Monday, February 28, 2011

A Day Out With Thomas coming to Phillipsburg, NJ in July

Received the following via email. 

Day Out With Thomas
Leader Of the Track Tour
Tickets are on sale now!

Last year many of our faithful customers missed out on tickets for A Day Out With Thomas.
We promised to give you a first shot at reserving tickets.
Tickets for A Day Out With Thomas Leader Of The Track Tour 2011 are now on sale!

Click Here To Buy Tickets

Chris Cotty
The Delaware River Railroad Excursions
The New York Susquehanna & Western Technical & Historical Society Inc.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Amtrak 40th Anniversary heratige locomotives

To mark Amtrak's 40th Anniversary this year 5 locomotives will wear 5 different heritage paint schemes.  Following is a list of the locomotives and a picture to illustrate the paint scheme.

P-42 #156 - Phase I scheme introduced in 1972

P-42 #66 - Phase II scheme introduced in 1975

P-42 #145 - Phase III scheme introduced in 1979
This is a picture of #145.  Note the years before and after Amtrak above the stripes.

P-42 #184 - Phase IV introduced in 1993

P-42 #163 - Phase V introduced in 2001
This is the current Amtrak paint scheme.  The heratige unit will have the years added on the side of the locomotive as #145 above.

For further information see our posting below dated Sunday, Feb. 06, 2001.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Despite the snow and cold...

(Train sightings on 2-21-11.) wait for the Ringling Brothers Red Unit circus train was worth the time and effort to catch this train on President's Day. I had elected to photograph the train from the Route 206 bridge in Belle Mead. My reasoning was that comes next year, the new bridge will be in place and this scene will no longer be as photogenic. The Red Unit had closed out of its engagement in Philadelphia on Sunday and was making the ninety mile trip to its next engagement in Newark's Prudential Center. It opens there on Wednesday. Here are the statistics regarding this train's consist. There are fifty-nine cars with a weight of 4,290 tons which measures out to 5,235 feet. It is seen here traveling over CSX's Trenton Line (MP 50) in Belle Mead with CSX 210 and CSX 76 for motive power.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Being trackside on Saturday...

(Train sightings on 2-19-11.)

...was not an enjoyable experience mainly due to the gusty winds that prevailed. Even the birds were grounded as you can see one perched on the Manville water tower's railing. I guess you could say he had a birds-eye view of the LEHL from his perch! There was some activity but with the way the wind was blowing, standing firm when snapping an image proved to be hard to do on this day. Fortunately not all was lost as NS 290 made the morning effort worth my while. UP 7381 as its leader made for a nice scene as it passed through Manville at around 8:40. Standing idle on the Royce Running track was what I will speculate as an empty ethanol train heading west. Motive power was NS 9143 and UP 5872. This train was spotted in the same location on Friday night. Enough of my blustery talk so you check out the attached image...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Miracle of a Locomotive, 1928

Received the following via email. 

Silent Cinema in Quebec, 1896-1930 - Moving Pictures - The Miracle of a Locomotive

Building a CPR 4-8-4 Steam Locomotive from Scratch

Building a giant Canadian Pacific K1a 4-8-4 steam locomotive in 1928, from wood patterns, raw forgings, plate bending, foundry castings, etc., at Angus Shops in Montreal, through first break-in run..  If you've never seen some of these processes in locomotive construction carried out in motion (just stills), you'll no doubt re-run some segments.

NS CFO Squires to address Raymond James Institutional Investors Conference

Received the following via email.

Feb. 16, 2011

Norfolk Southern CFO Squires to address Raymond James Institutional Investors Conference

NORFOLK, VA. - James A. Squires, executive vice president finance and chief financial officer of Norfolk Southern Corporation, will address the Raymond James 32nd Annual Institutional Investors Conference at 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday, March 8, 2011, in Orlando.

Interested investors can listen via simultaneous webcast at After the webcast, the presentation 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 20,000 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, February 17, 2011

Invitation: Seatrain Lines Slide Show

Received the following via email. 

Invitation: Seatrain Lines Slide Show
This Friday, February 18, 2011
Feel free to forward this invitation to your friends

The Oldest Model Railroad Club in America invites you.

The New York Society of Model Engineers will be hosting a Slide Show covering the Seatrain Operations of shipping railroad cars by oceangoing ships. Seatrain was located in Edgewater, NJ during the late 1950s. Seatrain was noted for shipping fully loaded railroad cars to Havana, Cuba and Puerto Rico.

The presentation will be given by noted rail photographer Bob Mohowski.

Bob presently has a ten page article on Seatrain operations in the Spring 2011 issue of Kalmbach's Classic Trains. This digital slide show will expand on the article and will feature numerous photographs that were not in the article.

Due to the strong response to this slide show it has been moved from NYSME HQ to larger location permitting even more people to attend. Non-NYSME members are welcome!

Date & Time: Friday, February 18, 2011 at 8:00pm (Door opens 7:30)

Location: Rutherford Ambulance Corps Meeting Room, 44 Ames Ave., Rutherford, NJ

One block from downtown Rutherford.

There is a free parking in a lot directly across the street.

You can come by train, only one block from the NJT Rutherford Train Station.

Additional Details:

Admission: FREE

The location is only 1 mile from the Meadowlands Sports Complex and Giants Stadium.

Feel free to forward this invitation to your friends.

New York Society of Model Engineers

Founded in the early part of the 20th. Century and incorporated in 1926, the New York Society of Model Engineers is the oldest Model Railroad Club in America and possibly the oldest in the world. Located within our 5,000 square foot building are two large model train layouts, "HO" and "O" Scale, a fully equipped machine shop and large research library. The Society is located at 341 Hoboken Road, Carlstadt, NJ. This is less than one mile from the New Jersey Sports Complex and Giant Stadium.
Membership is open to anyone with an interest in model trains or just trains.
See for additional information

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sunday's CSX sightings...

(Train sightings on 2-13-11.)

Decided to head track side and see what might be running whether it be NS or CSX. Heard over the scanner that NS 64J would be taking the Royce Runner which didn't seem all that enticing to me to head over there. Instead I opted to check out a new location I had visualized during my drive to and from work over I-287. This location was near the LEHL's CP Bound Brook and required quite a walk to reach it. The packed snow didn't make this walk any easier! I did manage to catch one train at this spot and it was CSX Q707. CSX's 404 was the sole power on this train with five carloads of household trash being taken from Oak Island to Philadelphia.

After Q707 passed, Belle Mead's Route 206 bridge project was my next destination to check on the new bridge's construction progress. Both abutments were up as Q300, with CSX 7634, CSX 8572 and a unidentified third CSX unit, brought its mixed freight consist east around 2:30. After that, it was time to head home...

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Gift Certificate Drawing Extended

Downtown Somerville's SUPER Pre-Game Shop & Dine Event has been held over at The Big Little Railroad Hobby Shop until Sunday, 2/13/11 thanks to Mother Nature's more than generous deliveries of snow. Come into the store and fill out a coupon for the drawing for a $25.00 Gift Certificate redeemable on any item (other than Brass pieces) in stock in our store.

Train Show in Flemington, NJ

The Black River Railroad Historical Trust is sponsoring a Train Show in Flemington, NJ, on Saturday, March 26, 2011.  The show will be held at the Flemington Elks Lodge on Route 31 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  More information on their web site:  and on the flyer below. 

Note: click on flyer to see it full size, then use your browser's BACK button to return here.

COFCs, a High and Wide load and cold feet...

(Train sightings on 2-6-11.)

This Sunday's track side trip started out with catching NS 22V coming east at Lansdowne Junction at 9:31 with its colorful consist of COFCs. Motive power consisted of  NS 6589 and NS 8984. Walking to any of my photo locations on this day had me singing Paul Simon's song of "Slip Sliding Away!" Saturday's precipitation on top of the snow made for some tricky walking. Fortunately I did manage to maintain my balance while walking over those icy surfaces.

Got a heads-up that a high/wide load was coming east on NS H76. That high/wide load was a transformer destined for delivery to a company near Flemington Junction's MP 51 on the LEHL.  NS 5324 (ex-CR 8151), NS 2353 (MP15DC) and NS 6123 provided the motive power on this delivery. With H76 taking the passing siding, NS 20E, with NS 9532, NS 9253 (wearing the Operation Life Saver paint scheme) and NS 9823 would pass by on the main.

NS 2353 and NS 6123 would then shove the transformer onto the company's siding, disconnect the flatcar, and head on out. Trudging through the snow, my feet were telling me "let's get out of here cause we're cold!" That was when I took their advice and headed home...

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Amtrak P42 #145 gets historic paint scheme

Received the following via email.

40th Anniversary Commemorative Locomotive Enters Revenue Service

The first of four 40th Anniversary commemorative P-42 locomotives joined revenue service yesterday as the lead engine on the Washington-bound Capitol Limited.

With a paint scheme first introduced in 1979, locomotive #145 displays one of four historic paint schemes. All four P-42 diesel-electric locomotives will be in service by the end of April, and will operate on trains across the system. Each locomotive had been previously scheduled to receive a new paint job and is being painted at the Beech Grove maintenance facility.

As part of its 40th anniversary celebration, Amtrak will debut a special “exhibit train” on National Train Day in Washington, D.C., on May 7, and then travel through major employee hubs across the country for a one-year period. It will include two locomotives with historic paint schemes and use renovated baggage cars to display educational exhibits focusing on each decade of the railroad’s existence with vintage advertising, past menus and dinnerware, period uniforms, photographs and other memorabilia. Dates and locations of when and where it will travel will be announced soon.

Other elements of the 40th anniversary activities will include a book entitled “Amtrak: An American Story,” a documentary DVD illustrating the history of Amtrak, and a special anniversary website that will be launched this spring.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

[NSAlert] Winter Storm Impacting Midwest Operations

Received the following via email.

February 01, 2011

Winter Storm Impacting Midwest Operations

A major winter storm moving into the Midwest will impact a significant portion of Norfolk Southern's service region from Kansas City, through Missouri, and into northern sections of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. These areas are expecting significant snow accumulation, ice, and wind with blizzard conditions in some areas. Customers with shipments normally moving through this area should expect delays of up to 48 hours and may also notice routing changes; in coordination with western carriers, some traffic normally moving over Midwestern gateways may be rerouted over other gateways south of the impacted area.

Updated ETA and routing information is always available through Pacesetter (Norfolk Southern's web based pipeline management tool), and accessNS.

Customers with questions regarding specific shipments should contact the National Customer Service Center.
Customer Service - - 800 635.5768

Customers with questions regarding local service should contact their Central Yard Operations Representative.
Central Yard Operations - - 800 898.4296

NS facilitates $2.5 billion in industrial investment along rail lines in 2010

Received the following via email.

Feb. 2, 2011

Norfolk Southern facilitates $2.5 billion in industrial investment along rail lines in 2010

NORFOLK, VA. - Norfolk Southern Corporation participated in the location of 67 new industries and the expansion of 28 existing industries along its rail lines in 2010.

New plants and expansions represented an investment of $2.5 billion by Norfolk Southern customers and are expected to create 2,000 jobs in the railroad's territory, eventually generating more than 132,000 carloads of new rail traffic annually.

Norfolk Southern assisted state and local government and economic development officials throughout 16 states in helping customers identify ideal locations for new and expanded facilities.

"The energy sector again anchored our results during 2010," said Newell Baker, assistant vice president industrial development. "Norfolk Southern assisted in the location or expansion of 32 energy-related facilities in 12 states across our service area. Biofuels production and distribution accounted for the lion's share of energy projects, with nine new and expanded facilities that began to receive NS rail service in 2010. In addition, we are seeing the first fruits of traffic from Marcellus Shale gas exploration projects, and we expect this to be a strong subsector for us in the coming years."

The balance of other projects secured during 2010 was distributed among several of the broad product areas Norfolk Southern serves.

Norfolk Southern works with state and local economic development authorities on projects involving site location and development of infrastructure to connect customers to its rail system and provides free and confidential plant location services, including industrial park planning, site layout, track design, and logistics assistance. During the past 10 years, Norfolk Southern's Industrial Development Department has participated in the location or expansion of 1,062 facilities, representing an investment of $24 billion and creating more than 45,000 customer jobs in the territory served by the railroad.

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) Susan Terpay, 757-823-5204 (

(Investors) Leanne Marilley, 757-629-2861 (

Norfolk Southern Foundation awards nearly $5.6 million to charitable organizations in 2010

Received the following via email.

Feb. 1, 2011

Norfolk Southern Foundation awards nearly $5.6 million to charitable organizations in 2010

NORFOLK, VA. - The Norfolk Southern Foundation, the charitable giving affiliate of Norfolk Southern Corporation, announced today that it awarded nearly $5.6 million in grants during 2010 to nonprofit, charitable organizations.

The Foundation supports programs that benefit nonprofit organizations in four principal areas: educational programs; community enrichment, focusing on cultural and artistic organizations; environmental programs; and health and human services.

The grants included $1.4 million in employee matching gifts in support of 510 organizations. Grants other than matching gifts went to 310 organizations in Norfolk Southern's operating territory.

The Foundation contributed to 79 United Way campaigns plus other health and human services nonprofit organizations ($1,936,618), educational institutions ($787,745), cultural and arts groups ($1,091,780), and civic, community, and environmental organizations ($365,350). Among the largest recipients were the United Ways in Norfolk and Roanoke, Va., and Atlanta, Chrysler Museum of Art, Virginia Arts Festival, National Merit Scholarship Program, ACCESS Scholarship Foundation, Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, Elizabeth River Project, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, Grady Memorial Hospital, ForKids, Hands on Atlanta, Virginia Museum of Transportation, Woodruff Arts Center, Virginia Opera, Virginia Symphony, and Virginia Stage Company.

Of the $5.6 million granted in 2010, $2.29 million (excluding matching gifts) went to charitable organizations in Norfolk Southern's three primary locations: Norfolk, Roanoke, and Atlanta.

As part of its educational funding, the Foundation awarded a total of $260,000 in grants to 14 universities under the Norfolk Southern College Partnership Program. This program, established in 2006, builds relationships to enhance the railroad's recruiting opportunities, particularly for business and engineering graduates.

In addition, each of Norfolk Southern's 12 operating divisions has a local discretionary grant program that provides employees with opportunities to have direct impact on their communities. A total of $129,000 was paid out under the local grant program in 2010 to emergency response organizations, school programs, museums and other cultural institutions, and historical and community groups.

As a major employer in both large and small communities throughout the Eastern United States, Norfolk Southern takes seriously its role as a corporate citizen and its responsibility to commit resources, both human and financial, to the improvement of those communities for the benefit of its employees and its neighbors.

Since its creation in 1983, the Norfolk Southern Foundation has contributed nearly $117 million to thousands of civic and charitable organizations throughout Norfolk Southern's territory. In the last five years, it has provided more than $26.5 million in contributions.

During the 2010 grant season, the Foundation received a record number of requests for available 2011 funding. Grants for 2012 funding will be accepted July 15-Sept. 30, 2011. For more information about the Foundation, and eligibility and application procedures, please visit, Norfolk Southern Foundation.

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 (

(NS Foundation) Katheryn Fletcher, 757-629-2881 (

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Back to "The Mountain"!

(Train sightings on 1-30-11.)

With the sun shining brightly, I decided to head back to that mound of piled snow in Three Bridges that I had dubbed "The Mountain" on Sunday. Before going there though, it was down to Belle Mead to check on the progress of the Route 206 bridge project. On Saturday, the jack hammers were going full tilt breaking up the concrete for one of the the new bridge supports. I can't imagine why this was being done unless all this cold weather we have been experiencing has caused the newly poured concrete to not set properly. With this development tossed into the mix, one could speculate that the metal spans over CSX's Trenton Line won't be going up in the near future. Seen here is CSX Q300, with CSX 507 and CSX 926 as its motive power, bringing fifty-seven cars of mixed freight east at MP 50.

Once Q300 passed by, I decided to head over to Three Bridges and scale the mountain of snow to my perch. Saturday night's freshly fallen snow made the climb a little more hazardous (Nahhh... not really, just wanted to add some drama to this account). It wouldn't be a long wait before three eastbound trains passed by my location. First through would be mixed freight 18G, followed by intermodal 212, and finally 22V with its consist of colorful COFCs.


For 22V, that image was photographed using B/W film. Yes, I will still shoot film from time to time. Digital photography is nice but technology changes over time. Perhaps the digital images that I shot today will one day be rendered obsolete through technological advances.  Only a few years ago, prior to the digital era, who would have thought that slide film would be so hard to find or have processed.  With all this being said, I shall now come down off the mountain and cease being so opinionated about photography in order for you to check out these images.