Posts Tagged ‘Norfolk Southern’

Let’s Get Behind the Horses

April 19, 2017

Many years ago when I was a kid we were on a family vacation out east. We saw a billboard that read, “let’s get behind the birds,” making a reference to the Baltimore Orioles Major League Baseball team.

The billboard had a team photo that was taken from behind the players, not in front of them.

The vast majority of the time, railroad photographs show the nose of a locomotive approaching the photographer.

This Norfolk Southern light power move — symbol 967 — is headed from Columbus to Bellevue.

With the exception of DPU units, it is not often that the rear of a locomotive is also the rear of the train.

NS DC to AC Loco Involved in Derailment

April 18, 2017

One of the DC to AC tribute locomotives of Norfolk Southern was involved in a derailment late last week in Pennsylvania on the Pittsburgh line that resulted in minor injuries to the train crew.

The railroad has not said what caused coal train No. 593 to derail last Friday at CP McVey in Mattawana, Pennsylvania.

The train’s two locomotives and more than 20 cars left the tracks about 60 miles east of Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Involved in the accident was AC44C6M No. 4001, one of the first conversions carried out by NS shop forces. No. 4001 sports a blue and gray livery, one of two to have it.

The Pittsburgh Line was reopened on Sunday morning.

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

Just Another ‘Routine’ Day in Marion

April 14, 2017

One highlight of my day in Marion in early March was this Kansas City Southern “Belle” helping to pull the Q106.

Every time that I plan a day railfan outing I’m always hoping for something out of the ordinary to occur.

Typically, I hope for something other than the same old, same old in motive power or train consists.

By that standard, my outing to Marion in early March was pretty average. Norfolk Southern didn’t send any heritage or special tributes through town during the nine hours that I was there.

No foreign units led any of the 30 trains that I logged. There were foreign units trailing in three motive power consists, one of which was the Q106, a run-through intermodal train from the Kansas City Southern.

The second unit in the motive power consist of that train was a KCS Southern Belle. I would have liked for it to have been leading. I would liked even more for that motive power set to have gone back west that afternoon, but it didn’t.

Motive power matters aside, I considered the outing to be a success. Train traffic was steady throughout the day. CSX was its usual hit and miss, but it provided 12 trains, although nothing ran west on the CSX Columbus Subdivision.

It took longer than I expected for the temperatures to warm to a comfortable feeling, but the skies were mostly sunny. That alone can make it a good day.

I had not been in Marion since last August when I attended Summerail so I wasn’t aware of a major change that has improved photography there.

CSX has removed the poles on the south side of the Mt. Victory Subdivision. One of those used to block the sight lines of photographs made from AC Tower.

A stub of a pole by the diamonds of the Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern with the Mt. Victory Sub holds station identifier signs for NS. It looks kind of funny, but it is what it is.

Here is a selection of some of my better images of the day.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The first “foreign” locomotive that I spotted was a BNSF unit trailing a CSX leader on a westbound auto rack train on the Mt. Victory Sub.

An eastbound NS coal train approaches the junction with CSX.

CSX grain train G646 is about to rattle the diamonds as it rumbles eastward on the Columbus Sub.

Without poles along the CSX tracks, the sight lines from AC Tower are now open for shooting eastbound trains passing Marion Union Station on the Mt. Victory Sub. The train is the Q008.

Remember that pole that you used to have to shoot around from the steps of AC Tower? I can’t say that I miss it.

An NS engineer gives a wave to railfans in Marion.

 

Indiana Port Reaches Pact With TNW Logistics

April 13, 2017

The Perry (Indiana) County Port Authority and TNW Logistics Services have reached an agreement to expand the Tell City River Port on the Ohio River.

The port, which includes the Hoosier Southern Railroad, is expected to see the development of additional industrial park facilities and river port operations.

The Hoosier Southern connects with Norfolk Southern at Lincoln City, Indiana.

In a news release, The Dallas-based TNW said this is its first venture into Indiana.

“This is a natural fit for the expertise TNW has gained while developing our rail and multimodal logistics centers in Texas,” said TNW Corp. Chief Executive Officer Paul Treangen in a statement. “We are eager to increase business volume, create economic development opportunities and foster strong relationships with the shippers and local communities.”

The port handles barge traffic from the headwaters of the Ohio River, as well as the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico.

It has 38 acres of land with 3,300 square feet of Ohio River frontage covering more than 3,500 feet of undeveloped river frontage. Two large warehouses have more than 46,000 square feet for storage of bulk materials and 75,000 square feet of concrete and asphalt pads also are available.

Memorable Last Train of the Day

April 12, 2017

The last train that I would photograph during an all-day outing to Bellevue and the Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern last Sunday would be memorable for a few reasons, not all of them positive.

While in Bellevue around mid-afternoon, I spotted a train sitting on the Fostoria District awaiting clearance. It had a BNSF unit on the point so I waited to see where it was going.

I thought it was waiting to get into the yard, but it went to the Sandusky District and would follow the 194 and the 12V.

It turned out to be the 44G, a grain train probably headed somewhere in North or South Carolina.

The Sandusky District dispatcher had planned to have the 44G meet a 188 at Harvey just north of Marion, but those plans changed after I turned off my scanned and got out my car to await the arrival of the 44G in Bucyrus.

I met a railfan from Columbus who had a portable scanner and said the radio chatter and signal indications he had seen suggested a meet at Benson, the siding north of Bucycus.

That is, in fact, what happened. He was curious what the view on the west side of the tracks close to the diamonds with the Fort Wayne Line.

We found that it offered a straight-on view of the through truss bridge carrying the Sandusky District over the Sandusky River.

The lighting was ideal and the bright orange of the BNSF “pumpkins” was eye catching. It was my best series of images of the day.

We watched the train go by and we started to leave I reached into my pocket for my lens cap.

But it wasn’t there. I searched all of my pockets and no lens cap.

The other railfan and I looked over the area where I had been photographing but found nothing. I traced my path three times but the lens cap was nowhere to be found.

My best guess is that I put it back on my lens after shooting the 188, but didn’t attach it firmly enough to the lens.

The vibration of my moving must have jarred it off and it was difficult to find in the thick grass. It’s there somewhere but I couldn’t find it.

I can buy a new lens cap, but was bummed out about not having been more careful with my equipment.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Toledo National Train Day Set for May 6

April 12, 2017

Toledo still plans to hold a National Train Day this year, although it will not apparently have the headliner external exhibits that it has had in the past.

The event will be held on May 6 at the former Central Union Terminal – now known as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza – between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. There is no admission charge.

Thus far the only announced railroad exhibit will be Ann Arbor Railroad GP38 No. 3879.

Built in 1969, the locomotive has been painted in a commemorative livery to honor the history of the Ann Arbor, which is now a Watco Companies property.

This year’s event will be the 10th National Train Day celebration in Toledo.

Past events have featured heritage and special livery locomotives of Norfolk Southern as well as an Amtrak exhibit train.

It is not clear yet if either NS or Amtrak will be participating in the event.

The event’s sponsors say on their Facebook page that as in past years the festival will feature vendors, model railroad displays, children’s train rides, a safety workshop oriented to children, food and train watching of the nearby NS Chicago Line from the Amtrak station platforms.

NS Honors 55 Chemical Shippers for Safety

April 12, 2017

Fifty-five companies have received the 2016 Thoroughbred Chemical Safety Award from Norfolk Southern in recognition of their safe handling of hazardous materials products.

NS said the companies safely shipped 208,503 carloads of chemical products in 2016.

In a news release, the railroad said chemical manufacturers and plants are recognized if they ship at least 1,000 carloads of hazardous products over the NS network without a single incident during the year.

NS is a participant in the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care Partner Program, which sets standards to identify, reduce, and manage process risks from the environmental, health, safety, and security perspectives.

Shippers earning the 2016 Thoroughbred Chemical Safety Award included:

Altivia Petrochemicals; Apex Terminal; ArcelorMittal USA; Archer Daniels Midland, Decatur, Illinois., plant; Ascend Performance Materials LLC; BP Products North America Inc.; Buckeye Partners L.P.; Cargill Inc.; Chemtrade Logistics Inc.; CHS Inc.; Covestro LLC; Crestwood Equity Partners LP; Delaware City Refining LLC, Reybold, Delaware, plant; Elbow River Marketing Ltd.; ERCO Worldwide; ExxonMobil Chemical Company; Flint Hill Resources LP; Formosa Plastics Corporation U.S.A.; Green Plains Inc.; Horsehead Corporation; Hunt Refining Co. Inc.; INVISTA S.à r.l; Imperial Oil Limited; Irving Oil;

Kemira Chemicals Inc.; Kemira Water Solutions Inc.; Lima Refining Company (Husky); Linde LLC; Marathon Petroleum Co. LP; Marquis Energy LLC; Midwest Terminals of Toledo; NGL Energy Partners LP; Norfalco Sales, Glencore Canada Corporation; NOVA Chemicals Corporation; Nucor Corp.; Olin Corporation; One Earth Energy LLC; Pacific Ethanol Pekin; Paulsboro Refining Company, Paulsboro, N.J., plant; Phillips 66; Plains Midstream Canada ULC; Plains Marketing Van Hook Crude Terminal; Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan; Reagent Chemical & Research Inc.;

Shintech Inc.; Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy LLC; Sunbelt Chlor Alkali Partnership; Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals; The Chemours Company FC LLC; The Dow Chemical Company; The International Group Inc.; TransMontaigne Product Services Inc.; United Refining Company; Valero Energy Corporation; and Vopak Terminal Savannah.

Last Gasp of Winter

April 11, 2017

Where did the winter go? That’s a term more commonly heard about summer, a season  that most people embrace, and not winter, a season that most people dread.

We had snow this winter, but not as much as I remember there being in past winters and for various reasons I didn’t get out when we had it to make any photographs.

It is not that I didn’t make photographs during the winter months, but when I did get out there was little to no snow on the ground.

So here it is April and this is one of the best snow and trains photograph that I have to show for the winter of 2016-2017.

Yeah, I know it is kind of lame, but at least there is snow in the image even if little of it.

There will always be another winter and the next one might have more opportunity than I care to have. But I’ll deal with that then.

Sunday Surprise (and Prize) in Bellevue

April 10, 2017

Illinois Central No. 1028 leads the W08 off the Toledo District of Norfolk Southern in Bellevue and into the mini plant.

I knew I wanted to go to Bellevue this past weekend. The question was whether it would be Saturday or Sunday.

The original plan was to go on Saturday. But as Friday night approached I began having second thoughts. I had work to do at home over the weekend and the banquet of the Railroad Enthusiasts to attend on Saturday night.

The weather forecast for Sunday called for temperatures in the 70s and mostly sunny skies. It would be warmer than it was going to be on Saturday. And I’d have more time if I went on Sunday because I wouldn’t have to leave as early to attend an evening event.

So I went with Sunday. Of course Saturday would be the day that two Norfolk Southern heritage locomotives — the Interstate and the Norfolk Southern units — passed through Bellevue.

I would learn that four Ferromex locomotives also made an appearance in Bellevue on Saturday. So there would have been much to see had I gone out there on Saturday.

I had time to think about what I had missed on Saturday during my first hour in Bellevue on Sunday, which wasn’t too bad. Traffic was steady and a couple of trains were led by Union Pacific motive power, not that that is all that unusual of a sight in Northern Ohio.

I mentioned to the railfan who gave me the “what I missed on Saturday report” that I was hoping to something great today.

As it turned out, I didn’t have to wait long for that.

About 10:30 a.m., the railfan was looking through his binoculars and said an inbound train on the Toledo District had what looked like an Illinois Central unit in the lead.

What! An Illinois Central locomotive on an NS train in Bellevue? That seemed to good to be true.

There aren’t that many ICRR units left and they hardly ever show up in Northern Ohio, let alone leading a train.

But it was true. IC SD70 No. 1028 was on the point with a Canadian National unit trailing of the W08 making its way into Moorman Yard.

For what it’s worth, I never did see any NS heritage units on this day. I did see a Wheeling & Lake Erie train come into town and into the yard on the Brewster connection. The railfan who gave me the Saturday report said the Wheeling didn’t come in on Saturday.

If you know me, though, then you know how Sunday was the better day for me to have been in Bellevue.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders