Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Medina (NY) Railroad Museum Fall Foliage Excursion - An Addendum!

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I came across three more images from Saturday's trip that I wanted to share with you...
 
Before leaving the Medina depot I was able to get a photo of museum's NYC E8s. The story behind them is that in 2007 the museum acquired NYC 4080 and NYC 4068 still in their original paint scheme. Both units were built in 1953 and are currently being restored as funding becomes available for future excursions between Medina and Lockport.
 
Heading back across Lockport's upside down bridge, GVT 2035 has in tow a NYC baggage car (RPCX 9640) followed by the two Pullman cars "Raymond C. Roe" (RPCX 1919) dining car and "Thomas M. Reynolds" (RPCX 1950) in an NYC paint scheme.  RPCX 9640 received in 2016 a fresh coat of paint to match the newly restored Roe car and "United States Mail" was printed on the side to mimic the ubiquitous mail cars of the early to mid 20th century.The Roe car was dedicated in October of 2016 to honor Air Force veteran and longtime friend of the museum Raymond Roe for years of service in the military and his many generous contributions to the museum. The Thomas M. Reynolds Dining Car (RPCX 1919) was named for Congressman Reynolds' contributions in obtaining and restoring the E8 locomotives and the 20th Century Limited passenger cars.
 
Lockport's Union Station - In the late 1880s Lockport was still a busy stop on the Erie Canal and a hub for train traffic. The New York Central Railroad, owned by the Vanderbilts, decided that Lockport’s train station should reflect its importance as a major city.  Construction began in 1888 and the station was opened to the public in late 1889. The 1950s and 1960s saw the station abandoned and vandalized. Broken windows and falling brick and stone caused a hazard to those who ventured near the derelict building. Finally, in 1967, Union Station was purchased by John Saraf Jr. for $13,000. Saraf saw potential in the structure and decided to turn it into a restaurant. Despite his efforts at restoration, he could not get the project off the ground. This is when David H. Goldstein entered the picture. Goldstein, who had restaurant experience, bought the property from Saraf in 1971. He completely remodeled the interior and decorated it with train memorabilia and antiques from the 1890s era. Union Station restaurant was a huge hit with the public. A menu from the restaurant features most dinners for under $5 with desserts for under $1. For over two years, Goldstein was able to keep the restaurant going.  However, tragedy struck in 1974, when a fire of unknown origin destroyed the restaurant and heavily damaged the building. All that remains of this station is what you see!
 
Sometimes the best part of taking a railroad trip is researching what is seen so a person learns about what they have seen on that trip...
          


Medina (NY) Railroad Museum's Fall Foliage Excursion!

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On October 7, 2017 the Medina Railroad Museum sponsored two fall foliage round trip excursions from Medina to Lockport, New York. One of the trip’s highlights was crossing over Lockport’s 395 foot long “upside down bridge”. It gets that name since the deck truss looks as though it is positioned upside-down. Built in 1902, legend has it this bridge was built as an attempt to limit the size of boats that would be able to use the Erie Canal in order to put the canal out of business. Also included is a view from my coach seat while crossing over the bridge. In the background can be seen Canal Locks 34 and 35. Those wires adjacent to the bridge are not power lines. For twenty-five dollars a person can zip line across the Erie Canal not once but twice! No boats are passing under it on this Saturday as GVT 2035 (ex-NYC 8035; ALCO RS32) leads a consist of five ex-NYC coaches (2915, 2918, 2941, 2906 and 2932), two Pullman cars (RPCX 1950 and 1919) and baggage car RPCX 9640 across the bridge. The train is also seen passing through the Prospect Street grade crossing in Lockport. Unfortunately no hint of fall colors on the trees on an unseasonably warm autumn day. As the train pulled into the Lockport Yard GVT 2035 would uncouple, run around the train and then lead the train back to Medina. 






[NSAlert] Tropical Storm Nate - NS Operations & Recovery Efforts

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Tropical Storm Nate - NS Operations & Recovery Efforts
Recovery efforts are underway to restore service to areas impacted by Tropical Storm Nate. Operations to and in New Orleans, LA have been restored to service and Norfolk Southern will begin to meter traffic back into the location. NS is actively assessing overall track conditions to and in Mobile, AL.  Regional flooding and power outages continue to affect this area impacted by the storm. Embargoes to New Orleans, LA and Mobile, AL will remain in place as Norfolk Southern works through the traffic currently being held across the network to these locations.
Norfolk Southern will be working with customers in the impacted regions to identify switching needs and service plans as recovery progresses.  Customers should continue to expect delays for traffic moving through and to all areas that have been impacted by the storm. Customers with questions regarding local service should contact their Operations and Service Support, Unit Train, Automotive, or Intermodal representative. 
Ongoing updates will be provided as storm recovery efforts continue.
The latest ETA and routing information is always available through Pacesetter and accessNS.
Operations and Service Support at 800-898-4296
Automotive Operations at 888-649-9273
Unit Train Services at 404-979-5241
Intermodal Operations at 800-497-2919
 

Friday, October 06, 2017

The Great Pumpkin Train Rides Again!

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The Great Pumpkin Train Rides Again!
Ride the train this weekend.
In the month of October, every train is The Great Pumpkin Train. When riding the Great Pumpkin Train, every child will be able to pick their own pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. The pumpkin patch sits in a beautiful glade in front of the century old Carpentersville Lime Kilns. The lime kilns are not only the oldest but also the largest left in existence in New Jersey, dating to before the Revolutionary War! Either take a beautiful ride along the river, or take in one of our amazing attractions. Enjoy the Corn Maze, and or the Ol' Susquehanna Mine. Each are just a $5.00 add on to your Great Pumpkin Train ticket. Tickets are available on site if you should decide at the last minute! Every train stops at the Pumpkin Patch on the way home, so, don't worry, no matter what attraction you enjoy, you wont miss out on a pumpkin!
Every child can pick a free pumpkin!


[NSAlert] Tropical Storm Nate - NS Operations on the Gulf Coast

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Tropical Storm Nate - NS Operations on the Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Nate continues to develop and is forecasted to make landfall on the Gulf Coast early Sunday morning with hurricane strength. Based on the storm’s current projected path, Norfolk Southern is currently preparing by repositioning rail equipment away from the low lying areas in and around New Orleans, LA and Mobile, AL. Traffic en route to these areas is being held at various yards throughout the Norfolk Southern system in an effort to alleviate congestion. Additionally, NS has issued embargoes for traffic destined to New Orleans and Mobile locations. Norfolk Southern continues to monitor the storm closely and is taking precautions to protect employees, track, and shipments.
Norfolk Southern is working with customers to identify switching needs and service curtailment.  Customers with questions regarding local service should contact their Operations and Service Support, Unit Train, Automotive, or Intermodal representative.
Ongoing updates will be provided as this storm system progresses. The latest ETA and routing information is always available through Pacesetter and accessNS. 
Operations and Service Support at 800-898-4296
Automotive Operations at 888-649-9273
Unit Train Services at 404-979-5241
Intermodal Operations at 800-497-2919
 

[NSInvest] Norfolk Southern names Ehlers chief information officer

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Norfolk Southern names Ehlers chief information officer

NORFOLK, Va., Oct. 3, 2017 – Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) today announced that its board of directors has appointed Fredric M. Ehlers as chief information officer, effective immediately.

In this new role, Ehlers, a 32-year railroad veteran, will continue serving as vice president information technology, a position he has held since 2013. Ehlers, based in Atlanta, also will continue reporting to Cynthia C. Earhart, executive vice president finance and chief financial officer, who previously served as CIO.

“Fred has a strong track record of leadership, performance, and strategic thinking,” said Earhart. “He has been at the forefront of ongoing efforts to expand and enhance the company’s technology and digital capabilities, ranging from computer-based systems that optimize train operations to e-commerce tools that streamline customer interactions. Fred’s background and experience will be invaluable in his role as CIO as we continue to advance our use of technology to boost operating efficiencies, lower costs, and improve corporate performance.”

Ehlers joined Norfolk Southern in 1985 as a management trainee. He served in a number of transportation positions before being named assistant vice president in the executive office of the chairman in 2004. Since then, Ehlers has moved into positions of increasing responsibility, serving as vice president customer service and vice president network and service management before being named vice president information technology. Ehlers earned an undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and an MBA from Queens College, Charlotte, N.C.

About Norfolk Southern
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary operates approximately 19,500 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal, automotive, and industrial products.

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Pumpkin Trains This Weekend

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This Weekend
Pumpkin Trains, departing Flemington Station
Coming Soon Trick or Treat Express

Pumpkin Trains! (Sep 30 - Oct 29)

Saturdays and Sundays, Sep 30 - Oct 29, ride the Pumpkin Train from Flemington Station to Everitt Farms at Pumpkin Junction! Your ticket includes the train ride, entry to the corn maze, a wagon ride, and more!

Details and tickets on our website.
Trick or Treat Express (Oct 28 - Oct 29)

Saturday and Sunday, Oct 28 - Oct 29, take a short train ride from Flemington to Copper Hill and return. There will be spooky stories, candy for the kids, and it's the perfect chance to try out that new Halloween costume before the big night! Tickets only $10 / Adult and $5 / Child!

Details and tickets on our website.



[NSInfo] Norfolk Southern increases stock repurchase program

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Norfolk Southern increases stock repurchase program

NORFOLK, Va., Sept. 26, 2017 -- Norfolk Southern Corporation today announced that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to an additional 50 million shares of its common stock through Dec. 31, 2022. In combination with previous share repurchase authorizations since the inception of the program in 2006, the total number of shares that may be repurchased has increased from 175 million to 225 million.

“The board’s action underscores its confidence in the future of Norfolk Southern,” said James A. Squires, Norfolk Southern chairman, president and CEO. “Our increased and extended repurchase program facilitates the substantial return of capital to our shareholders, as promised by our strategic plan.”

From Aug. 1, 2012, through Sept. 25, 2017, approximately 43 million shares have been repurchased at an aggregate purchase amount of $3.84 billion, and approximately 9 million shares of previous repurchase authority remained as of Sept. 25, 2017. The timing and volume of any purchases will be guided by management’s assessment of market conditions and other factors. Norfolk Southern had approximately 286 million shares outstanding as of Sept. 25, 2017.

Any statements contained in this news release which are not related to historical facts are forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties (noted in the corporation’s filings with the SEC) which could cause actual results to differ. 

About Norfolk Southern
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary operates approximately 19,500 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal, automotive, and industrial products.

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Friday, September 22, 2017

NMRA GSD Fall Meet on THIS Sat. Sept 23

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All are Invited to the
GSD Fall Event on
This Saturday, 
September 23 at 9:00am  
in  Franklin, NJ
Bring a friend we will give 
him or her a 
FREE
6 month NMRA trial membership.
Greetings!
We are headed to Sussex County, NJ, for the next GSD meet. The meet will be on THIS Saturday, September 23, in Franklin, NJ.  It is a great location for Garden State and Hudson Valley Division members to meet. And, a great meet is planned with two wonderful clinics featured in the morning, as well as Bring 'n Brag, model evaluations for Achivement Program, door prizes, sales tables, and, coffee and doughnuts.  The afternoon will feature four layouts for everyone to tour, two of which have never been open for a GSD meet.  More information on these layouts is provided, below.

The first clinic will be presented by Doc Bayne, on the Sterling Mountain Railway which was created in 1865. This line served the iron mines on Sterling Mountain, producing iron ore as well as billets that would then be shipped via the Erie Railroad to steel mills in Pennsylvania. This operation shut down, along with other New Jersey iron ore mining operations, when the Mesabi Range opened as an inexpensive source of ore that smaller mines could not compete with. Doc will discuss the creation of the iron industry in New York and what it took to run this industry.
The second presentation will be by Bruce De Young, entitled "Scenery Tips for the Last 6 Inches of Your Layout". Bruce will provide specific tips and utilize many photos to analyze the "Background Thoughts from the AP Scenery Requirements". This clinic will help you achieve the desired goal of blending your scenery into the backdrop.

After the morning session is complete, a map to local eateries for lunch and the layouts will be provided to all who attend.
So, please join us at 9 AM at the Franklin Fire Department's hall at 137 Buckwheat Road in Franklin, NJ!
To closely view the location on Google Maps and get directions, click on the map or the button.
Ted Pamperin's HO C&O
and HOn3 Mann's Creek

Ted's large HO scale C&O and HOn3 Mann's Creek layout is fully sceniced and operational. The era is 1943 so wartime traffic is heavy, and all power is steam, most of it very large! 

The setting features the division point of Hinton, WV, with the main line to the east and west of there. 

Ted installed a CTC system on a section of the layout a few years ago, and recently added an ABS signaling system on the rest of the main line. NCE DCC is used, with operations closely following prototype practices.
Mark Lutz's HO Erie Railroad

Opening for the first time for the GSD is Mark's Jefferson Division of the Erie Railroad. The layout is a fictitious HO scale single-track branch line in the steam to diesel transition era. 

Right now, it features about 25 sceniced feet while work continues on a new peninsula and associated second level. 

Control is DCC using NCE radio throttles.
Anthony Piccirillo's HO P&LE

Anthony's layout is two levels, approximately 16'x20', set in the 1948-1950 period. Power is mostly steam and small diesel. "The Little Giant", as the P&LE was nicknamed, serviced the coal and steel industry in Western Pennsylvania.

The lower level includes Youngstown, Ohio with a turntable, New Castle Yard, the St. Joseph Coal Company and car float.

The upper level includes a Walthers blast furnace, cement companies, iron and steel distributors, a coke refinery, an electric furnace, and the McKees Rock PL&E repair shop. The centerpiece of the upper level is the Pittsburgh Steel Company.
Kai Ebinger's HO layout

This is the first opportunity for GSD members to see the HO layout that Kai Ebinger has assembled. Measuring 12'x27', the DCC layout is freelanced with several American railroads represented as well as some equipment from Europe. The roster represents Kai's interests and includes steam, diesel and electric locomotives, pulling both freight and passenger trains. All of the trackwork is complete and the scenery is 30% completed.  Kai's structures are a combination of plastic kits, craftsman structure kits and scratch built.

Did you forget to read the latest issue of the Whistle Post?  The issue contains more information about the upcoming GSD event in Franklin.  And, it also contains articles on the last GSD event in Staten Island, the Auto Train, the Achievement Program, and more.  To get your copy, just click on the 

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NMRA Garden State Division, 537 Malcolm Road, Union, NJ 07083