Thursday, July 20, 2017

Western NY railroading odds & ends!

Received via email

Made a three day trip recently out to the western NY in the Lockport area and encountered some interesting railroad sights along the way. Sooo... here goes!
  E8s at the Medina RR Museum-In 2007, the Medina Railroad Museum acquired a pair of 1953 vintage E8 Passenger Locomotives in their original New York Central Lightning Stripe paint scheme! #4080 and #4068 are presently being stored in Medina, NY near the museum. When shop time can be leased, a small group of volunteers is diligently working toward bringing both units up to FRA requirements for service on the museum's excursions between Medina and Lockport. The HO train layout inside the museum is huge! It measures 204 feet long and 14 feet wide.
  Snowplow GV 400783 in the Genesee Valley yard in Lockport-sits idle in the yard on a hot and humid July 17 summer's day.
  LTEX 95 in Dansville-still sporting its faded "Mississippi Export" heritage, LTEX 95 works at the LMC Industrial Contractors, a locomotive rebuilder facility. Mississippi Export Railroad is a 42-mile shortline railroad operating in the state of Mississippi from Pascagoula to Evanston. 
  Olcott's Tourist Information Center-is a 1942 vintage caboose of more recent CR heritage. This caboose's history prior to its CR days is unknown. It was dedicated as Olcott's tourist information center in April, 1989 and is sighted at the intersection of Routes 18 and 78. Inside the original interior remains almost intact and has an ample supply of brochures related to area attractions.

[NSInvest] Norfolk Southern to consolidate operating divisions to enhance service and gain efficiencies

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Norfolk Southern to consolidate operating divisions to enhance service and gain efficiencies

NORFOLK, Va., July 18, 2017 -- As part of ongoing efforts to enhance customer service and improve operating efficiencies, Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) plans to consolidate its Central Division headquarters operations in Knoxville into three surrounding divisions.

The consolidation, effective on or about Nov. 1, will reduce the number of operating divisions on NS’ system to nine from 10. Dispatching responsibilities now handled from the Central Division, which includes track primarily in Tennessee and Kentucky, will be divided among operating divisions headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., Decatur, Ill., and Fort Wayne, Ind.

The move will affect a total of about 50 employees who work at the Central Division headquarters in management, dispatching, and clerical positions. Dispatchers will have the opportunity to transfer to one of the other three divisions or apply for vacancies across the system. Administrative and clerical employees will be offered opportunities to apply for vacant positions elsewhere.

Current yard and field operations on the Central Division will not be affected by the headquarters closure but will be reassigned among the other three divisions. More than 250 employees will remain in Knoxville to provide safe and reliable service to local customers and support the yard’s role as a hub for through-train operations.

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.

Media Inquiries:

Investor Inquiries:

June 10, 2002: Blue Unit Circus Train passes around Horseshoe Curve...

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With NS 8397 (ex-CR 6191) and NS 3228, Ringling Brothers Blue Unit Circus Train passes around Horseshoe Curve after completing a crew change and water stop for the animals in Altoona. The BUCT had departed Wilkes-Barre (PA) earlier in the day with CP power, switched over to NS power in Harrisburg (PA) before continuing its 1,629 mile journey to Oklahoma City and was scheduled to arrive on June 13 for its opening show performance on June 14. This train was 5,044 feet long, weighed in at 4,135 tons and would be handed off to BNSF in Kansas City (MO) for the remaining leg of this trip.

Mixed Freight to Bowne Station!

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Ride the Mixed Freight to Bowne Station!

One Weekend Only!
On July 22-23, come ride a genuine mixed-freight train all the way from Flemington to Bowne Station! Your journey will include a brief stop at Ringoes, a unique photo opportunity at Bowne Station, and a short lecture about the history of mixed freight trains and Bowne Station.

Historic freight equipment provided by Pennsy Railcar Restorations.

Click here for details and tickets!
Every Saturday & Sunday:
Summer Excursions &
Bowne Station Local!

Our Summer Excursions and the NEW " Bowne Station Local" are now operating most Saturdays and Sundays! On the Bowne Station Local, ride our newly rehabilitated railroad 2.5 miles from Ringoes towards Lambertville to our new stop at Bowne Station! Details and tickets available on our website!

These trains run most Saturdays & Sundays through Labor Day!

Monday, July 10, 2017

From the Archives: CR's 7883 switching Tropicana reefers

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The date is November 23, 1987 as CR's 7883 goes about its task of positioning Tropicana's fifty-seven foot reefers at their distribution facility in South Kearny (NJ). "OJT", its moniker for Orange Juice Train, started operations on June 8, 1970. Those orange cars had a hula girl named "Tropic-Ana" painted on the side. Back then OJT was the food industry's first and only unit train. It still is running today via CSX lines but has been combined  with other freight and not strictly as a unit train of Tropicana products. As for CR 7883, it started out as PC 7883 and still is active today as NS 714, a RP-E4C Slug, according to the NSDASH9 website.

Notice of upcoming changes to Empire Service

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Select trains will use Grand Central Terminal this summer. Learn more.
View as a web page
                                                    Renewal Penn
In our efforts to continue providing you with a safe and reliable travel experience, Amtrak® is accelerating already scheduled work to strengthen and improve operations at New York Penn Station during the summer. The Infrastructure Renewal program will advance several years of already planned work to improve conditions of tracks, switches, and other infrastructure at Penn Station into less than two months.

Along with the previously announced service adjustments, the work will require three northbound and three southbound Empire Service® trains to/from Albany to use Grand Central Terminal [NYG] instead of New York Penn Station [NYP]. This change will affect schedules on weekdays from July 10 through September 1, 2017. If you are traveling on Empire Service trains via Grand Central Terminal this summer, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Schedules are now up to date for checking departure and arrival times or booking travel. Anyone with an impacted existing reservation has been contacted with new travel information.
Taxis and local transit are available for transferring between New York Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal. We encourage allowing for extra time if transferring between stations.
If you need assistance, Amtrak conductors will be available to help during boarding and detraining.
If you need additional assistance from an Amtrak ticket agent or other station employee, we recommend booking Empire Service trains that use New York Penn Station.
There are many ways to stay informed about the Infrastructure Renewal at New York Penn Station project:
Learn more at
Subscribe to email or text alerts at or when booking your trip
Check your train status on or the Amtrak mobile app
Follow @AmtrakNEC on Twitter for timely updates
Provide feedback at
We appreciate your patience and thank you for riding Amtrak.
Amtrak, Amtrak Guest Rewards, and Empire Service are registered service marks of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

For this Independence Day!

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A glimpse back at the American Freedom Train on this July 4th holiday! Most of the images displayed show the American Freedom Train traveling around the country. However here it is on a cold winter's day at the Lebanon (NJ) station on what is now NJT's Raritan Valley Line. The lack of quality images in these undated photos that I took could be attributed to photographing this with an instamatic camera! However as the old adage states "A bad photo is better than no photo at all!"

Eastern Shore Railway Museum; Parksley, VA

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Was passing through Parksley, VA last Friday on our way down to Virginia Beach and saw a sign on Route 13 for the Eastern Shore Railway Museum. Having time to stop I saw this Wabash caboose on display and would later learn it was built in 1949 by the Wabash in its Decatur, IL shops. That cupola certainly has a distinctive shape! Driving down Parksley's Greenbush Road, I also came across these two covered hoppers still sporting their previous railroads on a siding at Associated Grain's facilities. The Delaware & Hudson hopper was number 12359 and had ATGX for reporting marks. Regarding the former Penn Central hopper that was labelled as RFMX 464822. Perhaps those two hoppers should also have been a part of the museum's collection of rolling stock. For a small town railroad museum the guided tour of their collection, especially the Pullman car, was very informative and interesting.

18N at Stanton Station

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With the Ringling Brothers Circus Train and Air Products heat exchanger moves now a distant memory going trackside, especially on a hot and humid day like this Sunday, is when I need some motivation. That motivation was provided when I read that NS's Interstate heritage unit was leading 18N east. I decided to head to Stanton Station (LEHL MP 53) where at least there was some shade to stay fairly cool while waiting for this train's arrival. Around 4 o'clock on Sunday afternoon was when it passed by my location. That trailing unit was NS 7660.

This Sat. Special Tour Added to NMRA GSD Summer Meet

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GSD Summer Event Reminder:
This  coming  Saturday, July 1, 
in Staten Island
Special Tour Added - Details Below 

Special Attraction : Visit to OLD Gypsum Plant

The existing plant, what is left of it, was built in 1926 and replaced two older buildings which burned down on this very same spot. Three buildings have already been torn down with raze dates of the rest, this summer and next summer. This will remove any trace of the plant and where it stood.

The location is unique as it is one of the very few industries where the main line of a railroad, the Staten Island Railroad (a B&O subsidy) ran through the working plant. Not around it or near it, but through the plant. Built with conveyer belts running underneath the tracks to handle materials between buildings.

By the way, all the tracks have been covered over during recent years since rail service was terminated in the area. It was discovered that 5 feet under the present track layer, is another set of tracks with a much smaller rail size. It is believed that when the line was electrified for passenger service, they leveled out the main line by simply covering over the old main line tracks.

The old smoke stack from the steam power plant may remain as it is being used for by number of microwave companies.

This plant produced not only products like sheet rock, but also joint compound used with it and a product called Pyroblock which was a fireproof block used in early construction.
While we are not allowed in the buildings themselves, enough of the outside walls have been removed to see inside.
Add to it, that the buildings are all of different construction methods, from brick to cement block to poured concrete to corrugated steel on steel frame. The remains of wooden bunkers are also visible. When looking at the main building from the street, you are actually looking at the second floor of the plant. 

Gypsum ore was brought in by ships, which docked right at the plant. The railroad provided coal to the plant, as well as all the other materials needed in processing its products. At the end of processing, it also took away the finished product for rail delivery throughout the nation.

Tom Wortmann, GSD 

The GSD's summer event will be held on July 1 at the VFW hall at 49 The Boulevard on Staten Island.  The meet will feature two clinics:  Learning about the structures that comprise an anthracite mine and modeling trash for your layout.  The event will also feature Bring 'n Brag in the morning.  

After a quick lunch on your own at one of the many local eateries, the afternoon will feature tours of several layouts 
and the Gypsum Plant.  

As always directions and maps will be provided at the meet.
Donuts and coffee will also be served in the morning.  Maps for the local restaurants will be available at the end of the morning session.
Please join us at 9 AM at the the VFW hall

NOTE: New Location 
This is not the Marine Corps League Hall where we have had prior GSD Meets.

To closely view the location on Google Maps and get directions, click on the map or the button.

Did you forget to read the latest issue of the Whistle Post?  This issue contains more information about the upcoming GSD event in Staten Island.  It also contains articles on the last GSD event in Bridgewater, the Achievement Program, making changes to a finished layout, and more. 

Feel free to pass this information on to others by clicking on the image to the left OR you can just click your forward key and send it on.

Please do so.  This e-mail is our Number One tool for spreading the word.

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