Posts Tagged ‘Norfolk Southern’

Kanawha River RR Expects to Begin Operating West Virginia Secondary in Early August

July 22, 2016

The Kanawha River Railroad expects to being operating the West Virginia Secondary of Norfolk Southern in early August pending approval of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board.

WatcoIn the meantime, the subsidiary of Watco Companies, is being supported by various West Virginia public officials and business leaders.

Just Gaull, vice president of economic development at the Charleston Area Alliance, told Trains magazine that the the short line will help West Virginia economic development efforts by attracting new business to industrial sites and retaining existing industry.

About 100 miles of the West Virginia Secondary in Ohio has been idle since early this year.

Watco expects to hire 30 people to work on the Kanawha River Railroad, including filling 25 positions in train service, mechanical and track.

Railfaning Day Set in Chesterton

July 22, 2016

The Blackhawk Railway Historical Society is sponsoring a railfan open house and photo shoot from noon until 4 p.m. (CDT) on Sunday, August 7 that will be hosted by Riley’s Railhouse at 123 North Fourth Street in Chesterton, Indiana. along the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern.
NYC 3

This activity is free with no reservations required and no donations expected. If you haven’t seen what the Riley’s have done with this 1914-vintage New York Central freight house in Chesterton, this is your opportunity.

What Did the Photographer See?

July 16, 2016

Marty July 10 1

Marty July 10 2

It’s a pleasant summer afternoon in Olmsted Falls. The scanner brings the news that a westbound Norfolk Southern stack train is approaching on Track No. 1.

Marty Surdyk decides to photograph the train from the north side of the Chicago Line, but I stay on the south side because the light favors that side.

A headlight appears to the east and cameras are up. But I swing mine toward Marty and capture him focusing in on the approaching train.

Then I swing my camera back around and get the stacker in my sights. Press the shutter release button and a scene is frozen in time.

Another railfan moment has come and gone, but I have photographs to remember it.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

NS to Promote Grade Crossing Safety in Indiana

July 9, 2016

Norfolk Southern has launched a publicity campaign to urge Indiana motorists to think about safety when crossing railroad tracks.

The “Train Your Brain” campaign will use radio, print and billboard advertisements, place messages on gas pumps at convenience stores, and provide short videos in movie theaters.

NS logo 1In particular, NS is trying to reach those ages 18 to 34 because they are among the most at-risk for highway-rail incidents.

“Train Your Brain” activities are planned for sporting events to be held at the University of Notre Dame, Purdue University and Ball State University.

Events will also be held at Gary South Shore RailCats minor league baseball games.

“These important public safety messages will resonate clearly, as Indiana ranked fourth highest in the U.S. for vehicle-train collisions in 2015, with 118 incidents resulting in 51 deaths and injuries,” said John Irwin, NS assistant vice president for safety and environmental.

The NS “Train Your Brain” campaign is in its 10th year and the railroad said in a news release has reached more than 7 million people through event appearances.

Yes, Where Was Spring?

July 8, 2016
An eastbound tanker train on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern in Olmsted Falls.

An eastbound tanker train on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern in Olmsted Falls.

A meet between an eastbound grain train and a westbound stack train.

A meet between an eastbound grain train and a westbound stack train.

Yes, where was spring?

Yes, where was spring?

With some very hot and humid weather having taken hold in Northeast Ohio in the past few days, I thought I would remind everyone of how it wasn’t that long ago that snow was falling.

I was out of town on the Sunday morning in May when snow fell on Northeast Ohio and even accumulated enough on the east side to cover some of the grass.

But I was very much on hand in early April when show covered the ground. For a winter that was unusually mild, the winter of 2016 sure had a way of hanging around.

In case you’ve forgotten, here is what spring looked like earlier this year. All of the images were made in Olmsted Falls.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

Watco Seeks STB OK to Lease NS Routes

July 8, 2016

Watco’s Kanawha River Railroad has submitted to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, a Notice of Exemption as part of its plans to lease Norfolk Southern’s West Virginia Secondary and a portion of its Princeton-Deepwater District.

WatcoWatco wants STB approval to lease and operate nearly 300 miles of NS trackage of which 100 miles has been dormant since early this year. Most of the West Virginia Secondary within Ohio is currently out of service.

The filing said NS sought bidders willing to lease the West Virginia Secondary because carloads on the line have dropped more than 50 percent since 2011.

The Kanawha River Railroad is currently seeking to hire for 29 positions, including 25 in train service, mechanical and track maintenance.

If approved by the STB, the Kanawha River said it would begin operations in late July.

The railroad is expected to operate six days a week using six EMD six-axle SD-type locomotives and three four-axle EMD GP-type locomotives.

NS Pays to Settle Discrimination Case

July 8, 2016

Norfolk Southern has agreed to pay $500,000 to 2,086 African-Americans to settle a case filed by the U.S. Department of Labor that alleged race-based hiring discrimination.

Involved was the NS engineering department and maintenance of way forces.

NS logo 2As a federal contractor, NS has received more than $10 million in contracts from the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of the Navy, U.S. Department of Air Force and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services.

The case was brought after the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found that NS failed to provide equal employment opportunities for African-Americans who applied for jobs as laborers in Roanoke, Virginia.

The alleged discrimination occurred between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2011.

NS, which has not admitted liability, will pay $492,000 in back pay and interest to the African-American applicants. It has also agreed to make job offers to seven of the applicants who had been rejected.

NS will cease using certain selection procedures, and review and modify its employment practices including recruitment, screening, interviewing, selection, rejection and hiring.

NS declined to comment on the agreement.

Few More From the Longest Day in Marion

July 6, 2016
A corner of the model board and CTC panel from F Tower in Fostoria is visible as an eastbound CSX train passes Marion Union Station on the Mt. Victory Subdivision.

A corner of the model board and CTC panel from F Tower in Fostoria is visible as an eastbound CSX train passes Marion Union Station on the Mt. Victory Subdivision.

As I said in a report, the 2016 longest day outing in Marion was a fairly average affair. But it provided the opportunity to photograph and watch nearly 30 trains of CSX and Norfolk Southern.

Here are a few more of my favorite images from the outing.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

An eastbound NS train meets the caboose painted in Erie Lackawanna colors and markings.

An eastbound NS train meets the caboose painted in Erie Lackawanna colors and markings.

A lone CSX locomotive is able to handle a westbound manifest freight on the Columbus Subdivision.

A lone CSX locomotive is able to handle a westbound manifest freight on the Columbus Subdivision.

For my last photo of the day I decided to emulate an image I made as my last photo of the day at the 2009 Marion longest day outing. However, in 2009 I was still using slide film.

For my last photo of the day I decided to emulate an image I made as my last photo of the day at the 2009 Marion longest day outing. However, in 2009 I was still using slide film.

A CSX locomotive is trying hard to emulate a steam locomotive. The second unit making all of the smoke is on the Q366, which is about to cross over at the crossover in the foreground.

A CSX locomotive is trying hard to emulate a steam locomotive. The second unit making all of the smoke is on the Q366, which is about to go through the crossover in the foreground.

The Spirit of Louisville was one of four "feature" locomotives that we spotted that are tracked on HeritageUnits.com. I didn't know that CSX had a unit honoring Louisville, Kentucky, until I saw it.

The Spirit of Louisville was one of four “feature” locomotives that we spotted that are tracked on HeritageUnits.com. I didn’t know that CSX had a unit honoring Louisville, Kentucky, until I saw it.

NS Operation Lifesaver locomotive No. 9252 leads eastbound train No. 175 through Marion in mid morning.

NS Operation Lifesaver locomotive No. 9252 leads eastbound train No. 175 through Marion in mid morning.

And There Was the CNJ Heritage Unit

July 3, 2016
Norfolk Southern train 52V passes the grain silos in Attica with the Central of New Jersey heritage unit in tow.

Norfolk Southern train 52V passes the grain silos in Attica with the Central of New Jersey heritage unit in tow.

There are few things more pleasing when railfanning than lucking into a find you weren’t expecting, particularly when it involves a Norfolk Southern heritage unit.

It hasn’t happened to me often, but it occurred late on a Saturday morning in Bellevue.

I had seen at a distance a pair of trains that appeared to be waiting north of the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum, so I went up there to have a look.

One of the trains was a grain train — the 52V it turned out — and there was some color behind the lead locomotive.

Upon closer inspection I realized I had just stumbled onto the Central Railroad of New Jersey heritage locomotive.

I walked along a city street to get a closer view when the train started moving. That was all right because I had made all the photographs I wanted to make of it in Bellevue.

Fellow Akron Railroad Club member Todd Dillon was railfanning in Bellevue with a friend and he waved at me as they drove off.

Was the 52V going out on the Sandusky District or the Fostoria District?

I had to wait for the 52V to clear before I could cross the tracks, get in my car and give chase. While crossing the Ohio Route 269 bridge over the NS tracks I could see the train taking the Sandusky District.

I gave chase and my first effort to get it ended in failure at Flat Rock. There was not enough time to get out to make a photograph at the crossing where I was.

I was able to catch up and get ahead of it, turning down a rural road and getting it at a crossing. I’m not sure of the name of the road, but it is just south of milepost 88.

I resumed the chase and caught a break because the train had to wait for a signal at West Attica. That enabled me plenty of time to go into Attica and scout photo locations.

I finally settled on an across-the-field shot from the grass parking lot at the fairgrounds.

The dispatcher told the crew of the 52V that it would meet one at Chatfield. That turned out to be a rolling meet.

Satisfied with what I had, I broke off the chase and went on to other pursuits.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

What's that color behind the lead unit of NS train 52V? Why, it's a heritage unit.

What’s that color behind the lead unit of NS train 52V? Why, it’s a heritage unit.

Here comes the 52V at milepost 88 on the Sandusky District.

Here comes the 52V at milepost 88 on the Sandusky District.

A crew member is either striking a pose or trying to see if he can get me to fall for the old "look over there" trick.

A crew member is either striking a pose or trying to see if he can get me to fall for the old “look over there” trick.

Pittsburgh Landslide Hindered NS Mon Line

July 2, 2016

A landslide earlier in the week continues to hinder Norfolk Southern traffic in Pittsburgh and has resulted in the closing of a street until next week.

Affected is the Mon Line, which was briefly closed on Tuesday after the landslide on the south side of Pittsburgh.

NS logo 1One track has since reopened, but another was still buried beneath rock and debris.

An NS spokesman told local media that the railroad has removed 400 tons from its tracks and trains are being restricted to 5 to 10 mph operation through the affected area.

City officials have closed West Carson Street where boulders landed during the landslide.

In an attempt to stabilize the landslide area, portions of Mt. Washington may need to be blasted. NS is doing the stabilization work.

Officials with NS and the city are still attempting to determine who owns the property where the slide occurred. The property owner might be billed for the cleanup costs.

Steve Cowan, a spokesman for PennDOT’s District 11 headquarters, said Carson would be closed between the Fort Pitt Bridge and Commerce Drive.

NS said the landslide is the fourth or fifth to occur within the past month and a half.

One media report indicated that NS was considering getting a permit to use explosives to remove some rock before the latest landslide occurred.

“We have serious concerns about this area,” said NS spokesman David Pidgeon.


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