Posts Tagged ‘NS New Castle District’

The Right Direction This Time

April 20, 2021

About a week ago I was chasing trains on the New Castle District of Norfolk Southern in southwestern Ohio when we wound up in Somerville.

The tracks cross Sevenmile Creek there on a nice looking bridge. I was able to photograph a train here but it was a westbound manifest freight.

The images were fine yet not what I would have ideally wanted.

So last Sunday we got wind that an eastbound was coming and made our way to Somerville to wait on it.

The wait was worth it and the resulting image more what I wanted to get here.

Shown is manifest freight 143 on its way from Eklhart, Indiana, to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Middle Crossing

April 16, 2021

Norfolk Southern’s New Castle District crosses the White River in Muncie, Indiana, on three different bridges. It is not so much because the river winds all over the place but the railroad does, too.

Shown above is the middle of those river crossings. It is located in a park/nature preserve. Here we see eastbound manifest train 189 rumbling over the bridge on its journey from Oakwood Yard in Detroit to East Point, Georgia, near Atlanta.

It was a warm, but windy day in late March of this year when I caught this train.

Creek Crossing in Somerville

April 11, 2021

Norfolk Southern manifest freight 174 saunters westbound through Somerville, Ohio, on the New Castle District and crosses Sevenmile Creek.

Shortly after this image was made, the train received a hotbox alarm and stopped. Upon inspection, the crew discovered sticking breaks on one of its cars and NS supervisors decided to send a mechanical department worker from Cincinnati to the train.

The crew reported that a brake shoe looked as though it had been welded to the wheel.

The train originated in Macon, Georgia, and is bound for Elkhart, Indiana.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Not Many of These Left

March 18, 2021

While growing up in east central Illinois I often noticed that many railroad lines had a semaphore signal not far from where they crossed another railroad.

They were most common on branches of the Illinois Central but I also remember seeing them on other railroads as well, including the Pennsylvania Railroad.

The semaphore blade always seemed to be in the same position and in my childhood mind I wondered if the blade moved after a train passed it.

Years later I would learn that these were known as distant signals meant to give a crew a warning that they were approaching an interlocked crossing with and to be prepared to stop.

The semaphore blade was fixed into an approach indication.

Although distant signals are still used there are few of them that are semaphores.

During a recent outing to railfan the New Castle District of Norfolk Southern in its namesake city in Indiana, I spotted a former Nickel Plate Road passenger station and a semaphore signal being used as a distant signal.

The rail line in question was once part of a former Lake Erie & Western route that ran from Fort Wayne to New Castle where it split into branches continuing south to Rushville and Connersville.

The line to Connersville is still in place and owned by the Connersville & New Castle Railroad. The line to Rushville, though, has been abandoned.

NS still owns the NKP depot and as can be seen above has kept it in good condition. Few trains pass by here today and the station is mostly used by the maintenance of way department.

There hasn’t been a scheduled passenger train here since August 1929.

A few blocks to the right of this location is the former Pennsylvania Railroad line that once was part of a Chicago-Cincinnati route.

The ex-PRR from New Castle to the Cincinnati region and the ex-NKP from New Castle to Fort Wayne now make up the NS New Castle District. The former Pennsy is abandoned northwest of New Castle.

Back in the day, the PRR and NKP ran combined through the northern part of New Castle.

More Than a Stack Train

March 17, 2021

Norfolk Southern train 200 originates in Danville, Kentucky, and is goes to the Global 2 facility on the Union Pacific in Chicago.

At first glance it might appear to be a stack train. But in an era of precision scheduled railroading you might find intermodal trains carrying a variety of freight. Behind the containers was a long string of mixed freight.

The westbound train is shown running parallel to Indiana Avenue in New Castle, Indiana, on the New Castle District.

No Injuries in NS Derailment Near Cincinnati

November 25, 2020

A westbound manifest freight derailed early Tuesday on Norfolk Southern’s New Castle District in Butler County near Cincinnati, leading to blocked roads.

No injuries were reported and no hazardous materials were involved.

Authorities said the derailment occurred at 4:15 a.m. on a single-track stretch. The line was expected to be reopened by late Tuesday afternoon.

The train had 40 cars of which 15 toward the middle of the consist derailed, leading to the closure of U.S. Route 127.

Railroad officials said the train was traveling at about 18 miles per hour at the time of the derailment.

School buses were rerouted around the area of the intersection of Hamilton-Eaton Road (Route 127) and Oxford Trenton Road.

The train was reported to be carrying auto parts and empty grain cars.

Finding 4 Trains on the ex-LE&W in Muncie

September 23, 2020

Muncie, Indiana, is the junction of two former Lake Erie & Western routes and a crossing with the CSX Indianapolis Line (former Big Four).

Also once serving the city was a Pennsylvania Railroad branch and the Chesapeake & Ohio of Indiana line. However, both of the those have been abandoned.

I was lucky enough during a visit to Muncie last weekend to get four trains, all on the ex-LE&W routes.

First was the 123 with ex-Kansas City Southern power in tow, which is shown crossing CSX in the top photograph.

Next was a NS train 142 which goes west on the Frankfort district then north on the Marion Branch at Alexandria.

Third up was NS 216, an intermodal that goes north on the New Castle District to Fort Wayne and then west to Chicago

It had the Norfolk &Western heritage painted unit and DC to AC conversion unit No. 4000 in special blue and gray paint.

I found a bridge on the Cardinal Greenway, which is built on the former C&O right of way, to get this on but it didn’t quite work for both engines.

Last was the 122 bound for Decatur, Illinois, which had the Lehigh Valley heritage unit trailing.  I got this at Tipton as reported in my earlier post.

I also found a nice depot which was formerly C&O and some abandoned bridges which were ex-PRR and ex-C&O.

The former C&O depot is now a trail head for the Cardinal Greenway.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

NS train 142 crosses the White River and West Side Park in Muncie.

NS intermodal train 216 to Chicago crosses the White River on the New Castle District.

The former C&O passenger station in Muncie, Indiana, sits alongside the Cardinal Greenway, a hiking and biking trail built on the former C&O right of way. Amtrak’s Cardinal stopped at this station between September 1974 and April 1986.

The PRR’s branch between Muncie and Converse, Indiana, crossed the White River in Muncie on this bridge. The former Pennsy branch is now abandoned.

The Other New Castle Line

November 21, 2019

Northeast Ohio railroad photographs are well acquainted with the CSX New Castle Subdivision that operates through Akron.

But there is another New Castle line in Ohio. The New Castle District of Norfolk Southern extends from Cincinnati to Fort Wayne, Indiana, with most of it running through the Hoosier State.

The route is named after New Castle, Indiana. South of New Castle the line is former Pennsylvania Railroad territory that the Norfolk & Western purchased years ago.

North of New Castle is former Nickel Plate Road territory.

Shown is east bound NS manifest freight 177 running along Gaar Jackson Road northwest of Richmond, Indiana.

Ready for Harvest

November 20, 2019

The corn in this field west of Greens Fork, Indiana, is ready to be harvested but the farmer had other things to on this Saturday afternoon, such as harvesting another field.

In the meantime, Norfolk Southern steel slab train 61T heads west past the field on the New Castle District in a classic late fall scene.

Late on a Saturday Afternoon in Late Fall

November 19, 2019

It’s late on a Saturday afternoon in November. Farmers are using every moment of their waking hours to harvest their crops and get them ready to take to market.

Maybe the corn is not quite as dry as it needs to be, so its put into a bin with a dryer attached.

Growing up in east central Illinois I well remember the sound of those dryers humming in late afternoon on late days.

As I stood near a rural Indiana grade crossing to make this mage of Norfolk Southern steel slab train 61T rumbling past the farm fields near Greens Fork, I could hear one of those dryers in the distance.

That along with the wind blowing and steel wheels rolling on steel rails was the soundtrack for the afternoon.