Thursday, September 30, 2010

Trains and parades...

(Train sightings on 9-26-10.)

Sunday's heads-up of the NS OCS 8:15 AM departure from Croxton for a morning run west over the LEHL was enough of an incentive to get me trackside despite overcast skies. After all, shooting a westbound train on the LEHL usually means shooting into the sun. Not so on this morning as there was filtered sunlight. I decided to wait for the train at the Valley Road grade crossing (LEHL: MP40) in Hillsborough. Around 9:10, the scanner came alive with the message "P951 clear Port Reading Junction." It wouldn't be long before the headlight appeared off in the distance. The leader on P951 was NS 4271 followed by 4276, 4275 and 4270. Behind these four units were the eleven coaches. What a clean and beautiful sight it was to behold.

After that it was time to head out to watch the annual John Basilone Day parade in Raritan. Our favorite viewing area is standing on Thompson Avenue, south of NJT's grade crossing. Not only can I watch the parade but keep tabs on what trains will pass by. Caught NJT 4001 leading a westbound passenger train prior to the start of the parade. The USMC Band, waiting by the gate, looked as though they were awaiting the President's arrival on this train. All of the members were decked out in their dress uniforms with the flag bearers standing in front.

With the parade's last units having passed, we made our way back to where our car was parked. Looking down the tracks was another NJT train. No, this wasn't another passenger train. It was NJT 4217 heading up a consist of eleven ballast cars. Not a bad way to end what turned out to be a rather productive day when it came to railroad photography.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Preserving rail history of New Jersey

Following article is from the Star-Ledger of New Jersey.

A mission to preserve rail history

Published: Friday, September 24, 2010

Tomas Dinges/For the Star-Ledger

Frank Reilly is trying to pull off what no one in New Jersey has been able to do for more than 20 years.

An historical society has tapped the 68-year-old Stirling resident to gather a vast, but scattered, collection of New Jersey’s nearly 200-year rail history into a statewide museum.

That goal — the cherished mission of the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey, which Reilly now leads — has eluded the work of his predecessors, who were done in by political wrangling, land disputes and financial concerns.

"Every time we (find a site), somebody else grabs it for some commercial purpose," said Walter Grosselfinger, the society’s founder. "It gets me too upset … It’s my baby, but I was ruining my health."

Reilly, former head of Morris County’s transit system, thinks a new strategy will finally bring the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center to fruition sooner than later. Casting aside decades of reliance on the state for finance and guidance, Reilly is embarking on a private effort to raise nearly $3 million in three years to assure the center’s place in history.

"We can’t pin our hopes on anything," he said. "Whatever we are going to do, we are going to do ourselves."

A collection of 80 antique locomotives, vintage lounge cars and cabooses lies scattered around the state, left uncovered in rail yards.

Together, the relics evoke a proud era in New Jersey’s history, before NJ Transit, Amtrak and Conrail. That was when other passenger and freight lines ran through the state.

The Lackawanna Cutoff, built in the early 1900s, connected Morris County with Pennsylvania, and was considered one of the greatest engineering feats of the time.

In 1929, the best — and most exclusive — way to travel from Jersey City to Atlantic City was the Blue Comet, a one-of-a-kind luxury train offering steak dinners and plush seats.

Neighboring states like Pennsylvania showcase their railroad past; New Jersey does not.

A small museum and rail yard in Whippany holds 20 pieces, but it pales in comparison to Pennsylvania’s state museum in Lancaster, which opened in the 1960s and continues to expand.

Plans for a Jersey railroad museum seemed promising in the 1980s, when the state allotted some funds and established the Railroad and Transportation Museum Study Commission.

But two requisites — a site for the antiques and money to build a facility — could not be met.

The society came closest to achieving its goal in 2005, when it found a 35-acre site in Phillipsburg. But the town scuttled the proposal in favor of a $70 million-plus riverfront development.

A smaller yard in Morristown held some pieces but was repeatedly vandalized and town eventually asked the society to take them away.

Reilly has settled on a new approach.

Nearly 50 antique pieces sit in a Boonton railyard in Boonton, where restoration work is under way. Another part of the collection is in Tuckahoe, Cape May County.

So instead of seeking another site and running into cost and transportation issues, Reilly plans formally establish the museum in both Boonton and Tuckahoe to cater to North and South Jersey.

A campaign for personal and corporate donations will begin soon.

"I can’t think of anybody better at this point to take on this responsibility," said Rich Roberts, chief planner for NJ Transit, who has known Reilly for nearly 20 years.

For Reilly, who retired in 2004, the work is personal. As a young boy growing up in Dunellen, Middlesex County, he rode steam engines with his grandfather. Later, as an soldier in Germany, he traded packs of Lucky Strikes with engineers so he could run the troop-transport locomotives.

To naysayers, Reilly points to the decades-long effort to build a passenger rail line between Hoboken and Pennsylvania. The project only recently received federal approval.

"You never say die," he said. "You always stick to what you believe and get it accomplished."

For pictures that accompanied this article and reader comments, please visit the following web site.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

UP Challenger to pull circus train

Received the following press release via email.


The Special Steam Locomotive Will Travel 2,200 Miles During the 17-day Tour


OMAHA, Neb., September 14, 2010 – Union Pacific Railroad’s “Challenger” No. 3985, the world’s largest operating steam locomotive, will be on a six-state, 2,200-mile tour from Cheyenne, Wyo., to Gorham, Ill., to celebrate railroad heritage. To kick-off the tour, Challenger will pull the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey ® circus train between Speer, Wyo., and Denver, Colo.

“We are proud No. 3985 will pull the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey ® circus train on September 28. History will be made that day when No. 3985 will pull a 65-car train that is more than 6,000 tons and nearly 6,100 feet long, the most for a steam locomotive in the 21st Century,” said Dick Hartman, Union Pacific’s director of public affairs for Colorado and Wyoming.

No. 3985 is on the Missouri River Eagle tour to help Sedalia, Missouri celebrate the community’s Sesquicentennial on Sunday, October 10.

“Sedalia has such a rich railroad heritage that it is only fitting that the world’s largest operating steam locomotive help in celebrating their sesquicentennial,” said Ben Jones, Union Pacific’s director of public affairs for Missouri and Kansas.

During this tour, the 67-year-old locomotive will be on display in:

Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 3 and Oct. 11;
Jefferson City, Mo., Oct. 5; and
St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 8; and

The Challenger will make overnight stops in;

Denver, Colo., Sept. 28;
Cheyenne, Wyo., Sept. 29;
North Platte, Neb., Sept. 30 and Oct. 13;
Marysville, Kan., Oct. 1 and Oct 12;
St. Louis, Mo., Oct.6 and Oct. 7; and
Sedalia, Mo., Oct. 9.

Union Pacific’s No. 3985, an articulated locomotive with a “hinged” frame to allow it to negotiate curves, is 122 feet long. It weighs more than one million pounds, has six-foot diameter drive wheels and can reach a top speed of 70 miles per hour. No. 3985 was built in 1943 for fast freight service and was retired in 1959. In 1981, it was restored to running condition by UP employee volunteers for special service. This is the first trip for the locomotive after undergoing maintenance work during the last two years. The Challenger is based in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

A Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) transmitter was installed on one of the rail cars that will travel with No. 3985. The GPS system has been integrated with a map on UP’s website. Enter the word "Steam" in the search box on the homepage for a shortcut to the map.

Website visitors will be able to access route maps with varying amounts of detail. The GPS system will update the map every five minutes showing No. 3985’s location. GPS updates are also available at

During 2010, the Reed Jackson concession car displays a commemorative sign celebrating the National Model Railroad Association's 75 years of service to the model railroad community.

About National Model Railroad Association

Headquartered in Chattanooga, Tenn., the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) is a nonprofit corporation with members from every U.S. state as well as countries around the world. The organization is charged with establishing and enforcing the standards and recommended practices that ensure compatibility of products in the model railroad hobby. Local divisions host meetings, conventions, home layout visits and train shows. Throughout 2010, the 20,000 members of the National Model Railroad Association are celebrating its 75 years of service to the model railroading hobby and industry. NMRA was founded in Milwaukee in 1935. Learn more at

About Union Pacific

Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America's leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country. Union Pacific serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and provides Americans with a fuel-efficient, environmentally responsible and safe mode of freight transportation. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad emphasizes excellent customer service and offers competitive routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America's premier rail franchise.

Media contacts:


Editor’s Note: A photograph of the steam locomotive is available from Union Pacific Railroad’s website at attached to this news release under Media and News Releases. There are also links to the GPS tracking system, fact sheets and information on the support cars that travel with the Challenger.

Monday, September 27, 2010

CSX local near Richmond, KY

Received the following via email. Text and photo are by Troy Rodgers.

CSX 6905 North Bound, just south of Ford Interlocking, CC Subdivision, MP OCK 107. This is the Local, it had gone south first to Richmond KY with one idler car and two tanks; and here it is now North bound with the idler and three tanks. Friday Sept 24, 2010, at 12:49pm. GPS N 37 52.788, by W 84 15.654.

Scam attempted using Morristown & Erie RR

Following article is from the Morris County (NJ) Daily Record.

2 charged with attempt to defraud NJ railroad rehab program

Cops: Men from Philadelphia, Boston tried to use Morristown & Erie RR in scam

By Peggy Wright • Staff writer • September 24, 2010

A state Department of Transportation engineer and a Boston resident have been charged with trying to entice the Morristown & Erie Railway Inc. into a scam to defraud the state of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money.

DOT senior engineer Gaudner B. Metellus, 31, of Philadelphia, and Ernest Jerome Dubose, 30, of Boston, were charged late Thursday by the state Division of Criminal Justice with official misconduct and attempted theft by deception between July 21 and Thursday.

Both men were lodged early Friday in the Morris County jail on $100,000 bail each, and bail review hearings are scheduled to occur in Superior Court, Morristown, on Monday.

According to an arrest affidavit, representatives of the Morristown & Erie Railway, which operates shortline freight rail service in Morris and Essex counties, contacted the state Attorney General's Office on Aug. 13. They reported that Metellus invited the rail company to engage in a conspiracy to defraud the state of money intended for railroad rehabilitation projects.

Rail representatives had secretly recorded the meeting that occurred in Morristown, at which Gaudner outlined a scheme to artificially inflate grant applications for rehab projects, the affidavit said.

The railway would benefit by submitting false invoices to the state for work that was never performed and then share with Gaudner the state grant monies they obtained, the affidavit said.

The rail company cooperated with the state by surreptitiously taping further meetings, and at another meeting, rail officials gave Gaudner and Dubose two checks totaling $325,000, both payable to Dubose. The checks allegedly represented a portion received from the state through the scam.

Friday, September 24, 2010

NS special move this Sunday

Received the following note via email.

It is being mentioned that this Sunday the NS OCS (Office Car Special) will be heading west over the Lehigh Line out of Croxton yard, NJ. It is scheduled to depart between 8 and 9 AM from what I was told.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

NS delivers safety training to emergency responders in Alabama

Received the following via email.

September 16, 2010

Norfolk Southern whistle-stop train delivers safety training to emergency responders in Alabama

NORFOLK, VA -- A special train will travel across Alabama Sept. 20-24 to provide emergency preparedness training to first responders as part of the 2010 Norfolk Southern TRANSCAER Whistle-Stop Tour. TRANSCAER (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) is a nationwide program that assists communities in preparing for and responding to a possible hazardous material transportation incident.

"The TRANSCAER Whistle-Stop Tour brings emergency preparedness training to response organizations and educates communities near major rail routes about rail equipment, chemical transportation and the importance of planning for potential hazardous material transportation emergencies," said David Julian, Norfolk Southern's vice president safety and environmental.

The tour kicks off in Mobile, and makes stops in McIntosh, Selma, Jasper, and Muscle Shoals. More than 1,000 emergency responders are expected to participate in the training programs taught by chemical and rail transportation experts. At each location, state and local emergency planning committees, emergency responders, and government officials can participate in hands-on drills and training sessions. Railroad training tank cars, specialized emergency response vehicles, and over-the-road tank trucks will be on display. More than 200 participants are expected at each stop.

The schedule for the 2010 TRANSCAER Whistle-Stop Tour will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. as follows:

Sept. 20 - Mobile AL, NS Mobile Yard, 72 Beauregard St.
Sept. 21 - McIntosh AL, Olin ChlorAlkali Plant, 1638 Industrial Rd.
Sept. 22 - Selma, AL, NS Selma Yard, 3200 Jeff Davis Ave.
Sept. 23 - Jasper, AL, NS Rail Siding, 14th St. W. at 11th Ave.
Sept. 24 - Muscle Shoals, AL, NS Sheffield Yard, 4500 S. Wilson Dam Rd.

This is the eleventh TRANSCAER train Norfolk Southern has sponsored since 1994. More information, including local contacts, tour times and program information, is available at http://www.transcaer./com. TRANSCAER members include volunteer representatives from the chemical manufacturing, transportation and distribution industries, and government. TRANSCAER sponsors include the Association of American Railroads, American Chemistry Council, The Chlorine Institute, Chemical Educational Foundation, and National Tank Truck Carriers Inc.

The following companies and organizations are participating in the tour: DuPont, Firefighters Education and Training Foundation, BASF, Hepaco Inc., EPS of Vermont, Olin Corp., Operation Lifesaver of Alabama, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Potash Corporation, Eagle/SWS, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Environmental Services, SPSI, Marion Environmental, and Norfalco.

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, serving every major container port in the eastern United States and providing superior connections to western rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is North America's largest rail carrier of metals and automotive products.

Norfolk Southern contacts:
Media Robin Chapman 757-629-2713
Investors Leanne Marilley 757-629-2861

Norfolk Southern announces private exchange offer

Received the following via email.

September 16, 2010

Norfolk Southern announces private exchange offer

NORFOLK, VA. - Norfolk Southern Corporation announced today the commencement of an offer to exchange (the "Exchange Offer") any and all outstanding 7.90% Notes due 2097 (the "Existing Notes") for 5.30% Notes due 2040 (the "New Notes") and cash, upon the terms and subject to the conditions as set forth in an offering memorandum (the "Offering Memorandum") and a related letter of transmittal. The Exchange Offer is subject to certain conditions. The New Notes will be offered only to qualified institutional buyers and outside the United States pursuant to applicable exemptions from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act").

The New Notes will be unsecured obligations of Norfolk Southern and will rank pari passu with all other unsecured and unsubordinated indebtedness of Norfolk Southern.

As further described in the Offering Memorandum, eligible holders of Existing Notes ("Holders") who validly tender Existing Notes prior to 5 p.m., New York City time, on Sept. 29, 2010 (the "Early Exchange Date"), will receive an early exchange premium. The Exchange Offer will expire at midnight, New York City time, on Oct. 14, 2010, unless extended or earlier terminated by Norfolk Southern Corporation.

Tenders in the Exchange Offer may be validly withdrawn at any time prior to the Early Exchange Date, but will thereafter be irrevocable, except in certain limited circumstances where additional withdrawal rights are required by law. Tenders submitted in the Exchange Offer after the Early Exchange Date will be irrevocable except in the limited circumstances referred to in the preceding sentence.

This announcement shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities, nor shall there be any offer or sale of securities, in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. The New Notes will not be registered under the Securities Act, and they may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration. Documents relating to the Exchange Offer will only be distributed to Holders who properly complete and return a letter of eligibility confirming that they are within the category of eligible holders for this private offer. Holders who desire a copy of the letter of eligibility should contact D.F. King & Co. Inc., the information agent for the Exchange Offer, at (800) 848-3416 (U.S. toll-free) or (212) 269-5550 (collect).

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, serving every major container port in the eastern United States and providing superior connections to western rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is North America's largest rail carrier of metals and automotive products.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements about Norfolk Southern Corporation, including those related to the offering of New Notes and whether or not Norfolk Southern will consummate the offering. Forward-looking statements reflect management's good-faith evaluation of information currently available. However, such statements are dependent on and, therefore, can be influenced by a number of external variables over which management has little or no control, including: legislative and regulatory developments; transportation of hazardous materials as a common carrier by rail; acts of terrorism or war; general economic conditions; impacts of environmental regulations on utility coal customers and/or the value of certain of Norfolk Southern's assets; competition and consolidation within the transportation industry; the operations of carriers with which it interchanges; disruptions to its technology infrastructure, including computer systems; labor difficulties, including strikes and work stoppages; results of litigation; natural events such as severe weather, hurricanes, and floods; unavailability of qualified personnel due to unpredictability of demand for rail services; fluctuation in supplies and prices of key materials, in particular diesel fuel; and changes in securities and capital markets. Information concerning potential factors that could affect Norfolk Southern's financial results is included in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009, and its other periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements are not, and should not be relied upon as, a guarantee of future performance or results, nor will they necessarily prove to be accurate indications of the times at or by which any such performance or results will be achieved. As a result, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements. Norfolk Southern undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements.

Norfolk Southern contacts:
Media: Frank Brown, 757-629-2710 (
Investors: Leanne Marilley, 757-629-2861 (

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dansbury Depot to make initial move in early October

Following article is from the Pocono Record for Sunday, September 12, 2010. This is the latest in a series of articles we have posted about the historic train station in East Stroudsburg, PA. You can do a Search (top left) on "Dansbury Depot" to find other postings.

Dansbury Depot to make initial move in early October

By David Pierce
Pocono Record Writer
September 12, 2010 12:00 AM

The fire-damaged Dansbury Depot could make its first stop on a journey to a new home by the first week of October.

The $300,000 in secured grants — $100,000 from Monroe County commissioners and $200,000 from the ESSA Trust Foundation — will be enough to cover the cost of moving the structure to the East Stroudsburg borough parking lot adjacent to its current Crystal Street location.

That move will be temporary, to be followed by a permanent move later this year onto a cement foundation elsewhere on the parking lot. The first move will enable Troy Nauman — the developer who acquired the depot property — to begin constructing a new building on the site.

Before any of that can happen, East Stroudsburg Borough Council will have to approve a zoning change for the South Kistler Street parking lot and nearby Pennsylvania Railway Co. property from residential to business district commercial.

A rezoning hearing and council vote are scheduled for Sept. 21.

"We do have a number of steps to take legally and otherwise," said Cheryl Hayne of the Eastburg Community Alliance, which will operate the depot. "Almost around every corner there is another detail."

The alliance also must finalize an agreement to rent the new depot property from the borough. Though the Eastburg Alliance has enough money to complete the relocation and make exterior renovations, additional money will be needed for interior work, Hayne said. The group also hopes to restore a missing 30-foot section destroyed by fire.

"We're trying to get it as close to the condition the East Stroudsburg Station was in prior to the fire," she said.

The alliance will hold a fundraising drawing for a 16-square-foot quilt depicting early days of the 1864 station. The group also is selling limited edition prints of the station by artist Gary Kresge. Both are on display at the alliance office, 1 Washington St.

The alliance plans to use the building to display historic photos and other artifacts of borough and local train history.

"It will be kind of a living museum," Haye said.

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's a beautiful CORN MAZE weekend

Received the following via email, too late for this past weekend. For timely notices, we strongly suggest you sign up for the mailing list as per our posting of Wed., Aug. 18, 2010, Delaware River Railroad Excursions.

Saturday will be a beautiful day. Come out and visit the corn maze & Gem Stone mine.

Let us never forget 9-11.
This day 10 years ago we preparing to run Dunellen Railroad Days. The tragedy that is 9-11 changed all of our lives forever.In fact it set in motion events that would make Philipsburg our permanent home. Remember our friends and family lost that day, and say thank you to those who assisted in the rescue efforts ( some of our train crew was there). It was a day that changed us all forever....

All new maze for 2010 !
Come get lost in over 4 miles of trails!


Picnic grove and bouncy pumpkin all included in your ticket price!

The Delaware River Railroad Excursions
1 Market Street
Phillipsburg, New Jersey 08812

Corn Maze Train
Board the train in historic downtown Phillipsburg and journey to the CORN MAZE.

Once you arrive at the corn maze you will go through a brief orientation and then the fun begins!

Each group receives a map of the maze. We actually have a small and a large maze. Depending on your skill level and the amount of time you have you can do either one or both! In the maze there are 12 checkpoints and 12 check boxes to be checked off. As you find each check point there is a hole puncher at the check point. The game is complete when each check point is checked off and you find your way out of the maze!

On site we have a beautiful picnic grove so feel free to bring your lunch and spend the afternoon.

You can arrive on any train you like and stay as long as you like.

Please remember, the only way home is by train and the last train heads North to the station in Phillipsburg at 3:45 pm in the afternoon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Caboose CNJ 91343

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

Its been a long time in getting here, but the caboose that Mike Bast, Troy Rogers and myself purchased from the Reading and Northern has been delivered to the TrainWorks Museum in Weatherly, PA and restoration work is beginning.

The car was built in 1873 as a boxcar for the Southern Railroad of New Jersey, converted to a caboose in the early 1900's and was in service on the CNJ until just before Conrail. Purchased by RailTours of Jim Thorpe, the car spent most of the time serving as the ticket office in Jim Thorpe, PA.

It will be restored to a 1930-40's appearance with the tongue-and-groove wood being reapplied, and a Central RR of PA paint scheme applied.

The first (of many) work sessions will be held on Saturday 9-11-2010 at Weatherly, PA. All are welcome to come out and restore this car to her hidden beauty.

The car will be open to the public during the TrainWorks Festival on 9-18 & 19, 2010 in Weatherly, PA.

Anyone with photos of this car in service on the CNJ prior to 1975? We would like to establish a pattern of service that the car was in and where.

Big Little Railroad Shop hours for September

We have extended our summer hours through the month of September, 2010. This means that we are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. We are open as follows:
  • Wednesday - Friday 11 AM to 7 PM
  • Saturday 11 AM to 5 PM
  • Sunday 12 to 4 PM

NS Heartland Corridor officially opens

Received the following via email.

September 9, 2010

"New thinking, new resolve, and new optimism" characterize official opening of Norfolk Southern's Heartland Corridor

RADFORD, VA. - Norfolk Southern's Heartland Corridor - one of the most extensive railroad engineering projects in modern times and a template for public-private partnerships that strengthen the nation's transportation infrastructure - officially opened for business today.

A ceremony at the railroad's recently enlarged Cowan Tunnel near Radford marked the occasion, as Norfolk Southern Train 233 pulled through at 11 a.m. with a consist of 148 double-stack containers moving to the Midwest. Train 233 paused near the 3,302-foot tunnel's western portal, where it was greeted by the corridor's partners, designers, and builders, as well as news media and NS officers and employees.

"This is a remarkable achievement, and it marks a notable date in transportation history," NS CEO Wick Moorman told the group. "Together we have shown what can be accomplished when the right partners work together for the right goals. The Heartland Corridor's completion is not an end but rather the start of an era of new thinking, new resolve, and new optimism in which business, communities, and the public sector find creative ways to power the American economy."

The Heartland Corridor is a public-private partnership between NS and Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, and the federal government to create the shortest, fastest route for double-stack container trains moving between the Port of Virginia and the Midwest. The new routing improves transit time from Norfolk, Va., to Chicago from four days to three and is nearly 250 miles shorter than previous circuitous routings.

To achieve that, NS raised vertical clearances on 28 tunnels and removed 24 overhead obstacles on one of its main lines connecting the Mid-Atlantic to the Midwest. Construction began in Oct. 2007 and involved modifying 5.7 miles of tunnels through roof excavation and liner replacement, arched roof notching, and track lowering and realignment.

The line dates back to the late 19th Century and traditionally has carried mostly coal traffic. Today, the Heartland Corridor improvements provide more capacity, speed, and reliability not just for coal trains but for the 20-foot, three-inch-high container trains that carry a diverse range of products required for international commerce and consumer demand.

On behalf of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton said, "The Heartland Corridor will significantly advance Virginia's economy and transportation network. This project will improve the economic competitiveness of the Port of Virginia and spur economic development in Southside and Southwest Virginia through new intermodal facilities. The strong partnership between Norfolk Southern and the Commonwealth continues to move Virginia into the future."

The Heartland Corridor and Norfolk Southern's other public-private partnerships, such as the Crescent Corridor program of improvements to infrastructure and other facilities through 13 states from Louisiana to New Jersey, also offer a number of social benefits.

"The U.S. Department of Transportation is proud to be a partner, along with Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia, in making this historic project a reality. The Heartland Corridor will reduce highway congestion and fuel consumption, while improving air quality and transportation safety. For too long, rail has been the forgotten mode, but today's celebration shows it is more indispensable than ever as an integral part of our national transportation system. On behalf of President Obama and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, we congratulate Norfolk Southern on its completion and inauguration," said Joseph C. Szabo, federal railroad administrator.

Today's program at Cowan Tunnel was one of three events related to the Heartland opening. An open house on Sept. 8 at the Rickenbacker Intermodal Terminal in Columbus, Ohio, highlighted the freight transfer facility that serves as the corridor's western anchor. A gathering on Sept. 13 in Prichard, W.Va., will feature one of the first eastbound intermodal trains on the route.

"Demand for rail freight service in the U.S. is expected to nearly double by 2035, and that's on a national transportation network that everyone agrees already is sorely stressed," Moorman reminded the Cowan Tunnel group. "As recently as several years ago, the crystal ball was too cloudy to provide a roadmap for meeting the coming challenges. Now, the Heartland Corridor provides a clear and workable vision of the way forward."

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 (

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Freehold & Jamesburg Agricultural Railroad

Following article and photo were posted on

Middlesex County Glimpse Of History 08/22/10

John Figlar/For The Star-Ledger

This photograph, taken by Harry Edwards in 1908, shows five unidentified boys near railroad tracks in Jamesburg as a locomotive approaches. The boys are standing on the Freehold and Jamesburg Agricultural Railroad line, which commenced operation in 1853. The line was started by James Buckelew, founder of Jamesburg, and his son, Isaac. Trains on the line carried produce from the farms of Monmouth County to city markets. The trains, which also carried some passengers, ran from Freehold to Jamesburg, where they connected with the Camden and Amboy lines. Trains made stops at Jamesburg, Hoffman, Tennent, Freehold, Farmingdale, Allaire and Sea Girt. Photo Courtesy of the Monroe Township Historic Preservation Commission

Monday, September 06, 2010

It's not so much about this train I saw...

(Train sightings on 9-4-10.)

...but it is the people I encountered today when doing railroad photography that made this Saturday morning extra special for me. After spending some time up at Hunterdon County's Lansdown Road's grade crossing (MP 58), where I was fortunate enough to see two NS eastbound intermodal trains pass by, I headed down the line to the LEHL's Hamden Road grade crossing (MP 57). It was here that I would wait for whatever was next to come east. A combination of good sunlight and the two truss bridges spanning the Raritan River and Cramer's Brook made this especially appealing to me for doing photography at this location.

During my wait here, people were out either biking, walking or jogging in taking advantage of this day's weather. A few of them stopped at the grade crossing to inquire what I was doing. That spontaneous bit of conversation and what ensued made my wait more pleasant. At times, I think this type of spontaneous social interaction is what makes railroad photography so enjoyable for me. Granted, getting a photo of CP 38T headed east was a unanticipated bonus for me and something I didn't think I would get today. In reminiscing about all those people I have met over the years while doing railroad photography, I feel very fortunate to have met them. Their acquaintance has made this activity so much more enjoyable for me.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Norfolk Southern targets carbon emissions-reduction goal

Received the following via email.

Sept. 1, 2010

Norfolk Southern targets carbon emissions-reduction goal

NORFOLK, VA. - Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE:NSC) today announced a five-year goal to reduce its carbon footprint through fuel-savings technology and improvements in operating efficiencies.

The freight rail transportation company said it plans to lower its greenhouse gas emissions per revenue ton-mile 10 percent by 2014, compared with 2009 emissions.

"Establishing this goal is an important step toward fulfillment of Norfolk Southern's objective to achieve industry leadership in environmentally responsible business practices," said Blair Wimbush, vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer. "Disclosing our carbon footprint last year was the first step. Now, we move forward with an aggressive yet realistic goal, and we have the tools to measure our progress toward attaining it."

In 2009, Norfolk Southern transported 158.5 billion ton-miles of freight, producing 4.7 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, mostly from diesel-burning locomotives. Emissions per revenue ton-mile were 30.0 grams. Using 2009 as the baseline and at the same traffic level, a 10 percent reduction of emissions - to 27.0 grams per revenue ton-mile - would result in 475,000 fewer metric tons going into the atmosphere annually by 2014.

Wimbush said the company's emissions reduction strategy will focus on ways to achieve better fuel economy, including purchase of new, more fuel-efficient locomotives; continued deployment of idle-reduction and train handling technologies; and refined engine maintenance practices.

Further efforts will address direct and indirect emissions from energy used for heating, cooling, and lighting buildings and other facilities on the railroad. Nearing completion is a systemwide lighting upgrade that is reducing electricity consumption, and the company continues to adjust its nonrail vehicle fleet to save fuel and emissions.

In addition, Norfolk Southern expects significant efficiency gains from its major infrastructure improvement projects, such as the Heartland and Crescent corridors.

The Heartland Corridor is a three-year project to upgrade Norfolk Southern's rail route between the busy Virginia ports and the Midwest by modifying 28 tunnels and other facilities to accommodate double-stack containers. Set to open Sept. 9, the new gateway will cut about 250 route miles and a day or more of transit time from current train schedules.

The Crescent Corridor consists of a program of improvements to infrastructure and other facilities geared toward creating a high-capacity, 2,500-mile intermodal route spanning from Louisiana to New Jersey. The improvements will enable Norfolk Southern to handle more rail freight traffic faster and more reliably.

Both the Heartland and Crescent corridors are being developed through public-private partnerships between Norfolk Southern and government agencies to meet the rising demand for freight transportation services that keep America's economy competitive.

More information about Norfolk Southern environmental initiatives is available on the company's sustainability website, Footprints. For more about public-private partnerships that reduce fuel consumption and atmospheric emissions while creating green jobs and making highways less congested and safer, go to

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) Rick Harris, 757-629-2718 (
(Investors) Leanne Marilley, 757-629-2861 (

NS COO to address Morgan Keegan Industrial/Transportation Conference

Received the following via email.

September 1, 2010

Norfolk Southern COO Manion to address Morgan Keegan Industrial/Transportation Conference

NORFOLK, VA. - Mark D. Manion, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Norfolk Southern Corporation, will address the Morgan Keegan Industrial/Transportation Conference on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010, in Chicagoat 9:05 a.m. CDT.

Interested investors can listen via simultaneous webcast 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 (

Progress Rail, NS announce order of high-horsepower locomotives

Received the following via email.

Media Release

September 1, 2010

Contact: Barbara Cox
Corporate Communications Manager
Progress Rail Services

Contact: Rudy Husband
Director Public Relations
Norfolk Southern


ALBERTVILLE, Ala. & NORFOLK, Va. - Progress Rail Services Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., and Norfolk Southern have announced the order of additional EPA Tier 2 compliant, high-horsepower repower locomotives - designated the PR43C.

In 2008, Norfolk Southern and Progress Rail began a cooperative effort to develop the PR43C locomotive. Since then, two PR43C prototype locomotives have been built and placed in service on the Norfolk Southern system. These locomotives have been closely monitored during a series of developmental and operational testing. With the testing of the first two prototypes coming to a close, Progress Rail is pleased to announce Norfolk Southern has ordered four additional PR43C locomotives, scheduled for delivery later this year.

The PR43C locomotives are unique in the industry. Remanufactured from reusable locomotive cores, the PR43C locomotives have a dual-engine configuration. The primary engine, a Caterpillar C-175 rated at 3,600 horsepower, and a secondary engine, a Caterpillar C-18 rated at 700 horsepower, work in tandem to power the locomotive. By rebuilding the PR43C from a reusable locomotive core and providing 4,300 total horsepower, the PR43C locomotive serves as an environmentally-friendly solution for the rail industry.

"The PR43C's performance is optimized for the current duty cycle and operational needs of the railroads," said Ken Hofacker, senior vice-president of locomotive development for Progress Rail. "Our concept of large and small diesel engines working intelligently together maximizes fuel savings while minimizing emissions and lowering life-cycle costs."

"Progress Rail is extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to jointly develop this locomotive with Norfolk Southern," said Billy Ainsworth, president and CEO of Progress Rail. "Progress Rail and our parent company, Caterpillar Inc., share Norfolk Southern's passion for environmentally-friendly locomotives. This project is about maximizing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions, while taking a locomotive that was built 20-plus years ago and giving it another 20-plus years of life. Simply put, this is about building a sustainable locomotive."

"The PR43C meets Norfolk Southern's standards for high-quality locomotive performance, while at the same time satisfying our corporate sustainability objectives," said Tim Heilig, Norfolk Southern's chief mechanical officer. "Progress Rail deserves credit for building a fuel-efficient, low-emission locomotive that can handle heavy, long-haul freight demands."

The four new PR43C locomotives will feature upgraded traction systems, control systems, and modernized cabs.

About Progress Rail:
Progress Rail Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., is a leading supplier of remanufactured locomotive and railcar products and services to the railroad industry, operating one of the most extensive rail service and supply networks in North America. We serve our customers through a network of more than 125 locations across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom, with more than 4,300 employees. Progress Rail Services is headquartered in Albertville,
Alabama. For more information, visit

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. For more information, visit

Here is a picture we found on the web of a PR43C (credit in caption under photo).