Posts Tagged ‘NS locomotives’

A Trio on the NS Fort Wayne Line

July 28, 2022

Here is a trio of images made on from June 27, 2022, on the Fort Wayne Line of Norfolk Southern. No. 5321 is eastbound in Orrville with train C03. No. 6345 is eastbound in North Lawrence with train C67. NS 6308 is on the west end of NS 6345’s eastbound train. These trains are all locals.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Early NS in Berea Two for Tuesday

May 3, 2022

Norfolk Southern took over from Conrail the Chicago Line between Cleveland and Chicago on June 1, 1999. Shown above are two views of NS trains made during the first year of NS operation of the Chicago Line.

As seen in the top image, Conrail locomotives were still quite common during that era. Former CR C36-7 No. 8485 leads a westbound with a lease unit helping out. The photo was made on Nov. 6, 1999.

A few months later another westbound passes the former BE Tower with a pair of NS units and a former Burlington Northern locomotive. The latter may be a lease unit as its BN markings appear to have been painted over. The photo was made on Feb. 26, 2000.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

Early Morning at CP 367

April 3, 2022

It is early on a Sunday morning in late March in Waterloo, Indiana, on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern. An eastbound manifest freight has a clear signal on Track 2 at CP 367, which controls a set of crossover switches, one of which can be seen in this image.

I didn’t get the symbol for this freight but chances are it originated in the classification yard in Elkhart, Indiana, 55 miles to the west.

I made this image while standing on the Amtrak boarding platform. The Chicago Line was busy with eastbounds on this morning, In less than an hour’s time I caught four of them, including a coal train, two intermodal trains and the manifest freight shown above.

Not a bad way to begin a day of railfanning.

Wabtec to Modernize 330 NS Locomotives

March 24, 2022

Norfolk Southern and Wabtec have agreed on a contract whereby the locomotive builder will modernize 330 NS locomotives.

In a news release, Wabtec said the work will improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions on each unit.

It is the third modernization order NS has placed with Wabtec since 2015 with more than 950 locomotives expected to be completed by 2025.

The locomotives in the latest order are D9-44CW units that are more than 20 years old.

They will be converted into AC44C6M locomotives, which Wabtec said will add another 20 years of life to each locomotive.

Here Comes the NS 145 in Painesville

January 30, 2022

For several years in late January or early February, I would get together with Ed Ribinskas and Marty Surdyk for a day of railfanning in Lake County. Sometimes Jeff Troutman would join us.

We would spend much of the day on the CSX Erie West Subdivision and the Lake Erie District of Norfolk Southern in and near Perry.

This being Northeast Ohio, we always expected winter weather. By that I mean snow. But not every year saw bountiful snow on the ground despite Lake County being in a region of Ohio known for heavy snow.

During a few of those outings, the day was dark and dreary with little evidence of the beauty of winter.

That was not the case, though, during our outing of Feb. 2, 2014.

Overnight it had rained and then snow fell as the temperatures dropped.

The wet conditions meant that snow clung to just about everything in sight and pretty much stayed that way all day.

The result was one of the best winter railfanning outings I’ve ever had.

Several image from that day I’ve posted on this site before and Marty has shown during Akron Railroad Club programs some of the slides he made that day.

Ed won a monthly “best photograph” contest at Dodd Camera and received a free framed enlargement of that image that he has hanging on a wall of the dining room of his house.

That winning image was made late in the afternoon of westbound NS manifest freight 145 crossing the trestle over the Grand River in Painesville.

Last week I was rummaging through some of my digital file folders from early 2014 when I came across the images I made on Feb. 2.

Much to my surprise, I’ve only posted a few of those images on my Flickr page.

So I spent a couple days selecting and processing in Photoshop some images that had never been processed.

Shown above is a three-image sequence of the 145 crossing the now replaced Grand River trestle.

We were standing just beyond the west end of the bridge with all of us taking slightly different angles. What I liked about this series is how each image offers a different perspective.

The sequence begins with the train approaching the trestle from the east end, which captures that sense of anticipation that something memorable is about to happen.

It continues with an image of the train about halfway across the trestle and offers that compressed view common with images made with a telephoto lens.

The final image is what many would consider the money shot. Ed won the photo contest with an image similar to this one.

The train has reached the west edge of the bridge but is not yet off of it. The image combines the elements of a close train with a wide scenic view in a sort of convergence.

When I originally processed that image nearly eight years ago I converted it to black and white. There wasn’t much color in the scene and the conditions just seemed to say “black and white world.”

But after working with the image in color I decided it looks good in that form, too.

This day was one of the very few times I ever photographed NS operations on the Painesville trestle at the west end. I have numerous images from the east end, but rarely sought to do the west end.

The trestle had been built decades earlier by the Nickel Plate Road and was one of those structures that was always there even though ownership of the railroad changed to Norfolk & Western and then to Norfolk Southern.

It was always there even after the steam locomotives were retired, after the passenger trains were discontinued and after one generation of diesel locomotives had made way for another.

Generations of railroaders hired out and later retired after having crossed this bridge countless times during their long careers.

And then, so it seemed, one day the trestle was gone, replaced by a bridge that seems nondescript by comparison.

When viewed in this context, I’m even more pleased that we took the time in 2014 to get the photographs that we did of the 145 crossing the trestle.

Interestingly, that day was the only time I ever photographed an NS train crossing the trestle from ground level. But that is a story for another day.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

NS Local in Orrville

January 28, 2022

We’re back trackside in Orrville and watching the local at work. In the image above, the train is moving eastbound on the Fort Wayne Line.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

First Train of the Day

December 7, 2021

Getting that first train of the day during a photography outing can feel special, particularly if it comes along shortly after you’ve reached trackside.

Shown is NS train 25A at Ball interlocking in Cowan, Indiana, on the New Castle District. Ball is a set of crossovers toward the middle of a long passing siding south of Muncie, the home of Ball State University and a glass jar manufacturer in whose honor the college is named.

I had first spotted the 25A in Muncie and hustled out here to make this image. I’ve photographed several westbounds in Cowan but never an eastbound.

This train is typical of railroading in the precision scheduled railroading era. The 25A is, in theory, an intermodal train operating from Calumet Yard in Chicago to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

It did have some containers in the consist but these days you can find just about anything in the consist of many trains.

The 25A would not be operating very much further beyond Ball before halting near York Point, where the siding ends. The 142 was coming west.

I didn’t wait around to see that meet. I was heading back into Muncie to catch the 142 on a bridge over the White River.

NS Excursion Train in Coshocton

October 29, 2021

It’s Sept. 28, 1985, and a pair of Norfolk Southern high hood units are pulling an excursion train through Coshocton. We don’t have any information as to where this train originated or was going. If you know, drop us a line.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Eastbound in Massillon

October 13, 2021

NS 4390 leads a herd of its stablemates on eastbound at CP Mace in Massillon on June 12, 2021. The train is on the Fort Wayne Line, which these days sees only a few trains a day.

Photogoraph by Robert Farkas

NS Continuing DC to AC Conversions

June 9, 2021

Norfolk Southern plans to convert about 100 locomotives a year from DC to AC traction.

Speaking to an investor’s conference this week, Chief Financial Officer Mark George said 54 percent of the railroad’s motive power fleet is now AC traction.

NS is seeking to bring that up to 65 percent. Management has said converting older DC traction models to AC traction enables the railroad to have a like-new unit for half the cost of a new locomotive.

They also say AC traction units are more reliable, cost less to maintain, are more efficient, and have provide better tractive effort.

Other steps NS has taken to improve the efficiency of its fleet include adding energy management systems, which now cover about 80 percent of its locomotives with a goal of expanding that to 90 percent.

George said nearly half of NS trains now operate with distributed motive power. That percentage is expected to grow as train lengths increase.

He said the average NS train is more than 7,000 feet long with 10 percent of trains exceeding 10,000 feet.