Posts Tagged ‘Norfolk Southern’

Larger Grain Harvest Seen in U.S. This year

September 2, 2016

A Detroit-based logistic company said it expects a larger than normal harvest this fall.

train image2Rail Freight Solutions said it has expanded its export container loading capabilities at its Detroit facilities to handle the grain traffic, which it expects to be 15 percent higher in the United States. A larger than normal harvests is also expected in Canada

RFS said it has the capability of loading 40 containers per shift inside of its 90,000-square-foot building.

The company said it is communicating with rail shippers and agricultural leaders on the new grain loading capabilities that provide transportation to and from Detroit’s intermodal facilities, including those operated by Canadian National, CSX and Norfolk Southern.

Sunset on the NS Toledo District

August 31, 2016

_DSC5962 NS Toledo dist sunset RES

You could sit trackside for hours on the Toledo District of Norfolk Southern northwest of Oak Harbor and not see a train.

Although an important route to NS, it is not the railroad’s major traffic artery in and out of Toledo. But it is the only route into Toledo used by the Wheeling & Lake Erie, which has a pair of trains each day on the line that interchange traffic with Canadian National.

That the route is important to the Wheeling seems appropriate because it is part of the original W&LE route between Toledo and Wheeling, West Virginia.

It fell into the hands of the Nickel Plate Road when that railroad acquired the W&LE in 1949. Of course the NKP was acquired by the Norfolk & Western which evolved into Norfolk Southern.

For a few days in July, the sun sets right down the Toledo District tracks near Oak Harbor. But you need to know when that is in order to gt it.

Photographer Peter Bowler was a little late this year, but he still came home with a very nice image.

Photograph by Peter Bowler

Getting Lucky En Route to an ARRC Meeting

August 30, 2016
What a treat. The New York Central heritage locomotive of Norfolk Southern on former Pennsylvania Railroad rails in Bedford.

What a treat. The New York Central heritage locomotive of Norfolk Southern on former Pennsylvania Railroad rails in Bedford.

Last Friday afternoon I checked the Heritage site more out of curiosity than anything else.

The New York Central heritage unit was shown as having been spotted at Leetonia, Ohio, at 3:25 p.m. leading westbound Norfolk Southern train 15K.

Hmmmm, I thought. We might be able to catch it on our way to the Akron Railroad Club meeting.

The plan was for Ed Ribinskas and Jeff Troutman to arrive at my house between 4:30 and 5 p.m. Depending on how the train was doing we might be able to get it.

At 4:28 p.m. the 1066 was reported by Alliance. Figuring that it would take an hour to get to Bedford and a half-hour to get there from my house if we left by 5 p.m. there was still a chance.

Ed and Jeff arrived shortly before 5 and we got underway immediately. Jeff checked HU which reported that the NYC H unit was by Earlville at 5:03 p.m. That is west of Brady Lake, if I remembered correctly. It was going to be tight.

It might take only a half-hour in most circumstances to reach Bedford from my house but Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. is not most circumstances. Traffic was heavy and we kept getting dinged by stop lights and traffic back-ups.

We finally made it to Rockside Road only to find out the 15K has been seen at Macedonia at 5:18 p.m. My heart sank. That was nearly 15 minutes ago. We’re not going to make it.

I reached the intersection of Rockside and Broadway where a short distance to the west Rockside goes over the NS Cleveland Line. Could the 15K be passing beneath Rockside at that moment?

Jeff suggested that maybe a circuit would be down and the 15k would be delayed. He was grasping at straws.

As we turned onto West Glendale Street, I asked Ed and Jeff to look for the signal indication just west of there.

Jeff said he saw the top head of the signal for Track No. 2 go from amber to green. That was potentially good news because it meant a westbound was lined up.

It might also mean the westbound was running closely behind the 15K, which had just cleared the block ahead.

I pulled into the tot lot parking lot, got out, opened my trunk and picked my camera out of the bag. I also fumbled to get my scanner set up.

I feared hearing the 15K call a signal at CP 114 or some other spot west of our location at milepost 110.

Jeff reminded us that trains are going upgrade coming from Macdonia and they might have to slow while passing Motor Yard.

I wasn’t hearing anything calling signals west of us. Then the gates for West Grace Street went down. Maybe this was it. But as soon as the gate came down they went back up. False alarm.

There was a faint transmission that Jeff said sounded like the 15K talking. But where was it? East of us? West of us?

We didn’t have long to find out. The gates for Grace Street went down again. Seconds later we heard the rumbling of diesels and Jeff, who was the closest to the tracks  said, “that’s it.”

Indeed it was. That NYC mighty oval never looked so good.

We got our photographs, congratulated each other on our good fortune and left for Akron.

The 15K was a long train and was not moving very fast when it arrived in Bedford. It had taken it 24 minutes to go from Macedonia to Bedford.

Had we been able to stick around another hour, we could have seen the Pennsylvania Railroad heritage locomotive pass by on its namesake rails. But it was trailing and we had places to go.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

I thought we had missed it, but luck was with us in landing the NYC heritage unit.

I thought we had missed it, but luck was with us in landing the NYC heritage unit.

The going away view shows a better view of the lightning stripes on the body of No. 1066.

The going away view shows a better view of the lightning stripes on the body of No. 1066.

With a Little Help From My Friends

August 29, 2016

BF 12 and stone train-x

NS train 68D is a heavy train of stone hoppers that delivers its loads to Shelly Materials at the Chrysler Yard in Twinsburg.

On the day that this image was made, the 68D stopped on Track No. 1 of the Cleveland Line in the vicinity of MP 114 in Cleveland to get a pair of pusher units, which came from the BF12.

The helpers were to give the 68D a hand as it worked its way uphill on the Crown Industrial Track, which diverges from the Cleveland Line at CP 102.

The helpers are shown going away at Bedford at MP 110. Ordinarily, I am not thrilled about shooting the tail end of motive power, but in this case there was something about it that I liked.

Maybe that is because having the BF12’s locomotives pushing elephant style helps convey that these are helper units.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

This View Will Always Be Here, Right?

August 28, 2016

MI _NKN0376 Resize

I suppose, in retrospect, we should have checked the road construction in Toledo before driving two hours for a photo outing.

But fellow Akron Railroad Club member Peter Bowler and I never thought we had reason to think that the photo location we planned to visit wouldn’t be there.

Miami Street on the east side of Toledo passes over the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern just east of the street bridge over the railroad’s bridge over the Maumee River.

The plan was to get there by mid to late morning, shoot an eastbound or two and then head east on the Chicago Line in search of other locations.

We had no trouble finding Miami Street, but we had no sooner turned on it when we saw “road closed” signs.

The detour began a couple blocks before the bridge, so we found a place to park and walked down the adjacent sidewalk.

The bridge was gone and construction workers were in the process of building a new one.

We presume that as is the case these days that the new bridge will come with fences that hinder photography.

I’ve only been to Miami Street once. Once the new bridge is open, there is nothing to say I can’t go back there. But  the open view that existed for decades probably will be gone.

This image of an eastbound NS train was made in April 2007 and is now a reminder of what we were unable to get.

Article by Craig Sanders, Photograph by Peter Bowler

Seeing Blue in Northeast Ohio

August 27, 2016

Blue Brother 01-x

On Monday, Aug. 22, Norfolk Southern DC to AC conversion locomotive No. 4000 made what is believed to have been its first visit to Northeast Ohio.

DC to AC conversion No. 4001 was in Ohio back in April leading a train to Bellevue on the Sandusky District on a day that featured heavy snow.

Nos. 4000 and 4001 have been paired at times, but of late seem to be working independently. They are the only conversion locomotives to thus far receive the blue nose treatment.

Railfans and their cameras were out in force as No. 4000 led manifest freight 11K on its journey from Allentown, Pennsylvania, to Elkhart, Indiana.

Although numerous images of the 11K have been posted in various places online, here is what I was able to get in Bedford.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

Blue Brother 02-x

Blue Brother 03-x

Blue Brother 04-x


KRR Coal Traffic Has Exceeded Expectations

August 26, 2016

An executive with Watco Companies said that it underestimated the demand for Appalachian coal when it launched the Kanawha River Railroad.

Kanawha River RailroadA month after the KRR began using the former West Virginia Secondary and Princeton-Deepwater District of Norfolk Southern, it has been running coal trains almost daily.

“Coal traffic is more than we anticipated — the domestic utility coal is up right now,” Kanawha River Railroad General Manager Derrick Jackson told Trains magazine.

As a result, the KRR has acquired additional locomotives and hired more employees for train and engine service.

The KRR has leased 10 NS SD60s and has its own fleet of three SD40-2s and four GP39-2s that are used to handle freight and local traffic.

In speaking with Trains, Jackson said the KRR is actively seeking to increase the local freight business.

Using trackage rights, KRR trains terminate at Watkins Yard on NS in Columbus.

Kentucky Company Shipping Crude Oil by Rail

August 26, 2016

A Kentucky company has begun shipping crude oil by rail from the Somerset Rail Park in Ferguson, Kentucky.

KentuckyContinental Refining company said in a news release that it began shipping via Norfolk Southern from the 34-acre truck-to-rail trans-loading facility in order to expand its national distribution more efficiently.

“We now have the added advantage in our region of shipping products farther and reducing costs, while utilizing a new resource,” said CRC President and Chief Executive Officer Demetrios Haseotes in a statement.

The Somerset-based Continental began using the rail park on July 27 to bring in gasoline components for gasoline pool blending. It also buys trans-mix fuel and ships it by rail.

It said it hopes to continue procuring additional blending components in the future.

Like Turning Back the Clock

August 25, 2016

_DSC6318 CROPPED Conrail Olm Falls with sig RES (1)

It was a Wednesday. Akron Railroad Club member Peter Bowler noticed online that Norfolk Southern heritage unit 8098 was leading a westbound intermodal train.

He had enough lead time so he headed for Olmsted Falls to intercept the ES44AC paying tribute to Conrail as it led train 21Q.

According to, the 21Q was reported through Olmsted Falls at 3:05 p.m.

It would continue to Chicago where it apparently flipped and came back east the next day when was reported to be leading the 20Q.

The 8098 spent a few days out east before coming back through Northeast Ohio and then making another return trip shortly thereafter.

It can be interesting to track the travels of a heritage unit. In the case of the 8098, since Peter photographed it the unit has been in 10 states, assuming that all of those reports on HU are accurate.

During much of its travels in the past month the Conrail H unit has burnished former Conrail  routes — such as the one shown here — and had its photograph taken who knows how many times.

The fascination with NS heritage units is still going strong more than four years after No. 8098 because the first of those locomotives to be released from the shop for duty.

Photograph by Peter Bowler

KRR Now Operating in Ohio

August 23, 2016

The entire former West Virginia Secondary of Norfolk Southern is now back in operation.

Kanawha River RailroadThe Kanawha River Railroad is now operating loaded coal trains between West Virginia and Columbus, where they are handed off to Norfolk Southern for forwarding to Sandusky.

The first of those trains operated on Monday and was the first time that most of the West Virginia Secondary had seen a train since NS mothballed it last February.

Trains magazine reported that the first unit coal train had two NS locomotives and two SD60s leased by NS to the KRR, which is a property of Watco Companies.

KRR plans to restore shipping chemicals by rail within the next few weeks.