Tuesday, December 29, 2009

UPDATE – Force Majeure on Coal Shipments Continues in Effect

The Force Majeure that went into effect at 6:00 PM, December 18, 2009 for Coal Customers, including customers with contracts or other agreements with Norfolk Southern, remains in effect. While service has been restored following winter storm conditions, damage to the Lambert’s Point facility on December 26, 2009 combined with a belt tear on December 27, 2009 have rendered both ship loaders temporarily inoperable. Norfolk Southern is working to restore dumping operations as soon as possible, and will provide notice to all parties when service has returned to normal.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Norfolk Southern-Inclimate Weather Affects Operations.

Received the following through email:

Winter Storm Impacting Mid-Atlantic Operations

A winter storm has brought heavy snow, wind, and power outages to many areas in the Mid-Atlantic region and is now moving into the Northeast and is impacting service in these areas. Customers with shipments moving through these areas should expect delays of up to 48 hours. Local service will also be affected in some of the heaviest hit areas, including western North Carolina, western Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and eastern Pennsylvania.

Norfolk Southern is working to restore normal service in these areas as quickly as possible. Customers with questions regarding specific shipments should contact their Customer Service Representative.

Customer Service - 800 635.5768

Central Yard Operations representatives are also available to answer any questions regarding local service (set/pull) in the affected area.

Central Yard Operations - 800 898.4296

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More from the Forbidden Zones

Received the following pictures and captions from Kermit Geary, Jr. These pictures were taken in the vicinity of Oak Island, NJ in early December, 2009. Because of his job, he can get pictures from places that are off-limits to the rest of us, hence the Forbidden Zones.


NS 5616 & CSXT 1317 at Oak Island, NJ



Newark Liberty International Airport 7 at Newark, NJ



NJT 4027 at Newark, NJ



NS 1703 at Oak Island, NJ

More Pics of NJT Raritan Valley Line Santa Train

Below are 2 more pictures of the NJT Santa Train on the Raritan Valley line sent to us by one of our customers. These were taken at the Somerville station, which is undergoing renovation, on Saturday morning, 12-12-09.




Monday, December 14, 2009

For a change of pace...

(Train sightings on 12-12-09.)

...decided to chase after NJT's "Santa Claus Train" on the Raritan Valley Line instead of going trackside along the Lehigh Line on a sunny and cold Saturday morning. With NJT's GP40 seldom seen on the RVL, this was a good time to get some images of the two excursions. The first scene was taken in Raritan after all the passengers were on board. Judging by the size of the crowd, I would speculate that there was a good turnout at Raritan for this first run in comparision to previous years. The second scene was taken as the train approached Whitehouse traveling under a good head of steam on its first run of the day.

Motive power consisted of NJT 4218 and 4219. NJT 4218's history is that it was rebuilt from CR 3199 (GP40) and rebuilt as NJT 4218 (GP40PH-2B). NJT's 4219's hertiage can be traced back to its days as CSX/SBD 6822 and being rebuilt from NJT 4148 (GP40PH-2) and rebuilt as NJT 4219 (GP40PH-2B).

What was nice was getting this opportunity to do some photography when there are not that many chances to do this along the RVL. On weekends, service ceases on NJT's RVL in Raritan and weekdays are definitely out due to my job.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekly Rail Carloading Report - Week 48, 2009

There is an interesting report available on the web that is "A Weekly Report of North American Rail Freight Traffic by Major Railroad and Commodity." It is currently showing data for week 48 of 2009.

http://railfax.transmatch.com/

Here is an example of the information available on this web site. This graph shows Total Traffic for 2008-2009 vs. 2007-2008. There are more graphs and tables on the web site showing data by railroad and by commodity.

Special note: This graph seems to be behind. The line for 2009 extends only half way across the 4th quarter. By week 48 it should be 70% of the way across the 4th quarter. I have no information on this apparent discrepency. For an explanation, please contact the Railfax people.


Note: This web site has new tables and graphs every Thursday, late afternoon. So, if I am late or miss a week with this blog posting, you can check for new data on Thursdays.

Norfolk Southern launches improved investor relations site

Received the following via email.

December 3, 2009

Norfolk Southern launches improved investor relations site

NORFOLK, VA. - Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) today launched a more comprehensive and user-friendly investors section on its Web site. To visit the site, go to www.nscorp.com and select the "Investors" tab.

Additional information and improvements to navigation make it easier to access news releases, earnings presentations, analyst coverage, transcripts, webcasts, podcasts, and other materials pertaining to the financial performance of Norfolk Southern.

A new financial "tear sheet" provides an at-a-glance overview of key facts and figures, including stock performance, headlines and events, and SEC filings. The site now also includes ownership information, e-proxy voting capability, dividend history, an interactive event calendar, and RSS feeds relating to quarterly earnings presentations.

NS launched www.nscorp.com, including its investors section, in 1996. Today, www.nscorp.com hosts more than 14,000 visitors daily.

Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation's premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 21,000 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 and industrial products.

Norfolk Southern contacts

Media Frank Brown 757-629-2710 fsbrown@nscorp.com
Investors Leanne Marilley 757-629-2861 leanne.marilley@nscorp.com

Friday, December 11, 2009

New Jersey Trains and Toys for Tots

There will be 2 different Toys for Tots events this Sunday, 12-13-09, sponsered by New Jersey railroad groups. We have received the following announcements.

New Jersey shortline operator Raritan Central Railway will be sponsoring Toys For Tots

New Jersey shortline operator Raritan Central Railway will be sponsoring a Toys For Tots event this Sunday, December 13th beginning at 12 Noon. RCRY provides local freight service within the Raritan Center complex (home of the Edison,NJ Greenberg Show). As the centerpiece of the event, the railroad will be providing one of its fully painted locomotives, either the former B&M GP9 or one of the ex-CSX B23-7's, accompanied by a bay window caboose borrowed from Norfolk Southern The consist will be parked adjacent to the intersection of Raritan Center Parkway and Campus Drive. We expect Santa and his elves will be joining the festivities.


Toys for Tots Train - Maywood Station

The Maywood Station Museum at 269 Maywood Avenue,
Maywood, NJ will be open this Sunday, December 13
from 9am to 10:30am while the U. S. Marines and the
special Toys for Tots Train is scheduled at the station
collecting unwrapped toys.

For more information, please visit www.maywoodstation.com

Thank you,
The Maywood Station Historical Committee

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A good HO car to scratch build...

Received the following via email. Pictures taken on 12-6-09.
(Click on any picture to see it enlarged; then use your browser's BACK button to return to the blog.)

...was this cable carrying car I discovered parked on a siding at Lansdown Junction (NJ) on the Lehigh Line. It is used by Michels Mid America, a company based in Wisconsin. They use it when laying cable along the right-of-way. From what I saw, it seems to be fairly easy to build and would make for an interesting addition for any HO train layout. Here are a few views of this car.








Norfolk Southern joins U.S. Green Building Council

Received the following via email.

December 8, 2009

Norfolk Southern joins U.S. Green Building Council

Railroad is industry leader in promoting energy efficiency and sustainability

NORFOLK, VA. - Norfolk Southern has joined the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit, membership-based organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for the nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.

Through its latest public-private partnership initiative, the Crescent Corridor Intermodal Freight Program, NS will capitalize on the inherent efficiencies of rail transportation to substantially reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the Crescent Corridor program, NS has committed to submitting buildings from three of its proposed intermodal terminals in Birmingham, Ala., Greencastle, Pa., and Memphis, Tenn., for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification.

Norfolk Southern is USGBC's first Class I railroad member.

"Railroads are the most environmentally friendly means of moving the goods that move the economy," said NS CEO Wick Moorman. "Norfolk Southern's goal is to lead the industry in emissions reduction, efficient energy use, and environmentally focused public-private partnerships."

"LEED certified buildings are environmentally responsible and healthier places to live or work," Governor Ed Rendell said. "Pennsylvania has been in the forefront of developing high-performance buildings - second only to California in the number of LEED certified projects. Our Energy Independence Strategy will help us do even more for our environment. This component of Norfolk Southern's Crescent Corridor Program adds further value to this smart and environmentally friendly infrastructure investment."

"Now as America and the world begin making a historic transition to a green economy, we look to make Alabama a leader in science and technology." said Governor Bob Riley. "Norfolk Southern's Crescent Corridor Program is one such project that will connect Alabama to the global markets, promote economic development, and protect the environment. Alabama will continue to be an active partner in these collaborations that foster an environment of progress, competitiveness, and innovation. "

"We need to continue building on existing clean energy policies in Tennessee and support broader clean energy efforts," Governor Phil Bredesen said. "Tennessee is truly positioned to be a leader in the development of regional and national energy solutions that can provide economic and environmental benefits to our citizens. Norfolk Southern's Crescent Corridor Program will provide a clean, environmentally friendly future for Tennessee and the nation, while further enhancing our competitiveness and spurring economic growth."

"By becoming a member company of the U.S. Green Building Council, Norfolk Southern is demonstrating its commitment to our shared goal of a more sustainably-built environment," said Chris Smith, USGBC's chief operating officer.

The LEED certification system rewards current best practices and provides an outline for buildings to use less energy, water, and natural resources while improving the indoor environment - with the goal of maximizing operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts. The process for obtaining LEED certification is based on accumulating points in five areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. NS actively has been incorporating LEED standards into its building and planning designs and is committed to achieving these standards.

Norfolk Southern also is implementing sustainable operations throughout its facilities, including the use of the state-of-the-art low emission cranes and tractors that will reduce the particulate emissions by 90 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 45 percent. NS is experimenting with new methods to reduce truck idling, and implementing improved strategies for reducing electricity usage at all of its facilities as well.

Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation's premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 21,000 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 and industrial products.

Norfolk Southern contacts
Media Rudy Husband 610-567-3377 rudy.husband@nscorp.com
Investors Leanne Marilley 757-629-2861 leanne.marilley@nscorp.com

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

SNOW!!!!!!!!!

Received the following via email from Kermit Geary, Jr. Text, photos, and captions are his.

Greetings:

Hope everyone survived the Thanksgiving Holiday (November, for our Canadia/en friends). Had a small dinner with my parents and then a good trip to Cumberland, MD with Adam Christman & his girlfriend Anna. (Check CSX6000 on youtube for some of the results).

Happened to be back in the Lehigh Valley area for the first measureable snow event of the season...one of the few times I will make an effort to shoot NS...what goes better with Black than white snow?!?!?!?

Hope you enjoy these images taken today...12-6-2009...as much as I enjoyed taking them!!

NS 2665 westbound at Kline's Lane, Emmaus, PA



NS 5290 & train H-76 at Bethlehem, PA



NS 6608 with TR# 35G at Allentown, PA



NS 9709 with TR# 262 at Emmaus, PA

NS Christmas and New Year Holiday Operations

Received the following via email.

Monday, 12-07-09

Christmas Holiday Operations

In observance of the Christmas Holiday, Norfolk Southern will curtail (non-intermodal) freight operations beginning 7:00 AM on Thursday, December 24, 2009. Full operations will resume at 7:00 AM, Saturday, December 26, 2009. Interline gateways will remain open for traffic delivered from connecting carriers and passenger trains will continue to operate through the Holiday.

New Year Holiday Operations

In observance of the New Year Holiday, Norfolk Southern will curtail (non-intermodal) freight operations beginning 7:00 AM, Thursday, December 31, 2009. Full operations will resume at 7:00 AM, Saturday, January 2, 2010. Interline gateways will remain open for traffic delivered from connecting carriers and passenger trains will continue to operate through the Holiday.

Customers with critical shipments, particularly unit trains, where customer operations will continue through either of these holidays, should contact their Customer Service or Marketing Representative regarding service requirements.

Where local service (set/pull) will be required through the holiday period or for questions regarding specific shipments, customers are encouraged to contact their Central Yard Operations or Customer Service representative.

Customer Service - 800 635.5768
Central Yard Operations - 800 898.4296

Friday, December 04, 2009

2009 Santa Train on New Jersey Transit Raritan Valley Line

This year’s trips (morning and afternoon) will be held Saturday, December 12, 2009.

Join Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their elves for a train ride through the country. This trip features Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus along with a few of Santa's helpers. There are sing-a-longs, candy canes and coloring books for the kids. In addition, each car on the train features a drawing for a trainset; that's ten train sets per trip! Santa pays a visit to each car and is more than happy to pose for pictures with the kids.

The train operates west from Westfield to Highbridge, NJ and back, a two hour trip.

The morning train will originate from Raritan at 8:30 AM and go to Westfield where it will depart at 9:00 AM for the trip to High Bridge. You may board this train at either Raritan or Westfield. This train will then return to Westfield, stopping at Raritan along the way back.

The afternoon trip will depart Westfield at 1:00 PM, travel to High Bridge and return to Westfield. The second trip does not stop at Raritan.

This year, tickets are only $13.00 for adults and $11.00 for children age 1 to 12. Children under 1 are FREE.

We have tickets for these trips. Stop in the Big Little Railroad Shop now before these trips sell-out. Cash or personal check made out to the Jersey Central Railroad Historical Society. Sorry, no credit cards for train tickets.

For more information visit the following web site:

http://www.jcrhs.org/santa.html

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Black Friday 2009 - Christmas Shopping at the Big Little Railroad Shop

Avoid the crowds at the malls by coming to the Big Little Railroad Shop in downtown Somerville on "Black Friday." We have all sorts of wonderful model railroad items from full sets to individual cars, locomotives, track, buildings, scenery supplies, etc. If you don't know exactly what to get your modeler, we have gift certificates. We also carry books, videos, and calendars. We have items in all the popular scales: G, O, HO, and N. And, if we don't have what you want in stock, we probably can order it for you.

In addition to a full line of model railroading "stuff," The Big Little Railroad Shop is now carrying plastic model kits for airplanes, ships, automobiles, and military vehicles. We also carry Ninco slot cars.

We are located at 63 West Main Street in Somerville, NJ. Phone: 908-685-8892.

Visit our web site at: http://www.biglittle.com/

For your holiday shopping convenience we are open the following hours through Christmas:

Tuesday - Wednesday 11AM - 7PM

Thursday - Friday 11AM -8PM

Saturday 11AM - 5PM

Sunday 12noon - 4PM

Friday, November 20, 2009

Weekly Rail Carloading Report - Week 45, 2009

There is an interesting report available on the web that is "A Weekly Report of North American Rail Freight Traffic by Major Railroad and Commodity." It is currently showing data for week 45 of 2009.

http://railfax.transmatch.com/

Here is an example of the information available on this web site. This graph shows Total Traffic for 2008-2009 vs. 2007-2008. There are more graphs and tables on the web site showing data by railroad and by commodity.


Note: This web site has new tables and graphs every Thursday, late afternoon. So, if I am late or miss a week with this blog posting, you can check for new data on Thursdays.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Job Perks

Received the following via email from Kermit Geary, Jr. Text, photos, and captions are his.

Subject: Job Perks (aka the reason I work at Sperry)

The side benefits of working for Sperry is that you get access to places that would be impossible to gain legally! (It sure isn't the money that keeps me here!!!) And the object of these mailings is to make photos of these sites available to the viewing public...aka you! Here are a few from today as we tested the CR-SA's Del-Aire Branch in Philadelphia, PA and the Thorofare Runner in Morrisville, PA.

NJT 4415 & train at Morrisville, PA



Septa 9014 at North Philadelphia, PA



Tyburn RR 390 at Morrisville, PA



Amtrak 2013 at North Philadelphia, PA

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A trashy day in November

Received the following from Kermit Geary, Jr. Text, photos and captions are his.

Enroute to the ConRail Shared Assets test in Camden, NJ, I stopped for the weekend in Allentown PA...The first frost train show was a bust as usual...unless you are a Lionel & its knockoffs fan...altho it was good to visit with some of the dealers and a lot of the patrons.

Sunday lived up to its name by providing some sun in the Lehigh Valley. A westbound trash train with 2 SD-40-2's (ex CR) and a Portland Coal train provided some action before moving to West Trenton, NJ....and another trash train...whew!@!

NS 3389 at Bethlehem, PA



NS 2672 & train at Steel City, PA



CSXT 879 & train at West Trenton, NJ

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Indian Summer in New York State

Received the following via email from Kermit Geary, Jr. Text, photos, and captions are his.

Spent a RARE SUNNY weekend in November with two close friends railfanning the Rochester - Syracuse New York region. Caught some unusual power lash-ups as well as some shortline action. The trailing unit in the 8810 lashup is a Nashville Star Commuter loco # 120. The Finger Lakes provided a freight and a passenger train in Solvay, NY ...opted to follow the freight for a while.

CSXT 8810 & train at Minoa, NY



Finger Lakes 2304 & train at Camillus, NY



Finger Lakes 2304 & train leaving Solvay, NY



CSXT 8547 - 8590 leaving Syracuse, NY

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Afternoon Delights

Received the following from Kermit Geary, Jr. Text, photos, and captions are his.

The last day of testing on the WNYP found us in Driftwood, PA the same time as the DFT was. Some shots of it departing for Olean, NY at about 1230hrs.

Heading home to the Allentown area this weekend, then starting a test on ConRail-Shared Assets in Camden, NJ on Monday, before taking a week off for Thanksgiving. Hope all is well with everyone.

WNYP RRPX 43 and DFT depart North Driftwood, PA (2)



WNYP RRPX 43 and DFT depart North Driftwood, PA (8)



WNYP RRPX 43 and DFT depart North Driftwood, PA (11)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekly Rail Carloading Report - Week 44, 2009

There is an interesting report available on the web that is "A Weekly Report of North American Rail Freight Traffic by Major Railroad and Commodity." It is currently showing data for week 44 of 2009.

http://railfax.transmatch.com/

Here is an example of the information available on this web site. This graph shows Total Traffic for 2008-2009 vs. 2007-2008. There are more graphs and tables on the web site showing data by railroad and by commodity.


Note: This web site has new tables and graphs every Thursday. So, if I am late or miss a week with this blog posting, you can check for new data on Thursdays.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Eight trains in three hours!

(Train sightings on 11-8-09.)

that would be my final tally of seen on Sunday morning along various locations of the Lehigh Line. This day started out with noticing that NS 18G was holding at Flemington Jct as I drove along Route 31. Much to my surprise, NS 214 was also on the siding right behind 18G. About 8:05, westbound 19G had the "pedal to the metal" as it sped along. Twenty minutes later, NS 21M would also head west on the main. After it passed, 18G was given the green to proceed and did so at 8:28. Fifteen minutes later, NS 214 would also continue its journey east.

It had been a long time since I stopped at Pattenburg Tunnel and today would be a good day to see what changes had occurred since my last visit there over a year ago. During my relatively short visit, three more trains would pass by. 11J would bring empty autoracks west. Shortly there after, an NS 68Q and intermodal 22V came east. I was told there was one more train to come east and that was another intermodal, NS 212. I decided that it would be nice to photograph this train at the "S" curve at Stanton Station.

Eight trains in three hours on a warm sunny November, what more could I ask for except my Pick-3 lottery number to come in on Sunday night. Stay tuned to see if that happens. In the meantime, hope you enjoy the two images from Sunday morning.

NS 22V at Pattenburg tunnel on 11-8-09



NS 212 at Stanton Station on 11-8-09


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Magazine names Norfolk Southern a top 'green' company

Received the following via email.

November 10, 2009

Magazine names Norfolk Southern a top 'green' company

NORFOLK, VA - Norfolk Southern Corporation's sustainability initiatives have earned the company recognition as one of 25 green supply chain partners named by Inbound Logistics magazine.

The magazine said its inaugural G25 list was created "to celebrate companies that are on the cutting edge of green; and we want to provide shippers with examples of how service providers are making the sustainability leap, and justification for why they are a cut above."

Norfolk Southern was singled out for its "Green Machine," a carbon footprint analyzer that allows businesses to estimate the emissions savings of choosing rail transportation. The magazine also noted NS' investments to upgrade its locomotive fleet, making it the rail industry leader in achieving federal locomotive emissions standards.

"Inbound Logistics is pleased to recognize Norfolk Southern as a Green Supply Chain Partner (G25) for 2009," said Keith Biondo, the magazine's publisher. "The recognition is in part for Norfolk Southern's sustainable supply chain vision, but most importantly for providing practical real-world services and solutions helping leading logistics practitioners achieve their sustainability goals."

Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is a leading North American transportation provider. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 21,000 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 and industrial products.

Norfolk Southern contacts
Media Frank Brown 757-629-2710 fsbrown@nscorp.com
Investors Leanne Marilley 757-629-2861 leanne.marilley@nscorp.com

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Before "participating" in a fall tradition...

(Train sightings on 11-7-09.)

...of raking leaves, I wanted to spend some of this sunny morning trackside and see what was running along the Lehigh Line. Prior to going, I checked the internet to see if anything special would be coming eastbound. One website had mentioned that CP 38T had passed through Phillipsburg at 6:54. Since it was 7:05 when I saw this post, there would be sufficent time for me to drive down and photograph it at the Roycefield Road grade crossing. Around 7:30, a train horn could be heard blowing faintly for a grade crossing. A few minutes later, there appeared a headlight off in the distance. This one proved to be a false alarm as the headlight belong to NS 8819, the leader on NS 212 and not the train I was waiting. Fifteen minutes after 212's passing, another headlight appeared off in the distance. Sure enough this headlight belonged to CP 9654, 38T's leader along with CP 8797.

After I snapped a photo or two of 38T, I thought briefly about how far railfanning has come over the years. Prior to the age of railroad oriented websites and cell phones, spending time trackside could be likened to playing cards. Sometimes a person would win and other times come up empty. Today, with and assist of the internet, I came up with a winning hand.


NS Thanksgiving Holiday Operations

Received the following via email.

Thanksgiving Holiday Operations

In observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday, Norfolk Southern will curtail (non-intermodal) freight operations beginning 7:00 A.M. on Thursday, November 26, 2009 and resume full operations at 7:00 A.M. on Friday, November 27. Interline gateways will remain open for traffic delivered from connecting carriers and passenger trains will continue to operate through the Holiday.

Customers with critical shipments, particularly unit trains, where customer operations will continue through the holiday, should contact their Customer Service or Marketing Representative regarding service requirements.

Where local service (set/pull) will be required through the holiday period or for questions regarding specific shipments, customers are encouraged to contact their Central Yard Operations or Customer Service representative.

Customer Service - 800 635.5768
Central Yard Operations - 800 898.4296

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Photos from the 2009 Transit Modelers Meet

The 2009 Transit Modelers Convention & Trolley Meet was held on the campus of Rutgers University on October 24, 2009. This meet was sponsored by the New York City Model Transit Association. Here is a link to photos from that meet.

www.nycmodeltransit.org/2009Meet.htm

Norfolk Southern announces $11 million investment in Philadelphia Navy Yard intermodal facility

Received the following via email.

November 2, 2009

Norfolk Southern announces $11 million investment in
Philadelphia Navy Yard intermodal facility

PHILADELPHIA, PA. - Norfolk Southern and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are investing $11 million in the railroad's Philadelphia Navy Yard intermodal facility to expand track and parking capacity. The expansion is part of Norfolk Southern's multi-state Crescent Corridor initiative to establish a high-speed intermodal freight rail route between the Gulf Coast and the Northeast. The proposed investment - $6 million from Norfolk Southern and $5 million from Pennsylvania - will create the capacity to handle more than 72,000 containers and trailers annually. Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-2010.

"Because of its strategic location to Southeastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and Delaware, expansion of the Philadelphia Navy Yard intermodal facility is critical to the success of our Crescent Corridor," said Wick Moorman, Norfolk Southern's chief executive officer. "We commend Gov. Ed Rendell for his efforts to provide state funding for our intermodal terminal initiatives in the commonwealth. We want to thank Sens. Robert Casey and Arlen Specter for their support of a public-private partnership with the U.S. Dept. of Transportation so that Pennsylvania will benefit from the economic development opportunities and job growth potential of integrated logistics hubs. We also want to express our gratitude to the members of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation who support the Crescent Corridor, including Reps. Bob Brady, Charlie Dent, Chakah Fattah, Jim Gerlach, Tim Holden, Patrick Murphy, Todd Platts, Allyson Schwartz, and Bill Shuster. Finally, we express our appreciation to Mayor Michael Nutter and the region's economic development agencies and authorities for their efforts to improve freight transportation infrastructure in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley."

"Rail freight is an important component of any transportation infrastructure discussion," Governor Edward G. Rendell said. "The Philadelphia Navy Yard intermodal facility will serve Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, creating good jobs, generating revenue locally, and helping reduce highway congestion. Pennsylvania has invested heavily in rail freight because it is a smart, environmentally friendly, cost-effective infrastructure investment. I will continue to advocate for rail freight investments at the state and national level."

"Philadelphia has been a rail transportation hub for the Mid-Atlantic region for more than 100 years," said Mayor Michael Nutter. "With this $11 million investment, Norfolk Southern's intermodal terminal at the Navy Yard will benefit shippers and consumers in the city and lead to further economic development opportunities in the Philadelphia area."

Norfolk Southern's Crescent Corridor initiative is a multistate network of infrastructure improvements and facilities intended to enhance Norfolk Southern's 2,500-mile rail network that supports the supply chain from the Gulf Coast and Memphis to Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and the New York metropolitan area and enable it to handle more freight traffic faster and more reliably. The railroad is in the process of implementing corridor projects, including straightening curves, adding passing tracks, improving signal systems, and building new terminals.

Altogether, nearly $2.5 billion in Crescent Corridor projects have been identified, and based on the public benefits of relief from highway congestion, NS plans to implement the Crescent Corridor initiative through a series of public-private partnerships. At completion, the Crescent Corridor is projected to divert more than 1 million truckloads of freight from the highways to the rails annually, saving the U.S. more than 170 million gallons of fuel per year.

When the Crescent Corridor is fully operational, annual benefits to Pennsylvania are expected to include nearly 700,000 long-haul trucks diverted to rail, almost 10 million gallons of fuel saved, carbon dioxide reduction of 110,000 tons, more than $44 million in traffic congestion savings, and avoidance of an estimated $8.5 million in accident costs. Over the next 10 years 26,000 jobs in Pennsylvania are expected to be created or enhanced by the Crescent Corridor. Norfolk Southern is constructing a new $95 million intermodal facility in Franklin County, Pa., and has $52 million in improvements planned for its existing Harrisburg intermodal terminal, along with $27 million in track and signal upgrades in Berks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, and Northampton counties.

Rail intermodal traffic uses one-third of the fuel required by long-haul trucks and greatly reduces highway congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and highway maintenance costs. The Crescent Corridor will help the environment and reduce a large burden on state budgets.

Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation's premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 21,000 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 and industrial products.

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 materially.

Norfolk Southern contacts:
Media Rudy Husband 610-567-3377 rudy.husband@nscorp.com
Investors Leanne Marilley 757-629-2861 leanne.marilley@nscorp.com

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Warren Buffet buying all of BNSF

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway company announced this morning that it will buy all of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad. Following article is from CNNMoney.com and is dated Nov. 3, 2009.

Buffett's firm to buy Burlington Northern

Berkshire Hathaway will acquire unowned stake of railroad in a cash-and-stock deal worth $44 billion.

By David Ellis, CNNMoney.com staff writer
Last Updated: November 3, 2009: 12:55 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway said Tuesday it will buy railroad operator Burlington Northern Santa Fe for $44 billion.

Berkshire (BRKA, Fortune 500), which already has major stake in Burlington Northern, said it would acquire the remaining 77.4% of the company in a cash-and-stock offer worth $100 per share.

Widely regarded as both one of the world's richest men and the investment community's more brilliant minds, Buffett called his firm's investment an "all-in wager on the economic future of the United States."

"Our country's future prosperity depends on its having an efficient and well-maintained rail system," Buffett said in a statement.

Burlington Northern (BNI, Fortune 500) shares soared 28% in morning trading on the news.

Separately, Berkshire said it was announcing a 50-for-1 split of its Class B common stock. The majority of stock issued by the company in its purchase of Burlington Northern will be its pricier Class A shares, the company said.

The deal, which would rank as the largest acquisition in Berkshire Hathaway's history, would also include $10 billion of Burlington Northern debt.

It would also expand the already massive portfolio of companies Berkshire already owns. Brand-name businesses such as auto insurer Geico, See's Candy and Fruit of the Loom are all subsidiaries of the Omaha, Neb.-based firm.

Matthew Rose, Burlington Northern's chairman and CEO, said the sale of the Fort Worth, Texas-based firm was a "strategic fit" for both the company's customers and employees, during a conference call with investors Tuesday.

No management changes are expected at Burlington Northern as a result of the deal, which is expected to close sometime in early 2010.

Berkshire's purchase, of course, will require the approval of shareholders and will have to undergo regulatory review by the Justice Department.

First Published: November 3, 2009: 8:01 AM ET

Brushcutting at Lakehurst - more follow-up

Here is more follow-up to our post on Brushcutting at Lakehurst. See the post below from Saturday and the one from last Tuesday. The following article is from NJBIZ.com, dated 10-22-09.

Railroad line gets new Hammonton-based operator

By João-Pierre Ruth
10/22/2009

New Jersey Seashore Lines Inc. has executed an agreement with Clayton Cos. Inc. to operate an out-of-service private railroad line for 10 years, according to documents filed with the Surface Transportation Board of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“We started trimming some trees. It’s been more than 20 years since there’s been a train on [the rail line],” Anthony Macrie, president of New Jersey Seashore Shore Lines, said in an interview with NJBIZ. New Jersey Seashore Lines will maintain the 13-mile rail line, which extends from Lakehurst to Woodmansie.

He said rehabilitation of the line began in mid-October. After the tree trimming is complete, Macrie said his company will inspect the rail line for any necessary upgrades. One possible use will be to serve Clayton’s sand mine in Woodmansie, he said.

Lakewood-based Clayton acquired the line from Consolidated Rail Corp., which abandoned the stretch of short rail in 1985.

New Jersey Seashore Lines, in Hammonton, is an affiliate of Cape May Seashore Lines Inc., a short-line rail carrier for freight and excursion passenger service. Cape May Seashore Lines operates excursion passenger service between Richland and Tuckahoe, as well as a roundtrip line from Cape May Court House to Cape May City.

Clayton tapped New Jersey Seashore Lines to replace Ashland Railway Inc., in Mansfield, Ohio, the previous contract operator of the line.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Brushcutting at Lakehurst - follow-up

Last Tuesday, Oct. 27, we posted a question about the brushcutting along railroad tracks near Lakehurst, NJ. We now have an answer via another posting on CRRNJ in Yahoogroups.

This item was in a recent Trains magazine newsletter:

New Jersey branch gets new life

Published: Thursday, October 22, 2009

HAMMONTON, N.J. - A new affiliate of Cape May Seashore Lines has begun working to reopen an ex-Central Railroad of New Jersey branch to Woodmansie, N.J., New Jersey Business has reported. The New Jersey Seashore Lines will operate the line, which hasn't seen a train for more than 20 years.

Anthony Macrie, the railroad's president, said his company has begun work on removing trees from the right-of-way, which is owned by Clayton Cos., operator of a quarry near Woodmansie. The 13-mile route, once part of CNJ's Long Branch to Bay Side, N.J., line, will connect to the Conrail Shared Assets Area at Lakehurst, N.J. Macrie said the quarry will be a major customer.

Clayton bought the line in 1985, after Conrail abandoned it. Short line Ashland Railway operated the line for a time in the late 1980s.

Cape May Seasore Lines currently operates a rail line on New Jersey's southern tip between Cape May and Tuckahoe.

CSX Corporation Chief Financial Officer to Address Goldman Sachs Global Industrials Conference

Received the following via email.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., (October 28, 2009) - Oscar Munoz, CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX) executive vice president and chief financial officer, will address the Goldman Sachs Global Industrials Conference in New York City on Wednesday, November 4, 2009, at 2:15 p.m. Eastern Time.

Mr. Munoz's presentation will focus on the company's financial performance and core strategies to better position the company in the evolving transportation marketplace.

Investors may listen to the presentation via a live internet audio-webcast at http://cc.talkpoint.com/gold006/110409a_mg/?entity=25_BCDEQ0L,
or visit the CSX website at
http://investors.csx.com.
A replay and accompanying audio will be available within one hour after conclusion of this event.

Contact:
David Baggs, Investor Relations
904-359-4812
Lauren Rueger, Corporate Communications
877-835-5279

About CSX
CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is one of the nation's leading transportation companies, providing rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services. The company's transportation network spans approximately 21,000 miles, with service to 23 eastern states and the District of Columbia, and connects to more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at the company's web site, www.csx.com.

Norfolk Southern CFO Squires to address Citi Industrial Manufacturing & Transportation Conference

Received the following via email.

October 29, 2009

Norfolk Southern CFO Squires to address Citi Industrial Manufacturing & Transportation Conference

NORFOLK, VA. - James A. Squires, executive vice president finance and chief financial officer for Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC), will address the 2009 Citi Industrial Manufacturing & Transportation Conference on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009, in New York City. The presentation is scheduled to begin at 10:40 a.m. EST.

Interested investors can listen via a simultaneous webcast at http://www.veracast.com/webcasts/citigroup/imt09/86105111.cfm. After the webcast, the presentation will be posted at www.nscorp.com.

Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation's premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 21,000 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 and industrial products.

Norfolk Southern contacts
Media Frank Brown 757-629-2710 fsbrown@nscorp.com
Investors Leanne Marilley 757-629-2861 leanne.marilley@nscorp.com

Friday, October 30, 2009

Weekly Rail Carloading Report - Week 42, 2009

There is an interesting report available on the web that is "A Weekly Report of North American Rail Freight Traffic by Major Railroad and Commodity." It is currently showing data for week 42 of 2009.

http://railfax.transmatch.com/

Here is an example of the information available on this web site. This graph shows Total Traffic for 2008-2009 vs. 2007-2008. There are more graphs and tables on the web site showing data by railroad and by commodity.


Note: This web site has new tables and graphs every Thursday. So, if I am late or miss a week with this blog posting, you can check for new data on Thursdays.

CSXT Employee Wins Rail Industry's Professional Environmental Award

Received the following via email.

Paul J. Kurzanski Honored for Excellence in Leading Environmental Initiatives

Jacksonville, FL - October 27, 2009 - The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today presented its top award for environmental professionals, the 2009 North American Environmental Employee Excellence Award, to Paul J. Kurzanski, manager of environmental remediation at CSX Transportation.

Kurzanski was one of six railroad industry individuals nominated. This is the fifth time in the last seven years that a CSXT employee has been honored with the AAR's Environmental Employee Excellence Award.

Kurzanski received the award during an annual railroad environmental conference. A 30-year railroad veteran, Kurzanski's accomplishments include the successful management of approximately 125 environmental remediation projects in six states (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, and Ohio); the development and implementation of CSXT's Environmental Leased Property Review and Lab Management programs. Kurzanski is also the author of 19 key Environmental Management System documents covering programs, processes, and instructions. These written standards are essential to CSXT's management of environmental programs.

"CSXT is committed to being a responsible steward of the environment. Paul's many contributions and his significant and consistent leadership role in CSXT's environmental activities make him a role model in our company, as well as the industry," said Skip Elliott, CSX Transportation's vice president, public safety and environment. "We are fortunate to benefit from employees like Paul, who continuously work to improve the environmental future of CSXT through their dedication and innovativeness."

Within CSXT, Kurzanski is a well-respected subject matter expert and mentor providing environmental guidance and support to field operations. His efforts have inspired field operation employees to become more environmentally astute, resulting in improved employee environmental performance. As a Compliance Assistance Team (CAT) captain, Kurzanski and his team have provided outstanding support to field operations, helping a large terminal to achieve a platinum-level environmental certification score of 95% or greater.

CSX Transportation Inc. is a principal operating company of CSX Corporation. CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is one of the nation's leading transportation companies, providing rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services. The company's transportation network spans approximately 21,000 miles, with service to 23 eastern states and the District of Columbia, and connects to more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at the company's web site, www.csx.com.

Norfolk Southern reports third-quarter 2009 results

Received the following via email.

October 27, 2009

Norfolk Southern reports third-quarter 2009 results

For third-quarter 2009:

· Railway operating revenues were $2.1 billion.
· Income from railway operations was $562 million.
· Net income was $303 million.
· Diluted earnings per share were $0.81.
· The railway operating ratio was 72.8 percent.

Financial Statements
Quarterly Financial Review Third Quarter 2009
Earnings Presentation Slides Third Quarter 2009

NORFOLK, VA. - For the third quarter of 2009, Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) reported net income of $303 million, or $0.81 per diluted share, compared with $520 million, or $1.37 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2008.

"While our third-quarter results reflect the continuing weak economy, they also show Norfolk Southern's resilience and the strength of our franchise," said Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman. "By controlling costs and maintaining service levels, we are managing through this economic downturn and will emerge an even stronger company."

Third-quarter railway operating revenues were $2.1 billion, down 29 percent, compared with the third quarter of 2008, primarily the result of a 20 percent reduction in traffic volume and lower fuel-related revenues.

General merchandise revenues were $1.1 billion, 24 percent lower compared with the same period last year. Coal revenues declined 35 percent to $571 million compared with third-quarter 2008 results. Intermodal revenues decreased 31 percent to $389 million compared with the third quarter of last year.

Railway operating expenses for the quarter were $1.5 billion, a decrease of 25 percent over the same period of 2008.

The railway operating ratio was 72.8 percent, compared with 69.1 percent during third-quarter 2008.

Norfolk Southern Corporation is a leading North American transportation provider. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 21,000 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 and industrial products.

Norfolk Southern contacts
Media Frank Brown 757-629-2710 fsbrown@nscorp.com
Investors Leanne Marilley 757-629-2861 leanne.marilley@nscorp.com

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

8-year-old wants to restore Point of Rocks train station

Following article is from the Frederick (MD) News-Post.

8-year-old wants to restore Point of Rocks train station

Originally published October 26, 2009

By Megan Eckstein

An 8-year-old train enthusiast came to Point of Rocks a few weeks ago to see one of the country's most famous historic train stations.
He left wondering why his new favorite station had fallen into disrepair, and he decided he wanted to help fix it.

"It needed to be painted and get the windows fixed," said Connor Fischer, a third-grader who lives in Darnestown in Montgomery County.

"We were driving home and he said 'I want to start a renovation project,'" said Lisa Fischer, his mother. "To hear the words 'renovation project' come out of an 8-year-old's mouth was so funny."

"He was ready, literally that day, to take a giant Reese's peanut butter jar to school and collect money," said Jack Diamond, Connor's father and a popular radio show host in Washington, D.C.

Connor said he had visited train stations in Frostburg, Gettysburg, and other parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania. He liked the one in Point of Rocks the most because it is so close to home and looks old-fashioned.

The Point of Rocks train station was built in the 1870s. Though it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, train station owner CSX is under no additional obligation to maintain the facility. Connor said there was only one entrance to the building for workers, unlike other train stations with rooms inside and benches for passengers to wait.

"I wanted people to be able to go in and take pictures," he said.

Connor said he knows it will take a lot of work to get the station fixed up. He said he believes one of the tracks might need to be closed so workers can safely get to and from the train station, but he has an idea of how the trains could be rerouted to not interrupt the flow of traffic.

"It would be nice for him to talk to CSX directly," Lisa said. "Sometimes it's easy for an adult to blow off another adult, but it's another thing to have to explain it to a kid."

She said she is curious to see how they would deal with her son and whether they would be receptive to his ideas.

"He believes just about anything is possible, and if enough good people come together then it will get done for all the right reasons," Diamond said.

Though his parents have spoken to some railway workers and are still looking for the right official to talk to about the donation, Connor already has a game plan for raising money. He said he wanted to cover his wagon with a sheet with a slit cut in it, so neighbors can drop in their donations. Some of his friends are on board, too.

"They thought it was cool, and two of them wanted to help," he said. He also plans to write a report for school about the train station, so he can teach others about its history.

The interesting thing about Connor's efforts is that he doesn't see them as anything out of the ordinary. He said many children at his school write reports about animals or other things they like, though he said he's the first to organize a restoration effort.

"He's very humble and very sweet," Diamond said. "He's just one of those spirits who wants to bring people together."

He said Connor's interest in helping the community started at a young age, since he and his four older siblings always participated in radio station fundraisers and toy drives.

Connor, who also enjoys karate, soccer and equestrian vaulting, developed an interest in trains at a young age that doesn't seem to have waned.

"I started when I was 2 years old, I got my first wooden Thomas (the Tank Engine) trains, and I got a train table for them," he said.

Part of the allure of Thomas the Tank Engine was that Connor "had the opportunity to not only watch the DVDs but also play with the toys and make up his own story lines," said Diamond, adding that Connor has always had a good imagination.

Because Diamond used Amtrak and other train lines for work so often, "the whole mythical part of Thomas the Tank Engine became very real to him," Diamond said.

Connor now has model trains of all sizes and brands, and he's working to build a train track for them. And, of course, he visits local train stations to watch freight and passenger trains go by for hours on end.

"I just like seeing trains, it makes me feel good," said Connor, who hopes to run a model train store and maybe even drive a train when he grows up.

"Whatever attracts people to a life on the tracks, he seems to have it," Diamond said.

A "911" day in Rochester, NY

Received the following via email from Kermit Geary, Jr. Text, photos, and captions are his.

Greetings! Found a rare sunny weekend day in Rochester, NY and was able to get out with a good friend in the area! Hi Dan.M.!! The SLRG units left headed west in the rain in the morning, but the afternoon was nice! This was also the day for unusual numbers with 911 showing up twice! The other number was the 888, on the same train as the 911!

TANX 911 at Rochester, NY



CSXT 52 & MVCX train at Rochester, NY



CSXT 911 & train at Caswell Rd, Byron, NY

Norfolk Southern declares quarterly dividend

Received the following via email.

October 27, 2009

Norfolk Southern declares quarterly dividend

NORFOLK, VA. - Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) today announced the regular quarterly dividend of 34 cents per share on its common stock, payable on Dec. 10, to stockholders of record on Nov. 6.

Since its inception in 1982, Norfolk Southern has paid dividends on its common stock for 109 consecutive quarters.

Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation's premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 21,000 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 and industrial products.

Norfolk Southern contacts
Media Frank Brown 757-629-2710 fsbrown@nscorp.com
Investors Leanne Marilley 757-629-2861 leanne.marilley@nscorp.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Brushcutting in Lakehurst - anybody know what's going on?

Received the following via email. It is a posting on CRRNJ in Yahoogroups.
If anyone has any info, please email me: Jan@Biglittle.com.

Hi All:

My In-laws live just east of the CNJ tracks in between Ridgeway and Lakehurst. I took a ride to Lakehurst on Sunday am and was surprised to see a rail-mounted brushcutter had cleared the line headed south for as far as I could see.

This is new news - it was all overgrown as recently as this summer. Anybody know if they're perhaps reopening it to the sandpit in Chatsworth (I think it is) or more likely - scrapping the rails finally?

Photo posted in "Lakehurst Oct 2009" folder.

Thanks,

Frank

There was still some LEHL autumn colors to be seen...

(Train sightings on 10-25-09.)

...albeit rather sparse in nature to be seen along the Lehigh Line. I suppose that Friday night and Saturday's four inches worth of rain contributed to the lack of leaves on the trees. With what remained on the trees and with a sunny morning, there was still some nice fall images to be seen but I will let you be the judge and jury on that. The first two trains were seen passing through the Lansdown Road grade crossing (MP 58) while 214 was seen as it passed by the Hamden Road grade crossing. In time sequence, the three trains seen were as follows:


NS 22V @ 9:04 would have as its leader NS 8705 followed by NS 9011.

NS 212 @ 9:27 had NS 9707, NS 8788 and NS 8887 for motive power.


NS 214 @ 10:22 had NS 8747, NS 9108 and NS 2635 bring this intermodal east.





Friday, October 23, 2009

MTH sues Broadway Limited Imports

Following article is from The Daily Record, a Maryland newspaper, for Oct. 19, 2009.

Model train maker Mike's Train House sues longtime rival

BRENDAN KEARNEY
Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer
October 19, 2009

A Columbia (,MD) model train manufacturer has filed the latest in a series of patent infringement lawsuits aimed at a longtime competitor, alleging he and his company made unauthorized use of technology that syncs a locomotive’s sound and smoke to its speed on the tracks.

Mike’s Train House Inc. claims Robert Grubba has a history of stealing such prized intellectual property in their niche industry. In its most recent suit filed Oct. 8, MTH alleges that the company where Grubba is now president, Broadway Limited Imports, stole the patented microprocessing technology that synchronizes puffing smoke with the “chuffing” of the engine in a particular model of train, the HO-gauge. MTH claims it first developed the technology in 2000, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

“That’s the problem,” said Mike Wolf, a model train enthusiast since childhood who founded the company that bears his name in 1980.

Wolf discovered the infringement when he recently purchased one of the locomotives in Florida-based BLI’s new line, whose five models range from $350 to $500, to have an engineer look at its syncing system.

“I think it’s going to be pretty clean cut,” said Wolf, 49, in an interview Monday. “I think [Grubba] knows he’s doing it and he can try to cover it up, but it is what it is. He can’t be using my intellectual property with no regard.”

Wolf’s suit asks for declaratory and injunctive relief relating to its two patents, issued in 2002 and 2003, as well as compensatory damages and attorney’s fees.

Wolf’s lawyer William E. Erskine, who also tinkered with trains as a kid, said the disputed technology lends authenticity to the models and thus augments their value in the marketplace.

Grubba did not return calls for comment Monday, but in an August interview with the Daytona Beach News Journal about BLI’s new facility in Ormond Beach, Fl., he said, “We do all the product design, research and development, electronics design, sound recordings — all the trains have recorded sounds of the real train.”

Grubba, like Wolf, has had a lifelong interest in model trains, according to that newspaper interview. But their shared interest has led to repeat legal battles and bad blood.

“He’s not a good guy, in my opinion,” said Wolf of Grubba.

Grubba was previously chief engineer at Lionel Trains, perhaps the most famous name in the industry. MTH sued Lionel in a Detroit federal court in 2000, won at trial and later settled. MTH alleges in its most recent complaint that Grubba, while at Lionel, “organized and participated in a scheme to steal over 3,000 of MTH’s secret blueprints for designing more than 20 separate model trains.”

After Grubba left Lionel to become chief engineer for K-Line Electric Trains Inc., Lionel sued in federal court in Manhattan in 2005, claiming Grubba had conspired to steal Lionel’s trade secrets, one of which involved realistic sound effects for model trains. That case settled on terms favorable to Lionel, according to MTH’s suit this month.

Grubba started BLI in 2002, and the company “continues to lead the model railroading world with cutting-edge electronics, synchronous smoke and the most realistic and powerful sound available,” according to the company’s Web site.

But Mike’s Train House has a markedly different view of its competitor’s business.

“A recent brochure of defendants states that its products are ‘so affordable because we have been able to reduce our costs significantly by producing our own proprietary sound system, thereby eliminating product licensing fees,’” according to MTH’s suit. “While it is untrue that defendants have ‘produced their own sound system,’ they have indeed sought to ‘eliminate product licensing fees’ by infringing MTH’s patents.”

Weekly Rail Carloading Report - Week 41, 2009

There is an interesting report available on the web that is "A Weekly Report of North American Rail Freight Traffic by Major Railroad and Commodity." It is currently showing data for week 41 of 2009.

http://railfax.transmatch.com/

Here is an example of the information available on this web site. This graph shows Total Traffic for 2008-2009 vs. 2007-2008. There are more graphs and tables on the web site showing data by railroad and by commodity.


Note: This web site has new tables and graphs every Thursday. So, if I am late or miss a week with this blog posting, you can check for new data on Thursdays.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Local railroad videos on youtube

Received the following list via email. These are youtube videos of local rail fan excursions by Adam Christman. Enjoy.

R&N 425 on October 18th excursion - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8An8jwo7q8

RDG FP7s on the Perk - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5w79-uPDh2E

The WM S6 Charter - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W9qo-AmFXE

The CRHS Trip - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM9qz-x3UHI

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

MTH Authorized Service Center

Not only do we sell MTH (Mike's Train House) products, we are also an MTH Authorized Service Center.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New power for the San Luis & Rio Grande

Received the following via email from Kermit Geary, Jr. Text, photos, and captions are his.

Had the opportunity to get inside American Motive Power (AMP) at Danville, NY to see the new power for the San Luis & Rio Grande. Sitting outside were two slugs and a mother unit. Also a derelict F40 from Canadian American # 453, the stripped SD-45 from the NYSW # 3614, a frame from a GP-9? F#5519-34. Shop switcher AMP2008 was seen, but unable to get close to it.


SLRG 227 slug F# 757099-x2



SLRG 245 slug



SLRG 459 mother

Monday, October 19, 2009

Update on Hillsborough, NJ Quiet Zones

The following article is from The Courier News for 10-15-09.
(Previous postings on this topic were on 11-9-08, 4-2-08, and 2-20-07.)

Hillsborough, Norfolk Southern agree on safety improvements to train crossing

By PAMELA SROKA-HOLZMANN
STAFF WRITER

Courier News

October 15, 2009

Municipal officials have approved an agreement with Norfolk Southern Railway Company that would allow train quiet zone electronic safety improvements at the Valley Road crossing.

Quiet zones are a section of a rail line that have one or more public crossings, where locomotive horns will not be routinely sounded. Under federal law, locomotives are required to sound their horns when approaching crossings.

Quiet zones previously were constructed at the Beekman Lane and Auten Road grade crossings, and safety improvements at the Roycefield Road crossing have been completed. But because Roycefield Road is less than one half mile from the Valley Road crossing, federal regulations require that both crossings be set as quiet zones together, Mayor Frank DelCore said.

Norfolk Southern must construct an electronic "power-out" indicator at the Valley Road grade crossing, which would tell the train engineer if the AC power is off. That way, the engineer can sound a train horn as a safety precaution, DelCore said.

The township wants to install a wayside horn at the Valley Road crossing, but Norfolk Southern continues testing the horn at other sites nationally and is not prepared to proceed, DelCore said. A wayside horn is one placed at a train crossing intersection and directed at vehicles.

Committeeman Carl Suraci said the quiet zone issue can be resolved by a new order from the state Transportation Department commissioner allowing for an interim quiet zone at Valley Road -- based upon meeting safety index criteria required in the federal regulations.

Suraci said a link will be added on the township's Web site for residents wanting to comment on the issue. DelCore added that once the new order is adopted, the township will continue working with Norfolk Southern to complete improvements at Valley Road and establish quiet zones at that crossing and the Roycefield Road crossing.

Friday, October 16, 2009

October delights #3

Received the following via email from Kermit Geary, Jr. Text and photos his.
Also see October delights #1 and #2 below.

Finally the best....saving it for last!! Spent Saturday on the Foster Brook & State Line RR riding and chasing (on foot) the neatest 2-foot gauge railroad in PA!! Power is the smallest SHAY ever built by LIMA. Privately owned and operated, this operation as a gem to behold! The ride consists of a single switch-back and about a 1/2 mile of trackage...work is underway to extend the line through a second switch-back to the top of the local mountain! This will add about another mile to the line. Enjoy the virtual ride!!