I made and concluded that it had something going for it that I failed to see the first or second time.

Such was the case with this eastbound Norfolk Southern manifest freight cruising through Marion.

I had been walking back to Marion Union Station with fellow Akron Railroad Club member Richard Antibus during the dinner hour of Summerail.

I had a little bit of time before the evening shows were to begin.

This is not the location from which I would have preferred to have captured this train.

Given the position of the sun, I would have liked to have been on the west side of the tracks.

But just as we got near the tracks, the gates started going down. My practice is to not to dash across tracks if the crossing warning devices have activated.

I zoomed in on the train to get it crossing the CSX Mt. Victory Subdivision by AC Tower.

I then zoomed back to get a wider perspective, which was what I initially though to be the best image that I made. That image was the one that I posted online shortly after I got home.

Yet while thinning out images from that day and moving them into storage on an external hard drive, I took another look at the image above.

What I saw that time that I had missed earlier was the nice contrast between the light playing on the nose of SD70M No. 2587 and the shadows on both sides of the tracks.

Light and shadows adds tension to an image as well as visual interest.

The contrast extends to the rails that No. 2587 and its train are about to traverse. Ditto for the rest of the train, which can be seen enveloped in shadows in the distance.

The light is also illuminating the heads of the railfans along the fence watching the train pass.

I wouldn’t categorize this as the best railroad photograph I’ll make this year and many might see it as just another train picture.

Maybe so, yet it reminds me that sometimes you have to look at an image multiple times to really see it.

Boats and NS Trains in Vermilion

September 8, 2017

If you like to watch boats, Vermilion is a good place to go. If you like to watch trains, Vermilion is a good place to be.

But it is not an either-or choice if you plan a visit to the city on the shore of Lake Erie that is also noted as being the home of a famous French restaurant.

If you hang out at the South Street boat launch on the Vermilion River you can see trains and boats at the same time.

The Akron Railroad Club recently had its annual day in Vermilion and we spent all morning and part of the afternoon at the boat launch.

Here is a look at some of the action involving boats and trains.

NS, CSX, Amtrak Prepare for Irma

September 8, 2017

Norfolk Southern and CSX have announced plans to deal with the effects of Hurricane Irma, which is moving toward Florida and the Atlantic coast.

NS plans to hold traffic en route to the affected region at various yards throughout its system as it seeks to alleviate congestion in those areas.

The railroad is issuing embargoes and its engineering department is staging resources, including ballast trains, equipment, and generators, so it can swing into action for storm recovery work  once the storm has passed.

CSX is taking measures that it said will protect employees, rail traffic and infrastructure while it monitors the storm.

“All necessary actions will be taken as conditions warrant, including relocation of personnel, and rerouting rail cars and locomotives out of areas in the projected path of the hurricane. Customers with freight moving through impacted areas will be advised of any potential delays.”

Amtrak plans to suspend trains serving Florida effective Saturday. These include the Miami-New York Silver Star and Silver Meteor, and the Auto Train.

STB Finds 4 Class 1 RRs Revenue Adequate

September 7, 2017

Four Class I railroads were revenue adequate last year, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board has determined.

That means that Norfolk Southern, BNSF, Union Pacific and the Soo Line (the U.S. subsidiary of Canadian Pacific achieved a rate of return on investment equal to or greater than the Board’s calculation of the average cost of capital to the freight rail industry.

The STB determined that the 2016 railroad industry cost of capital was 8.88 percent. The revenue adequacy figure was calculated for each of the Class I freight railroads in operation as of Dec. 31, 2016, by comparing this figure to 2016 ROI data obtained from the carriers’ Annual Report R-1 Schedule 250 filings.

The Class I ROI figures were: BNSF, 10.11 percent; CSX, 8.62 percent;  Grand Trunk (including U.S. affiliates of Canadian National Railway), 8.60 percent;  Kansas City Southern, 6.23 percent; Norfolk Southern, 9.20 percent; Soo Line, 9.58 percent and Union Pacific, 13.39 percent.

Night Trains

September 2, 2017

Back in early August I had some magazines that had been donated to the Akron Railroad Club to convey to Marty Surdyk, who stores the inventory of merchandise that we sell at trains shows.

We arranged to meet in the evening at Olmsted Falls, where we would also spend some time railfanning the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern.

It was reminiscent of an outing we had in the Falls several years ago when I brought my tripod and dabbled with night photography.

I admire the work of those who have mastered the art, but that hasn’t motivated me to do much of it myself.

But my appetite for night photography was whetted earlier this summer during a night photo shoot at the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania.

I’ve also wondered what I could do with a digital SLR camera. One advantage of digital is that you will know right away if what you tried worked.

In North East I was working with steady light. That would not be the case in Olmsted Falls.

I was fortunate that much of the NS traffic on this evening was moving west.

I was able to get some late day images with natural lighting that didn’t require a tripod.

But along about 9 p.m. it was time top set up the tripod and shuttle cable release.

My first effort is the top image that accompanies this post. It was a straight-forward long shutter release of seven seconds at f/16 at ISO 100.

It has the streaks that I wanted and there was enough natural light to bring out some detail in the station and the fading blue light.

About 25 minutes later I tried this technique again, this time focusing on an approaching train. This image, shown immediately below the text, was made with a 16-second exposure a f/16 at ISO 100.

OK, what do I do for an encore? Marty suggested “painting” the station with light from a small flashlight, then keeping the shutter open but covering the lens with the lens cap.

I did a couple test images by shining the flashlight on the station. The results were good results.

Marty said that if I did that as a train approached, the crew might mistake the light for a signal telling them to stop their train.

My first effort was promising. I kept the shutter open for 77 seconds. Getting the lens cap on and off was more tricky than it might seem because I did not want to cause any vibration.

I tried the same technique a second time with an exposure time of 36 seconds. I also changed the f stop to 22. Of the two images, I liked the second one the best and it shown below this post.

Of course I didn’t like all of the “spots” on the image. That was light reflecting the aperture and made it appear that it was raining and I had water droplets on my lens.

I swung my camera around to try to get the train going away with the red light of the EOT “trailing behind.”

This ideal didn’t work well. I couldn’t get the blinking red light to “trail.” My best image, shown below, didn’t feature the train so much as a landing aircraft at nearby Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

For an encore, I went over to Berea and tried getting NS and CSX trains there.

The results were only so-so. The best of the lot is the final image shown below showing an eastbound.

Like any endeavor, there is a learning curve to learning how to do night photography. It requires study, practice and no small amount of trial and error. Having good equipment, particularly the tripod, also helps.

For most photographers, it is much easier to get trains in daylight. Yet some of the most dramatic images I’ve seen have been made at the extremes of the day in varying lighting conditions.

I don’t know that I’ll be doing much night photography, but I’m willing to learn and try it again.

 

PUCO OKs NS Grade Crossing Project

September 2, 2017

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio this week directed Norfolk Southern to install active warning devices at a grade crossing in Ottawa County.

The crossing involves the crossing of the NS Toledo District with Walbridge Road/Township Road 68 in Allen Township.
The project will be paid for with federal funds and must be completed by Aug. 30, 2018.

In another action, the PUCO approved a request by CSX for more time to complete a grade crossing upgrade on Ohio Route 229 in Ashley in Delaware County order to accommodate road construction. The crossing improvement now will be completed by March 31, 2018.