Posts Tagged ‘Norfolk Southern’

NS Introduces New ‘Black Mane’ Livery

August 19, 2016

NS conversion loco

Norfolk Southern has a new specialized livery that is designed to imitate the flying mane of a horse.

Dubbed “black mane,” the scheme has been applied to DC to AC conversion locomotive that underwent modification at the Juniata shops in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

The first unit to get the “black mane” treatment is AC44C6M No. 4004, which entered the shop as D9-40C No. 8866.

The new livery is similar to that of other converted units, but retains the traditional black nose rather than having a blue one as was the case with the prototype conversion locomotives.

Blue accenting has been applied to simulate a horse’s mane flying as well as to transition from black to gray on the rest of the locomotive.

NS said in a statement that the “back mane” livery also shows that the locomotive was converted in the Juniata shops.

Some Recent Conneaut Doings

August 19, 2016
An eastbound CSX stack train passes by the water tower in Conneaut. The town name on the tank could use a touch up.

An eastbound CSX stack train passes by the water tower in Conneaut. The town name on the tank could use a touch up.

I’ve made a few trips to  Conneaut this summer in search of action on the former Bessemer & Lake Erie. But while killing time waiting on the B&LE, I’ve also photographed CSX and Norfolk Southern activity.

Of the two, the NS is easier to get because I can stake out the B&LE and see NS trains crossing Conneaut Creek at the same time. To get CSX means having to be away from the Bessemer tracks.

But CSX is also far busier than NS so there is a greater chance of getting a train on CSX. Presented here are a number of photographs made in Conneaut during the past few months.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

NS train 145 is running light today, really light.

NS train 145 is running light today, really light.

Now there is something you don't see every day. A Feromex unit is part of the motive power consist of a westbound NS auto rack train.

Now there is something you don’t see every day. A Feromex unit is part of the motive power consist of a westbound NS auto rack train.

Catching an eastbound manifest freight coming off the east end of the trestle over Conneaut Creek.

Catching an eastbound manifest freight coming off the east end of the trestle over Conneaut Creek.

This eastbound was relatively short as it goes into the siding to await a meet.

This eastbound was relatively short as it goes into the siding to await a meet.

The rear car of the NS train had paper strung over it.

The rear car of the NS train had paper strung over it.

Another eastbound on NS crossing the B&LE and Conneaut Creek.

Eastbound train 206 on NS crossing the B&LE and Conneaut Creek.

CSX locomotives are smoking it up while leading a westbound tanker train past a house overlooking the tracks. I wonder if the guy who owns it is a railfan.

CSX locomotives are smoking it up while leading a westbound tanker train past a house overlooking the tracks. I wonder if the guy who owns it is a railfan.

A Few from NS Chicago Line in Amherst

August 14, 2016
Amherst 21Q-x

The westbound 21Q had a pair of Tier 4 compliant locomotives on the point. ET44AC No. 3637 was assembled by GE Transportation in May 2016 and still has that new locomotive look.

The Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts had its annual summer picnic at the former New York Central freight station in Amherst, Ohio, on Sunday, Aug. 7.

As he does for the Akron Railroad Club, Marty Surdyk manned the grill and also showed a one-tray slide show of photographs made during a trip to Oklahoma and Texas in 1999.

The RRE has held its picnic in Amherst for the past several years and as I’ve done in the past I got in some train photography of operations on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern.

Nothing that was particularly out of the ordinary came by during the picnic. In fact, NS traffic was slow and we endured a two-hour lull in late afternoon. But, overall, it was a enjoyable outing highlighted by Marty’s show.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

Another westbound stack train, this one the 25T.

Another westbound stack train, this one the 25T.

The L13 from Bellevue to Rockport Yard in Cleveland makes an appearance.

The L13 from Bellevue to Rockport Yard in Cleveland makes an appearance.

A pair of well-worn Canadian National locomotives were in the motive power consist of this westbound frac sand train.

A pair of well-worn Canadian National locomotives were in the motive power consist of this westbound frac sand train.

The setting sun was right down the rails as the L13 came past on its way home to Belleveue.

The setting sun was right down the rails as the L13 came past on its way home to Belleveue.

AAO Wants Added Track Capacity in Cleveland

August 12, 2016

An Ohio passenger advocacy group wants to see the tracks reconfigured in the vicinity of the Cleveland Amtrak station so that two trains could serve the station simultaneously.

Amtrak logoThe work would require expanding the existing platform, installing a crossover at CP 122 on the Cleveland Line of Norfolk Southern and rehabilitating an industrial track to make it a second station track.

All four Amtrak trains serving Cleveland arrive between 1:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. If one or more of them are late, it means that one train has to wait while another does its station work.

Amtrak trains in Cleveland all use the former Track No. 1 of what used to be the double track Chicago Line in the Conrail era.

Congestion can become particularly acute if the Capitol Limited arrives from both directions at the same time.

Under normal circumstances, eastbound No. 30 completes its station work and departs well before the arrival of No. 29.

Both trains use  a connecting track built by Conrail that links the Chicago Line to the Cleveland Line at CP 122. However, Amtrak trains must be on Track No. 2 of the Cleveland Line to be able to access that connecting track at CP 122.

The nearest crossover east of CP 122 is at CP 114 in Garfield Heights 8.1 miles away.

In some instances, No. 30 has departed by backing up from the station to Drawbridge and crossing over to Track No. 1 of the Cleveland Line to get out of the way of No. 29 on Track No. 2.

In other instances, No. 29 is held at CP 114 until No. 30 reaches it and crosses over to Track No. 1.

At times No. 29 has continued to Drawbridge and then backed into the Cleveland Station because it was on Track No. 1 and couldn’t reached the connection at CP 122 due to No. 30 coming out on Track No. 1 or due to NS freight traffic.

AAO is calling for a crossover between Tracks 1 and 2 at CP 122 so Amtrak trains can depart on either track.

The group also said that Track 44, an industrial tracks used by NS and CSX, could be rebuilt to Federal Railroad Administration Class III standards to serve as a second station track. A connecting track would need to be built from the Chicago Line to Track 44.

As part of that project, the current platform, which is now 10-by-1,200 feet would be expanded to 15-by 1,600 feet.

That would allow a train with two locomotives and nine cars to serve the station from Track 44 and still not block the pedestrian walkway from the station.

That walkway crosses Track 44 and the double track Waterfront Line of the Greater Cleveland Transit Authority.

It is not clear who would fund the project or whether Amtrak and NS are studying it.

Watco Hits Snag in Reopening W.Va. Secondary

August 11, 2016

Resuming operations on the West Virginia Secondary in Ohio by the Kanawha River Railroad is being delayed as it awaits a ruling from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board.

The issue is the failure of the STB to publish a complete description of the authority of the KRR to operate over 9.2 miles of CSX-owned track.

WatcoThe CSX portion of the West Virginia Secondary extends from Hobson Yard in Langsville, Ohio, to Conco, which is located on the Ohio side of the Ohio River bridge.

An attorney representing Watco Companies, which owns the KRR, said the trackage rights on CSX were excluded from the copy of the filing submitted to the STB by Watco and Norfolk Southern, which owned the West Virginia Secondary, and published in the Federal Register.

The attorney said the trackage rights were implied in the filing and the STB has not explicitly ruled them out.

However, CSX won’t allow the KRR to exercise the trackage rights until the STB states that they are included in the transfer of operating authority from NS to Watco. The STB is expected to provide that clarification soon.

Watco took over most of the 298-mile West Virginia Secondary from NS and has been operating the route in West Virginia since July 31.

Until taking the line out of service earlier this year, NS had been providing local service on the route. The filing with the STB indicated that NS saw coal traffic on the West Virginia Secondary decline by 57 percent between 2011 and 2014.

ODOT Project Wins Transportation Award

August 11, 2016

An Ohio Department of Transportation project in Cleveland was recently named one of the best transportation projects in America by the Mid Association of Transportation Officials.

ODOT 2The project involved constructing a connection between west side neighborhoods in Cleveland with the West Shoreway and Edgewater Park.

As part of the project, a bridge was constructed over the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern and West 73rd Street was extended to add a multimodal path.

That project, along with a project by the Illinois Department of Transportation to construct a bridge over BNSF tracks in Galesburg, Illinois, won an American Transportation Award in the Quality of Life/Community Development category.

Both projects will compete for a national grand prize that will be announced at the annual meeting of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in November.

The nominations are judged by officials representing a cross-section of transportation industries. Forty state departments of transportation participated in this year’s competition.

NS Highlights 2015 Responsibility Achievements

August 10, 2016

In a report published on its website Norfolk Southern said it is working to achieve cleaner-running locomotives, greater energy efficiency, support for safer communities, fewer workplace injuries and a more diverse workforce.

NS logo 2Those goals were outlined in the company sustainability report titled “What Efficiency Looks Like.”

The report touts key achievements that NS made in 2015 and provides details about its progress toward reaching a healthy balance between its business imperatives as a publicly traded company and its environmental and social commitments as a responsible corporate citizen.

“Efficiently moving freight trains across our 22-state network is a cornerstone of sustainability at Norfolk Southern,” said NS CEO Jim Squires in the report. “It’s about turning challenges into daily opportunities – keeping our people and communities safe, providing unequalled customer service, and being a good steward of the resources that contribute to our success.”

Among the highlights that NS cited achieving in 2015 were:

Rolled out a new class of low-emission Eco locomotives at rail yards in Atlanta and Chicago.

Introduced a custom plug-in engine-heating system at rail yards that reduces unnecessary locomotive idling in cold weather.

Adopted a five-year goal to improve locomotive fuel efficiency, which will contribute to the company’s goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

In the matter of economic performance, NS said it:

Returned more than $700 million in dividends to shareholders, representing a 6 percent increase in dividends per share for the year.

Supported the location of 61 new industries and 32 industry expansions along NS rail lines, representing $4.2 billion in customer investment and more than 6,100 new customer jobs.

Contributed more than $13.7 million in combined Norfolk Southern Foundation, corporate, and business giving in communities served by the railroad to support human service needs, arts and culture, environment and education.

In the area of social performance, NS said it:

Recorded a 13 percent decline in employee reportable injuries.

Hired a record number of female employees: 28 percent of management trainees and 7 percent of conductor trainees were women.

Formed local employee diversity and inclusion councils in each of the railroad’s 10 operating divisions.

Helped train more than 4,800 local emergency responders in safe response to potential incidents involving transport of product regulated as hazardous material.

Conrail H Unit Passes through N.E. Ohio

August 8, 2016

IMG_6297

IMG_6294

IMG_6296

The past several weeks the Conrail heritage unit of Norfolk Southern has been leading trains through Northeast Ohio.

Two weeks ago I caught it going by Berea tower (top photograph). This is a significant location both locally but also for the Conrail system.

Conrail’s route structure was basically an X with the lines crossing at Cleveland and, specifically, at Berea tower.

On Saturday, I caught the Conrail H unit leading again, this time at East Conway (middle and bottom photographs). Conway Yard was an important point on the former Pennsylvania Railroad ever since it opened in 1957. This continued through Penn Central and Conrail and remains so with Norfolk Southern.

Many photos have been taken throughout the years at this iconic spot and I thought this would be a worthy inclusion with those.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

NS OCS Travels Through Northeast Ohio

August 6, 2016

IMG_6287

IMG_6284

IMG_6286

This past week the Norfolk Southern office car special came through Northeast Ohio. On Monday it deadheaded to Cleveland and on Wednesday it took officials to New York via the former Nickel Plate Road and Southern Tier routes.

I got these photos at Cleveland on Wednesday morning. Aside from the two views of the OCS, I also found an interestingly painted RTA car being used on the Red Line.

Photographs by Todd Dillon 

Generations Apart

August 5, 2016

EL generations 2

EL generations 1

Here is some Erie Lackawanna heritage that is generations apart. The top photo of the Lackawanna heritage unit of Norfolk Southern was made in July 2016 at Macedonia while the bottom photo is from April 1976 in Akron. As luck would have it, both are leading two black painted units and both are EMDs. All the units in the 1976 photo are gone as are the ex EL tracks they are on.

Photographs by Roger Durfee