Thursday, June 24, 2010

NS Heartland Corridor to extend from Columbus to Cincinnati

Received the following via email.

June 22, 2010

Heartland Corridor Extends Reach from Columbus to Cincinnati

Norfolk Southern Gets the Green Signal to Proceed on Double Stack Clearance Project

Columbus (Tuesday, June 22, 2010) - America's growing economy moves more and more freight on rails and Ohio is increasingly one of the critical links to keep those goods rolling. Already nearing completion of its Heartland Corridor between Chicago, Columbus and the Port of Norfolk, Virginia, Norfolk Southern (NS) is extending the corridor's reach to Cincinnati.

NS has been given the official notice by the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) to proceed with engineering and construction on their Columbus to Cincinnati line to accommodate double-stack container trains.

The nearly $6.1 million project will involve increasing clearances at five locations between Columbus and Sharonville, and adding tracks at the Rickenbacker intermodal facility. The project is funded in part with $3.6-million from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, along with matching funding from both Norfolk Southern and the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments.

But the project is about much more than making sure bridges and other structures are at the right height for trains to pass.

"The double stack clearance projects are essential because they remove trucks from the I-71 and I-75 corridors in southwest Ohio," said OKI Executive Director Mark Policinski. "These projects reduce air pollution and congestion while, at the same time, improving our ability to compete in global markets. OKI is proud to have originated the partnership with Norfolk Southern and ORDC that delivers so many benefits."

"It's this kind of public-private investment in our rail network that enhances Ohio's already strategic position as a distribution and logistics hub for both North America and the world," echoed ORDC Executive Director Matt Dietrich. "The return on this investment is the economic development and jobs that grow around these intermodal freight hubs as we have already seen around the NS Rickenbacker Intermodal Yard."

"Ohio is strategically positioned to satisfy the growing demand for high-quality intermodal freight service throughout the Midwest," said Mike McClellan, NS vice president intermodal marketing. "The Heartland Corridor West extension to Cincinnati leverages our Heartland Corridor and the success of our Rickenbacker intermodal facility in Columbus, creating new opportunities for shippers while at the same time delivering significant economic and environmental benefits throughout Ohio, northern Kentucky and southern Indiana."

For more information contact:

Stu Nicholson, ORDC Communications at 614-644-0513

Brian Cunningham, OKI Director of Communications & Legislative Affairs at 513-619-7670

Rudy Husband, NS Corp Director of Public Relations at 610-567-3377

The Ohio Rail Development Commission is an independent agency operating within the Ohio Department of Transportation. ORDC is responsible for economic development through the improvement and expansion of passenger and freight rail services and railroad grade crossing safety. For more information about what ORDC does for Ohio, visit our website at

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

CLOSE CLEARANCE! Meet of two wide load trains

Received the following via email.

Pics of BNSF Wind Turbine cars passing Boeing Jetliner Fuselage loads. Apparently from the engineer on the train with the B-737 fuselage loads.

Two trains meeting where they’re not suppose to be at the same time.

The KCK-Lincoln, a West Bound Train was stopped on Main 2 at Water Works, located just north of St. Joseph, Missouri. My Train the KCK-Pasco, also a West Bound Train was on Main 1 going through Water Works. Both these trains had excessive “Height and Width” cars. The Train on Main 2 was shipping Windmill Generators and my train contained Boeing Aircraft Fuselages. Note in the photo that there is less than two inches of clearance! The saving grace is this… If it weren’t for the fact I was running on an approach following another West Bound train certain catastrophe would have been imminent. It certainly would have derailed and destroyed both trains and possibly lives could have been lost. Luckily, as I was rounding the bend I was able to see a long ways up the track and noticed the train on Main 2 had High Wide Cars, and I was able to get my train stopped. If I would have been going track speed there would have been no way of stopping. Someone from above was certainly watching out for me that day and it wasn’t the Dispatchers.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mexican rail managers 'stole 360 miles worth of railroad'

Received a link via email to the article below. This article is from the UK and was found on the web site for The Telegraph (, and it was originally posted on June 8, 2010.

Mexican rail managers 'stole 360 miles worth of railroad'

Several midlevel managers with Mexico's state railroad company have been accused of stealing more than 360 miles of railroad and selling the materials to help pay off a company debt.

The railroad scrap, much of it high-grade steel, weighed roughly 52,000 tons, about seven times the steel used in the Eiffel Tower, said Mexico's secretary of public administration, Salvador Vega Casillas. He said the sale of such material is prohibited and that the managers never sought permission for their actions.

The employees targeted abandoned railroads in five states, including the northern border state of Chihuahua, where 239 miles worth of rails, nails, bolts and other materials were stolen, he said.

The sale allegedly occurred from 2003 to 2005 when the state company, which faces liquidation, was unable to sell all the scrap it promised to four companies following a public auction.

To meet a nearly $800,000 debt, the five employees ordered that railroads built in the 19th and 20th centuries be dismantled, Mr Vega said.

The secretary said the material was worth $140 million - far more than the debt - and yet no money was exchanged and it remains unclear what the receiving companies did with the scrap material or whether they recognized its value.

He said the attorney general's office is pursuing a criminal case against the four companies and the five suspects, which the administration has barred from serving in public positions for up to 15 years.

The investigation began after Public Administration officials uncovered contracts in 2007 related to the case, Mr Vega said.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Free Train Ride For Dad Fathers Day Weekend!

Received the following via email.

Dads Ride Free All Weekend In Celebration Of Fathers Day!

Bring your Dad on a train ride this weekend behind New Jersey's only operating steam locomotive! Dad rides free with any tickets passenger!

Buy Tickets

Offer only valid Fathers Day Weekend, 2010.

The Delaware River Railroad Excursions
Phillipsburg, New Jersey

Buy Dad a membership in the New York Susquehanna & Western Technical & Historical Society for Fathers Day!
Join the New York Susquehanna & Western technical & Historical Society today! Your membership entitles you to a our beautiful color Reflector Magazine, our full color NYSW calendar and admission to out bi-monthly meetings. Members in the NYSWTHS are entitled to participation in all of our events, railroad rules and operations training as well as participation in our operations, steam program and mechanical departments.

Join Today

Day Out With Thomas - 2010

Received the following via email.

Day Out With Thomas
Celebration Tour
Some Trips are Selling Out
Don't Miss Out!
Tickets are on sale now!

Click Here To Buy Tickets

Pictures Of Last Years Event!

The Delaware River Railroad Excursions
Phillipsburg, NJ

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sale items at The Big Little Railroad Shop

In the back of our store we have a couple of shelves of items that are 50% off list price. We recently added quite a few items of previously owned model railroad equipment, some still new in the box.

Also, on the top shelf, are quite a few Kadee HO scale freight cars that have been reduced approximately 30%. These are all brand new, and they are out-of-stock at the manufacture.

Come in and check out these sale items before they disappear.

'Trains Unchained' - YouTube video

Received the following via email. What road names can you identify in this fast paced video? And, not being a young person, what is the song that accompanies these clips?

'Trains Unchained': Cool 3:31 clip of EMDs; GEs; ALCOs; ACs; DCs, 4-axles; 6-axles; etc.

Take a break and watch some cool train action.

Nice montage of High-definition train video clips from a talented young man in Greenville, PA, Robert Brooks.

NS CFO Squires to address two conferences next week

Received the following via email.

June 8, 2010

Norfolk Southern CFO Squires to address Wells Fargo Securities Industrial Conference and Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Transportation Conference

NORFOLK, VA. - James A. Squires, executive vice president finance and chief financial officer for Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC), will participate in the following upcoming conferences:

Wells Fargo Securities Industrial Conference
Tuesday, June 15, at 3:10 p.m.
New York, N.Y.
Webcast URL:

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Transportation Conference
Wednesday, June 16, at 10:15 a.m.
New York, N.Y.
Webcast URL:

Interested investors can listen via simultaneous webcasts. After the webcasts, the presentations will be posted at

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
Investors Leanne Marilley 757-629-2861

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Easton (PA) Mayor Sal Panto Jr. wants to form his own task force to study rail travel

Following news article and photo are from The Express-Times web site; posted 6/7/10.

The Norfolk Southern railroad trestle and station in Easton is due for cosmetic upgrades. Mayor Sal Panto Jr. wants to see the city's tracks transporting passengers again. Express-Times Photo BRUCE WINTER

Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. wants to form his own task force to study rail travel

A meeting date has not been set but Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr., his Phillipsburg counterpart Harry Wyant Jr. and Lafayette College President Daniel Weiss plan to form a new task force to further discuss rail travel.

Dissatisfied with the rail study commissioned by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. and conducted by Systra Consulting, the group believes the analysis was flawed because it projected only 800 daily passengers.

“I believe the study is not fully cognizant of all the factors that will go into both the cost of creating the service and the revenue that would support it,” Weiss said.

The regional transportation study released in April said passenger rail from High Bridge to Allentown would cost $659 million to build and might run an $11.7 million annual deficit.

Paul Sullivan, of Systra Consulting, indicated that construction costs are projected to be high because the lines would run on Norfolk Southern rights of way, and reconfiguration might be necessary to accommodate passenger rails.

Read Douglas B. Brill's full story: Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. says rail study ‘has holes,’ plans own task force.

NS and GE Announce Success of Breakthrough Technology

Received the following via email.

Norfolk Southern and GE Announce Success of Breakthrough Technology To Help Railroads Move Freight Faster and Smarter

· Increases railroad capacity, velocity and efficiency without laying new track
· Increases average network speed of trains 10-20 percent
· Potential to save millions of dollars in capital and expense

Atlanta, GA (June 7, 2010) - Norfolk Southern and GE Transportation today announced the success of a technology that could change the rail industry by increasing the average network speed of trains by 10-20 percent or two-to-four miles-per-hour. One mile per hour in velocity improvement has the potential to save approximately $200 million in capital and expense annually.

GE's RailEdge® Movement Planner is breakthrough software that improves railroad capacity and reliability while reducing transportation costs. By integrating railroad logistics with traffic control systems, the technology projects expected track usage, based on train schedules, and then produces an optimized plan to get trains moving faster and more efficiently. By maximizing existing railroad resources, RailEdge also improves railroad crew management availability.

"RailEdge optimizes the railroad resources that are already in place - something that only technology can truly help us achieve - by enabling railroads to move more freight faster on their existing networks. This technology increases the capacity of railways worldwide, without laying a single new track," said GE Transportation's President and CEO, Lorenzo Simonelli. "A two-to-four miles-per-hour increase might not sound like a lot but in freight rail it is a big leap forward."

Having pioneered the implementation of RailEdge Movement Planner on a 200-mile section of its railroad in Georgia, Norfolk Southern is expanding the technology's use to its entire 22-state rail network through 2012. In the Georgia application, Movement Planner will help Norfolk Southern increase the average network speed train velocity of its trains by 10-20 percent, representing a significant opportunity for cost savings and train delay reductions.

"With railroads, it's about scale," said Wick Moorman, CEO of Norfolk Southern. "GE's RailEdge supports incremental routing and speed improvements down to the individual train level. That will add up to sizeable efficiency gains on a 2,500-train per day, 21,000-route mile system like ours. When we make the best use of our existing transportation infrastructure, that's a competitive advantage for our customers and for the country."

GE's RailEdge Movement Planner is the latest example of how GE's $4 billion-a-year software and solutions services are helping customers improve productivity and efficiency worldwide. GE looks to deploy RailEdge internationally to meet the growing challenges of rail capacity constraints.

For more information:

About Norfolk Southern
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.

About GE Transportation
Established more than 100 years ago, GE Transportation, a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is a global technology leader and supplier to the railroad, marine, drilling, and mining and wind industries. GE Transportation provides freight and passenger locomotives, signalling and communications systems, information technology solutions, marine engines, motorized drive systems for mining trucks and drills, high-quality replacement parts and value added services. GE Transportation is headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA, and employs approximately 8,000 employees worldwide. For more information visit

About GE:
GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company taking on the world's toughest challenges. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, health care solutions, and television programming, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at

Media contacts:

Stephan Koller
GE Transportation
1-814-431-3150 (mobile)

Thomas X. Scott
GE Transportation

Frank S. Brown
Norfolk Southern Corporation

Monday, June 07, 2010

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania to get $5 million from the state

Received the following via email.


Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today that $5 million in state capital funds have been released to the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and the Department of General Services for new exhibits and the design of a roundhouse at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

"The improvements planned for this facility are critical to the preservation and the interpretation of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania's world-class collection of more than 100 historic locomotives and railroad cars," says Museum director Charles Fox.

The Governor's Office of the Budget has designated $500,000 for the design of a 16,000-square-foot roundhouse in the outdoor yard, to be located at the Museum's existing turntable. A significant number of the Museum's collection of historic locomotives and rolling stock, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are the last of their kind in the world, currently reside outdoors and are deteriorating from exposure to the elements.

The addition of a roundhouse at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania will provide permanent, climate-controlled storage for these historic artifacts. Bid proposals have been released by the Department of General Services for the architectural design of the roundhouse. The Governor's Office of the Budget anticipates releasing an additional $6.1 million for the actual construction of the roundhouse in the next fiscal year.

The Governor's Office of the Budget also has released $4.5 million for the design, fabrication and installation of new permanent exhibits to be located throughout the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. The Hilferty Design firm of Athens, Ohio has been selected to work with Museum and Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission staff on the exhibit design. Planning is already underway.

"The new exhibits will allow us to examine Pennsylvania's railroading history from its earliest beginnings to the present day in a thorough and comprehensive manner. The exhibits will explore the social, economic and technological history of Pennsylvania railroading, using the Museum's outstanding collection of artifacts and rolling stock to illustrate the story," says Fox.

"Both of these projects represent major steps forward for the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania," Fox points out, "allowing us to raise the standards of our already world-class institution even higher. Once they are in place, and in conjunction with the completion of a new geothermal HVAC system in the Museum, the entire interpretive experience we offer to visitors will have been reshaped and improved, and we will have become much more effective caretakers of this unequalled collection of American railroading artifacts."

Read more about this on the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania's web site.

Something like this is not likely to happen in New Jersey, especially considering current state of affairs in Trenton.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Special sale for readers of this blog

This weekend get 10% off all white ticket items.

Announcing a special sale only for readers of this blog. This weekend only, June 5 & 6, 2010, get 10% off all items with a white price sticker. You must mention this blog posting to get this discount. Warning - if you don't tell us you saw this post, you will pay full price.

Hope to see you this weekend.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

North Platte Canteen

A YouTube video of the canteen in North Platte, Nebraska during WWII.

Memorial Day fun

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

After putting in a 100+ hour week, working Sunday thru Saturday, travelling to another POStruck (that will be a story in itself when I finally leave Sperry), going thru safety training for OSHA & AK Steel so we can test the Ashland, KY, Middletown, OH, Mansfield, OH, and Butler, PA locations. WHEW!!!

Tested Thursday, Friday, and Saturday(of Memorial Day weekend) at the Ashland Steel works...temps were 90+degrees and no a/c in the cab of the POST. died saturday night and sunday, but felt good enough to look around the area today. Neither NS or CSXT treated this as a holiday weekend, running everything from work trains to locals. The only shut-down was at KRT in Ceredo, WV.

Enjoy the pictures. Sorry nothing available from in-plant ops due to a ban on photography!

NS 9745 & train at Neal, WV (2)

CSXT 216 & train at Kenova, WV (3)

CSXT 415 & train at Westmoreland, WV

CSXT 2270 & train at Kenova, WV

KRT at Ceredo, WV

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Memorial Day sightings of bicycles and trains..

(Train sightings on 5-30-10 and 5-31-10.)

With a forecast of sunny skies and warm temperatures, what better way to spend the Memorial Day weekend than taking in the trains and bike races here in central NJ. On Sunday, spent some time at Hillsborough's Roycefield Road grade crossing and saw these trains:
NS 22V @ 9:58-would have NS 9047 and NS 8787 for power.
NS 212 @ 10:10- had a trio of diesels. The leader was NS 2680, followed by UP 7453 and NS 9001.
NS 64J @ 10:40- would have NS 3373 (ex-CR 6436) and NS 3383 (ex-CR 6449) taking it's consist of empty trash containers on to the Royce Runner siding.

Monday's time was divided between Somerville's Big Little Railroad Store to pick up some supplies for my layout and then watching one of the "Tour of Somerville's" preliminary bicycle races. For how hot and humid this day was, I give those racers credit for just finishing the race. The weather certainly wasn't conducive to setting a record time on this day. After the race, it was back to Hillsborough's Roycefield Road grade crossing for the following two trains:
NS 18G @ 12:15- had MS 9306 and NS 9183 for power.
NS 212 @ 12:31- would have the trio of NS 6598, NS 8413 and NS 2524.

Certainly a pleasant way to spend this holiday weekend...

Can you identify the model airplane hanging in our shop window in the picture above?