Posts Tagged ‘Norfolk & Western’

Shades of the Illinois Terminal

September 17, 2021

If this appears to be an Illinois Terminal locomotive, well it is, sort of. This train has a pair of former IT units pulling it in Brewster in April 1982. That’s a long way from the service territory of the IT, but by now the Norfolk & Western has absorbed the one time Illinois Traction System. The two ex-IT units, Nos. 2963 and 2966 are SD39s, and two of six that IT had on its roster at one time.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: N&W Derelict Steamer Managed to Escape to a Museum

September 11, 2021

Back in late December 1972, a derelict steam locomotive was sitting at the Armco Steel plant in Middletown, Ohio, where it had once worked as a stationary boiler. All signs pointed toward the steamer heading for a scrap yard.

That rough looking steamer was Norfolk & Western Y3a No. 2050, a 2-8-8-2 Alco built in 1923.

It was built to a USRA standard design for heavy drag freight service in the Virginia and West Virginia mountains.

It worked for the N&W between 1923 and 1959 before winding up at Armco, which owned it until 1976 when it was donated to the Illinois Railway Museum.

IRM cosmetically restored the 2050, which the IRM website notes is just one of two 2-8-8-2 mallets still in existence.

Although no longer operational, the 2050 still can be enjoyed at the museum.

The 2050 escaped the scrapper’s torch which goes to show that you never know how a locomotive you are capturing on film or megapixels today might turn out down the road.

To view a photograph of the 2050 as it appears today at IRM, visit https://www.irm.org/cgi-bin/rsearch.cgi?steam=Norfolk+&+Western=2050

To see an image of the front of the locomotive visit https://www.steamlocomotive.com/places/irm/

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Retired N&W Manager Once Assigned to Cleveland Has Died

August 18, 2021

A retired Norfolk Southern executive who once worked as a manger for the Norfolk & Western in Cleveland has died.

Louis M. Newton, 94, died Aug. 13 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

He was an authority on N&W steam locomotives and wrote frequently on that and other topics.

Mr. Newton joined the N&W in 1949 after he graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Aside from Cleveland, he also held N&W management positions in Portsmouth, Ohio; Bluefield, West Virginia; and Crewe and Roanoke, Virginia.

He retired from Norfolk Southern as an assistant vice president-transportation planning in 1987.

During his time at the N&W, Mr. Newton persuaded the railroad to purchase a former Pennsylvania Railroad line between Cincinnati and New Castle, Indiana.

Trains then used a former Lake Erie & Western line that N&W inherited when it acquired the Nickel Plate Road to Muncie, Indiana.

This created a shorter route between Roanoke and Decatur, Illinois, rather than operating via Bellevue, Ohio.

The former PRR and NKP track between Cincinnati and Muncie because the New Castle District.

N&W later upgraded the track between Muncie and Fort Wayne, Indiana, to create a Chicago-Atlanta route that remains a crucial traffic lane for NS today.

Mr. Newton wrote a four-volume Rails Remembered series that was a somewhat autobiographical review of his life experiences and views of rail transportation.

Sitting at the Akron Engine Facility

July 22, 2021

Norfolk & Western Alco RS11 No. 398 sits at the former Akron, Canton & Youngstown engine facility in Akron in mid-1974. The unit was built for N&W in 1959.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

On the N&W in Brewster

July 8, 2021

The wayback machine has landed us in Brewster on Sept. 3, 1980. This was Norfolk & Western territory then after having been in the domain of the Nickel Plate Road for more than a decade and of the original Wheeling & Lake Erie for several decades before that. Laid out before us is a nice array of N&W motive power of the early 1980s. Note that this was during the transition between N&W heralds.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Still Traces of the AC&Y

June 30, 2021

It’s December 1966 or January 1967 in Akron where Norfolk & Western No. 503 still wearing its Akron, Canton & Youngstown livery in the engine facility. The 503 is a rare FM H20-44 road switcher. Parts of AC&Y 105 (Alco S-2) and AC&Y 506 (FM H20-44) can be seen.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Showing Signs of Wear

June 26, 2021

Norfolk & Western No. 2149, a former Nickel Plate Road Fairbanks-Morse H12-44 sits outside the shops in Brewster in June 1975. The unit is worn and a little battered, but that comes with the territory of having been a hard worker for all these years on the railroad.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

A Memory that Reminds Me of How Blessed I’ve Been

June 10, 2021

Sometimes I forget just how large the Wheeling & Lake Erie/Nickel Plate/Norfolk & Western shops are at Brewster.

I haven’t been to the shops in nearly two decades, but on the Sunday afternoon of Nov. 3, 1968, I was there.

Permission for photography everywhere but inside the shops was quickly given and I went out to take photos.

I must have had my wide-angle lens on my camera to get so much (but not all) of the building in the scene. More than likely I was taking a photo of the locomotives (FM H12-44, EMD SD7 or EMD SD9, and Alco switcher) more than of the scene.

Looking at the shops then, I probably did not realize that the W&LE had built steam locomotives inside the shops. To find only three locomotives outside was a surprise since often five to seven would have been in this scene.

Memories brought on by images such as this make me remember how blessed I am.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Not Great, But Memorable

June 2, 2021

Some days are grubby and you do your best with what you have. In this case it is high speed Ektachrome slide film push processed to ASA 400.

Thankfully, using modern photo editing software — in this case Lightroom and Photoshop used together — has resulted in the best this image has ever looked, considering the circumstances.

The late Mike Ondecker and I found Western Maryland Nos. 64, 414, and at least three other WM locomotives on the point of an eastbound Norfolk & Western train in Brewster Yard in mid 1972.

No, this photo won’t win any awards, but what a memory it brings back.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

Pair of N&W Alcos in Brewster

May 27, 2021

Norfolk & Western Nos. 1005 and 1003, both of which are Alco C425 locomotives, are on tracks radiating from the turntable in Brewster in October 1972.

Photograph by Robert Farkas