Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Card 2012

Received the following from Kermit Geary Jr.



CSX Operations, Technology Leaders Appointed to New Roles

Received the following via email.

Operations, Technology Leaders Appointed to New Roles

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Dec. 19, 2012 - CSX today announced the following organization appointments effective January 1, 2013.

Gary Bethel, currently vice president-Mechanical, has been named vice president-Northern Region, succeeding Craig King, who is retiring.� He will report to Cindy Sanborn, vice president and chief transportation officer.� He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Ohio University.

Frank Lonegro, currently president of CSX Technology, will succeed Bethel as vice president-Mechanical, reporting to Oscar Munoz, executive vice president and chief operating officer.� Lonegro will continue to have responsibility for CSX's implementation of the industry-wide Positive Train Control initiative.� He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Duke University, as well as a law degree and a master's in business administration, both from the University of Florida.

Kathleen Brandt, who currently leads the integration of the company's major operating departments and initiatives, will become president of CSX Technology, also reporting to Munoz.� She holds a bachelor's degree in computer information systems and a master's in business administration from Jacksonville University.

"We continue to build on the strength of our team by putting proven leaders on point for key functions while aggressively developing people for the future," said Munoz.� "Gary, Frank and Kathleen represent the best of both of those efforts, and we are delighted to have them in these new roles."

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. CSX's network spans approximately 21,000 miles, with service to 23 eastern states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces. CSX's network connects more than 240 short line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river, and lake ports. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).

Contact:
Gary Sease
1 (877) TELL-CSX

Monday, December 17, 2012

Not a bad Saturday morning in Three Bridges!

(Train sightings on 12-15-12.)

with a favorable morning sun and the knowledge that a loaded ethanol train was coming down the LEHL, I decided to wait for it at a familiar haunt of mine, Three Bridges (LEHL; MP 48). After 22V passed by, 66Q was next up to come down the pike. The motive power consisted of NS 9253 sporting the "Operation Life Saver" on its flanks, NS 8981 and UP 6393. After that train passed, BR&W's 1202 was shuffling cars around and managed to grab a shot of it crossing the Main Street grade crossing. For me the was an hour well spent.


   


Thursday, December 13, 2012

NS welcomes Amtrak Virginia to Norfolk

Received the following via email.

Dec. 10, 2012

Norfolk Southern welcomes Amtrak Virginia to Norfolk

NORFOLK, VA. – A locomotive simulator, a vintage double-decker dome car, and “Brainy,” a public safety mascot that encourages people to “train your brain to be smart at railroad crossings,” are some of the attractions Norfolk Southern will feature Tuesday, Dec. 11, at a public ceremony to welcome Amtrak’s Inaugural Whistle Stop train to Norfolk at Amtrak’s new passenger platform at Harbor Park.

The event, organized by the City of Norfolk and held in conjunction with Amtrak, Norfolk Southern, and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), begins at 2:30 p.m. and concludes at 6 p.m. It is open to the public.

Norfolk Southern worked in partnership with Amtrak, DRPT, and CSX to bring passenger service back to South Hampton Roads by making improvements to the NS line that mostly parallels U.S. 460 between Norfolk and Petersburg, Va., where the route connects with CSX for same-seat service to Washington, D.C., and beyond to Boston. With Amtrak Virginia, the new round-trip service will bring intercity passenger rail service to Norfolk for the first time since 1977.

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, at Harbor Park
2:30 p.m.: Old James River Jazz Band, NS locomotive simulator, NS “Train Your Brain” mascot
3:10 p.m.: Inaugural Amtrak train arrives in Norfolk
3:15 p.m.: Welcome remarks from Gov. Bob McDonnell, NS CEO Wick Moorman, Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman, and officials from the Commonwealth of Virginia, CSX, and City of Norfolk
4 p.m.: Rail cars open for tours: NS vintage double-decker dome car, Amtrak observation car and passenger cars; and Amtrak K-9 demonstrations
6 p.m.: Event concludes

Norfolk Southern Corporation 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 (fsbrown@nscorp.com)
(Investors) Michael Hostutler, 757-629-2861 (michael.hostutler@nscorp.com)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kingsboro Industrial Sites Receive CSX Select Site Designation

Received the following via email.

Kingsboro Industrial Sites Receive CSX Select Site Designation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - December 3, 2012 - CSX Corporation today announced that the Kingsboro Industrial Sites in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, are the first recipients in the state to receive CSX Select Site designation.

CSX's Select Sites program reviews manufacturing and distribution development sites along the CSX network that can rapidly utilize freight rail service. This designation confirms that standard land use issues have been addressed and that the site is ready for development.

"Through Select Sites, we can provide increased speed to market and lower up-front development risk for companies seeking industrial property for manufacturing operations," said Clark Robertson, assistant vice president, regional development, CSX. "This program helps communities identify sites that can compete effectively for new investments and job creation."

"The Kingsboro Industrial Sites are a rare find," said Jonathan Gemmen, location consultant, The Austin Company. "With increasing demand for rail services, we were surprised to see this available group of large, rail-served industrial sites adjacent to an interstate quality highway. The sites are flat and cleared, and the utilities are adjacent to the property with ample capacity."

CSX introduced the Select Sites program in January to better serve customers in their own backyards by adding rail transport access routes for some of the premier manufacturing properties in the eastern U.S. CSX partnered with The Austin Company, a nationally-known site selection and certification consulting firm, to screen candidate sites and assist communities with the application and certification process.

To receive CSX Select Site designation, the location must meet a rigorous list of criteria. Once certified, the sites are also featured on a new user-friendly web portal featuring press releases, promotional materials and direct marketing to site selection professionals.

CSX would like to thank the Carolina Gateway Partnership, Edgecombe County, Edgecombe-Martin Cooperative, Golden Leaf Foundation, and NC Eastern Region for their financial support to complete the Select Site work.

In addition to the Kingsboro Industrial Sites, CSX has certified six other sites located in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and South Carolina.

To learn more about CSX Select Sites online, visit:
http://www.csx.com/index.cfm/customers/new-to-csx-or-rail/regional-development/site-search/csx-select-sites/.

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. CSX's network spans approximately 21,000 miles, with service to 23 eastern states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces. CSX's network connects more than 240 short line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river, and lake ports. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).

Contact:
Carla Groleau
1 (877) TELL-CSX





Tuesday, December 11, 2012

GSD 50th. Anniversary Car

Received the following via email from the Garden State Division of the NMRA.

GSD 50th. Anniversary Car

The Garden State Division is doing something a little different.
If you did not know it, 2013 is the Division's 50th Anniversary.

We thought we would start the celebration off with a custom decorated “HO” Scale boxcar from Accurail.

Take a quick look at the car in the attached flyer. Now, look again. If you thought it was a CNJ car in the Red Baron/Coast Guard scheme, you thought wrong. It only looks like a CNJ car. We substituted the Garden State Division logo and reporting marks for the CNJ's. The car is printed with 1963 as the car number, the year of our founding. The car will also come with a decal for a second number, 2013. Both numbers celebrate the Garden State Division's important milestone.

If you want a Garden State Division commemorative car, or more, for your own, please complete the attached flyer and mail your check for the cost of the car and shipping to Bob Dennis, as instructed in the flyer. Quantities are limited, so you will want to move fast!

Thank you for your support.

The Garden State Division
National Model Railroad Association

Link to GSD flyer for 50th Anniversary car.
http://www.nergsd.com/docs/GSD-50-Flyer.pdf

NS completes major upgrade of export coal facility

Received the following via email.

Nov. 29, 2012

Norfolk Southern completes major upgrade of export coal facility

NORFOLK, VA. – Norfolk Southern has completed a major upgrade to its Lamberts Point export coal transload facility in Norfolk, positioning it to remain the largest and fastest coal transload facility in the Northern Hemisphere. More commonly known simply as Pier 6, the facility transfers coal hauled by train from Appalachian coal fields to ships bound for world markets.

“This investment reflects our belief in the long-term prospects for the global coal market and Norfolk Southern’s continuing pivotal role in that market,” said Danny Smith, NS senior vice president-energy and property. “This helps assure that we will remain the premier link to the global market place for high grade metallurgical and thermal coals alike.”

The $18-million upgrade, completed on schedule over a 90-day period beginning in August, involved major overhauls of the facility’s dumper system, which transfers coal from rail cars to a conveyor system, and its two loaders, massive rolling structures that deliver the coal to the ships.

The dumper system consists of two pairs of dumpers, each pair handling two coal cars at a time, that rotate the cars 135 degrees and dump their contents into a conveyor system that transports the coal to the pier. The upgrade consisted of replacing the structural steel that supports the north set of dumpers and the hopper bins that funnel the coal onto the conveyor belts. The dumpers, at 500,000 pounds each, were lifted by cranes and placed on the ground. While the steel support structure was being replaced, the dumpers also received a complete electrical and mechanical overhaul. The south set of dumpers will receive the same upgrade in the spring of 2013.

New solid-state drives replaced the generator sets on the north dumper car pushers, which push loaded coal cars into position to be hoisted up onto the dumpers.

Concurrently with the dumper overhaul, both loaders received complete electrical overhauls, including replacement of the main generator sets with solid-state drives and new power transformers and control and monitoring systems. The loaders received other significant overhauls, including a new braking system for their numerous moving parts.

The upgrades coincide with the 50th anniversary of Pier 6, which began operations on one loader in December 1962. The second loader came on line in the Spring of 1963. Norfolk Southern is planning an anniversary celebration in April 2013.

Pier 6 has an annual throughput capacity of 36 million tons of coal. With both sets of dumpers and both loaders operating, Pier 6 can handle up to 8,000 tons of coal per hour. It takes an average of 30 hours to load one ship with a typical load of 80,000 tons. In January 2012, Pier 6 loaded a record 159,941.45 net tons of coal onto a ship bound for China, completing the job in less than 48 hours.

Much of the coal handled by Pier 6 is metallurgical coal, prized worldwide by steel manufacturers for its high-BTU and low volatile content, but has the capacity and capability of trans-loading thermal coal to the world’s coal fired power plants as well.

Norfolk Southern Corporation 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) Robin Chapman 757-629-2710 (robin.chapman@nscorp.com)
(Investors) Michael Hostutler, 757-629-2861 (michael.hostutler@nscorp.com)

Saturday, December 08, 2012

NJT Santa Trains another casualty from Sandy

Received the following via email dated 11-27-12.

Both the Tri-State Railway HS and Jersey Central Chapter of the NRHS have cancelled the annual "Santa Claus Trains" due to Hurricane Sandy. The explanation is as follows The cancellation is a result of the effects of Superstorm Sandy and the damage sustained by New Jersey Transit to their equipment and facilities. They have determined that they are unable to provide service for this year’s Santa Train. More information can be found on their respective websites.

Jersey Central Chapter - http://www.jcrhs.org/santa.html

Tri-State Railway Historical Society - http://www.tristaterail.org/santa.html

The Nature Conservancy and NS Foundation Team Up to Restore Refuge

Received the following via email.

November 26, 2012

The Nature Conservancy and Norfolk Southern Foundation Team Up to Restore Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Richmond and Norfolk, VA – Norfolk Southern Foundation is continuing its generous support of The Nature Conservancy and its restoration efforts in the Dismal Swamp with a new $25,000 grant. The funds will help The Conservancy and partners install two water control systems and identify the most effective way to manage water flow in the swamp to reduce the threat of intense peat fires like the ones that threatened the region in 2011 and 2008.

“We appreciate Norfolk Southern Foundation’s continued support and commitment to Virginia’s residents and natural heritage”, said Michael Lipford, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Virginia. “Active water management in the Dismal Swamp will reduce the threat of intense peat fires that sent smoke as far away as Annapolis, Md., and burned more than 6,500 acres of forest and swamp. The smoke created real health concerns for Hampton Roads residents.”

Costs related to the 2011 fire and another in 2008 totaled more than $20 million combined, underscoring the need to restore the water that has been drained from the swamp through ditches – some 200 years old and dug under the direction of George Washington – and to actively manage water flow in the swamp.

"The Norfolk Southern Foundation is proud to partner with The Nature Conservancy in restoring this important natural resource,” said Blair Wimbush, NS vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer. “We are committed to carbon sequestration and preservation of important wildlife habitat. Improving water flow in the Great Dismal Swamp is a positive step for the health of the ecosystem and for local air quality.”

This project will complement the pending installation of several other water control systems in the refuge and in Dismal Swamp State Park to the south. The 112,000-acre Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge was created through a donation to The Nature Conservancy from Union Camp Corporation in 1972, and this project demonstrates The Conservancy’s long-term commitment to finding solutions and lasting benefits for people and nature.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.

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.

Contacts

For The Nature Conservancy:
Tom McCann
Phone: 703-841-5317
Email: tmccann@tnc.org

For Norfolk Southern Corporation:
Media: Rick Harris 757-629-2718, (rick.harris@nscorp.com)
Investors: Michael Hostutler 757-629-2861, (michael.hostutler@nscorp.com)

Friday, December 07, 2012

BR&W's #60 on the "Santa Express"

(Train sightings on 11-25-12.)

November 25th marked the start of BR&W's "Santa Express" trips. For five Sundays, they will be running three trips ((11AM, 1 PM and 3 PM) from Flemington to Ringoes (NJ). Sunday's inaugural run would be the only run that was powered by #60. The remaining four dates will be diesel powered. It is seen here passing by the former Bemis Polyethylene Packaging Company in Flemington. Parked on the siding was a Pennsylvania RR caboose 477375. Details about this caboose are unknown. Only twenty-nine shopping days left until Christmas!


 

 

Was it worth the wait?

(Train sightings on 11-23-12.)

Checking out what might be running on the Lehigh Line the day after Thanksgiving via the Internet, I saw that NS 290 had UP 7714 as its leader. Reading a few more threads about this particular train's location, I would learn that it was passing through Hershey (PA) around 8:30 AM. Hmmm... knowing that I decided a trip out to Bloomsbury to photograph it as it started to climb over the "Jersey Barrier", more commonly known as Musconetcong Mountain, was a good way to take advantage of this sunny November day. Arriving in Bloomsbury I thought it wouldn't be all that long before I heard the sound of 290's horn blowing for the Kennedy Road grade crossing. One hour passed by, then two, still another half hour would pass and I started toying with the idea that if it didn't come by high noon, I would be out of there! Seven minutes to noon and a train's horn was heard off in the distance. Was this 290 or another train? I thought that since I waited this long what was a few more minutes? As the leader approached, I could see that it was 290 with UP 7714 on the point. Granted the sun wasn't as good as it would have been earlier this morning. So I will ask you to be the judge and jury if my wait was worth this image?



CNJ 113 Project - Return to Steam

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

Today, 11-23-2012 aka Black Friday, also marked a milestone in the CNJ 113 project run by Robert Kimmel and the many dedicated volunteers of the Project 113. After a number of days of final preparations, the 113 was fired up and ran on a road test. Using a Reading & Northern SW-1500 for weight and braking purposes ( provided by the good graces of Andy Mueller), the 113 gently eased backwards off the Wolf Creek Branch and out onto the Minersville Branch. Once out on the main, she continued down to Mar-Lin where a quick inspection was done to make sure that all was in working order. Two toots on the whistle (recreated from the original design by Bernie Perch for the Project 113) and the 113 returned to Minersville. Once clear of the Wolf Creek switch, Engineer Shane Fredrickson opened her up for the run past the Minersville Depot. The sight and sound of her blasting through Minersville and across the Sunbury Street crossing was an awesome experience to behold.

A BIG thank you to the Reading & Northern for allowing this event to occur and also a BIG thank you to the crew and volunteers of the Project 113 for allowing us to be able to see the 113 operate with all her glory in 2012.

The Project 113 is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that depends on volunteers and donations to succeed. They produce a Black & White calendar featuring vintage photos of Reading, CNJ, and LV operations in the Pennsylvania area. They are available for a $5.00 donation plus postage from : Project 113, 113 East Sunbury Street, Minersville, PA 17954. While you are ordering a calendar, please consider making an additional donation to assure the operation of the 113 for public events in 2013!!!

Kermit Geary, JR

CNJ 113 & R&N 1548 at Minersville, PA_11-23-2012
 
CNJ 113 at Minersville, PA_11-23-2012


R&N 1548 and CNJ 113 at Minersville, PA_11-23-2012


CNJ 113 carefully backing onto Main track in Minersville, PA_11-23-2012


CNJ 113 running wide open with the SW 1500 providing dead weight for braking at Minersville, PA_
11-23-2012


CNJ 113 triumphant return to steam after a 50 year snooze - Minersville, PA_11-23-2012


Sunday, November 25, 2012

A REAL Heritage unit shot today 11-21-2012

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

While everyone else was out going apey over the pseudo-eSPee painted UP loco on train 212 today, I was lucky to find this "REAL" Heritage unit parked in front of The Jim Thorpe Market in Jim Thorpe, PA today.

D&H 7312 & train at Jim Thorpe, PA_11-21-12


Railroad initiative nearing completion

Following article is from the Youngstown, Ohio Vindicator. 

Railroad initiative nearing completion

Sunday, November 18, 2012
By Jamison Cocklin

YOUNGSTOWN

An $850 million investment to improve railroad infrastructure across Ohio and allow more freight from ports in the eastern part of the country to pass through the Midwest is nearing its completion date of spring 2013.

CSX Corp., which operates more than 4,000 miles of track in the Buckeye State, first launched the National Gateway initiative in partnership with the federal government, which committed to match millions in private funding in 2008.

Since then, CSX has worked to expand rail capacity across six states to improve the flow of freight on much of its system by allowing double-stack freight cars to travel on it.

In the Mahoning Valley, a new $1.4 million composite steel bridge was constructed in Niles, and an abandoned railroad bridge between the Mahoning River and Mahoning Avenue was removed as part of the project.

“The Fifth Street Bridge is a perfect example of local economic growth driven by private and public investment in our nation’s infrastructure,” said Niles Mayor Ralph Infante Jr. at the time the bridge was dedicated in July. “This new, modern bridge is a welcome addition to our community and an exciting symbol of the future of the American freight transportation investments needed to keep communities such as ours positioned to compete domestically and internationally.”

A growing population, expected to exceed 70 million people in the next 25 years, will place undue stress on the transportation networks of metropolitan regions. This has led both private industry and the federal government to focus more on upgrading the nation’s ailing infrastructure.

“Getting those tunnels and overpasses up to height or removed all together has been critical to this project,” said John Spychalski, professor emeritus of supply-chain management at Pennsylvania State University and a faculty affiliate at the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute.

Trains can move 1 ton of freight nearly 500 miles on a single gallon of fuel, and one train can carry the load of 280 trucks, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Improving the rail networks with projects such as the National Gateway will reduce traffic congestion in metropolitan regions and allow more goods to reach a growing population faster and at reduced costs, Spychalski said.

The double-stack freight cars will use a series of intermodal terminals in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina.

Intermodal terminals are large distribution centers designed to ease the transfer of goods from train to truck. Spychalski said that regardless of where those terminals are located — in North Baltimore and Columbus in Ohio’s case — it will allow businesses across the state more logistical options in moving their goods.

Both CSX and its competitor Norfolk Southern have invested heavily in Ohio, while ports along the East Coast are investing more in improvements as they anticipate an influx of goods from Asia with the expansion of the Panama Canal.

“This comes with the demand for quality service and the frequency of service at these terminals,” Spychalski said. “These investments are positioning these companies to be more competitive in intermodal railroad. They have to accommodate growth already under way, and it takes years to get these sorts of things in place.”

Similar improvements are being made across Canada and in southern parts of the country. Ports in California already handle more than 40 percent of the nation’s imported goods, and with the Panama expansion, Spychalski said improved railroads could help the East Coast capture more of those products and provide places further west such as Youngstown, Chicago and even St. Louis with more options for moving product.

“All these projects complement one another, and the more product you can move, the stronger the economy will be,” Spychalski said.


An email that we received had the following additional information about Dr. John C. Spychalski who is quoted extensively in the above article.

He is now Professor Emeritus of Supply Chain Management.  A world railway economics and history authority, Dr. Spychalski was Chairman of Penn State's Department of Business Logistics for 16 years and Editor of the Transportation Journal for 28 years.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

NJT parked rail equipment in locations predicted to flood during Sandy, report says

Following article is from the Star-Ledger for Nov. 19, 2012.  Be sure to follow the link to the Reuters article; then read the NJT response in the next posting below.

NJ Transit parked rail equipment in locations predicted to flood during Sandy, report says

By The Star-Ledger Continuous News Desk The Star-Ledger on November 19, 2012 at 1:49 PM, updated November 19, 2012 at 2:25 PM   Twenty-four percent of NJ Transit's rail fleet was damaged during Hurricane Sandy after rail cars and locomotives were stored in two rail yards that forecasters predicted would flood, according to a report on Reuters.com.

The decision might cost the transit agency tens of millions of dollars to make the necessary repairs, which could take months, Reuters said.

NJ Transit parked equipment at Meadows Maintenance Complex, near the Hackensack and Passaic rivers and at its Hoboken terminal and rail yard.

A person described as a "senior transportation official" told Retuers that NJ Transit launched a probe of why the equipment was left in a flood prone area. A spokesman for New Jersey Transit and James Weinstein, the agency's president. said no probe was launched.

A storm surge of of 6 to 11 feet was predicted to hit the area. The Kearny yard is between 0 and 19 feet above sea level, the report said.

Nine dual-powered locomotive engines and 84 multi-level rail cars purchased that cost about $385 million were among the equipment damaged.


Link to Reuters article:
Exclusive: New Jersey railway put trains in Sandy flood zone despite warnings


NJ Transit boss defends decision to leave trains in area hit hard by Sandy flooding

The following is an article from the Star-Ledger for Nov. 21, 2012; but read the posting above first, and be sure to follow the link to the Reuters article. 

NJ Transit boss defends decision to leave trains in area hit hard by Sandy flooding

By Mike Frassinelli/The Star-Ledger The Star-Ledger
on November 21, 2012 at 6:30 AM, updated November 21, 2012 at 11:02 AM   The executive director of NJ Transit is defending the agency's decision to leave trains in rail yards that ended up under water during Hurricane Sandy, saying those locations had no history of flooding and that no one could have predicted the extent of the storm surges that left some stations with six feet of water.

"We stored it where it should be," Jim Weinstein, who was joined by some of his top brass at the statewide transit agency, said during an interview Tuesday with The Star-Ledger. "Unfortunately, it’s the worst storm we’ve ever had in New Jersey."

NJ Transit has come under criticism for leaving equipment in places such as Kearny and Hoboken with Hurricane Sandy bearing down. Damaged during the storm were 261 train cars and 62 locomotives.

"They made a decision, and as Burke said to Ripley in Alien, ‘It was a bad call’" said David Schanoes, a railroad consultant from New York and retired deputy chief of field operations for the Metro-North railroad. "My God, New Jersey’s a swamp."

Schanoes said weather projections had the storm surge in the Kearny-Hoboken area at 10 to 13 feet.

"Look at it as a bank vault," Schanoes said, noting that some locomotives are worth $5 million. "You’ve got a bank vault with $5 million and robbers are coming. Do you leave the money in the bank vault or move it out of the way?"

Weinstein said NJ Transit officials were monitoring the storm and didn’t expect the surge to flood the rail yards.

The Meadows Maintenance Complex in Kearny has been around for nearly 30 years and never flooded the way it did during Sandy, he said.

Last year, NJ Transit lost no equipment during Tropical Storm Irene. In anticipation of that storm, officials made the decision to move trains from Trenton to an NJ Transit rail yard in Morrisville, Pa. That kept the trains dry, but also marooned the equipment because it couldn’t be reached from flooded Trenton.

Learning that lesson, NJ Transit officials this time moved trains from Morrisville to other locations in New Jersey. But that left little space for other trains to be moved.

"The answer is, there is no place to put them," Weinstein said of the trains in Kearny. "The MMC is our central maintenance and operations facility. That’s it. That is ground zero for the railroad."

Kevin O’Connor, NJ Transit’s vice president and general manager of rail operations, said finding a dry place to store trains is no easy task.

"If you take our rail map and superimpose it over a map of the state of New Jersey with rivers, the ocean and everything there, how close are all of our lines to water?" he asked. "They’re all close to water or on the water — every single one of them, whether it be the ocean, a river, a bay."

O’Connor said that given the massive flooding in Hoboken this time, "We’re going to have to look at where we could possibly store this stuff."

As with every major storm, he said, precautions are taken. Equipment is moved. The train wire system is de-energized. Rail crossing gates are removed so the wind doesn’t snap them or the gates don’t get stuck in the down position and impede residents who are trying to evacuate.

Joe Meade, superintendent of the Hoboken transit division, said floodwater has made it into the terminal before, but never onto the higher ground where the trains are stored.

"‘92 was the highest water that ever came into Hoboken — that was the Perfect Storm, the unnamed storm, again on Halloween, and we got about 2 1/2 to 3 feet of water in the terminal," he said. "The old-timers then said they’d never seen anything that high."

During Sandy, six feet of water poured into the Hoboken Terminal and some trains on the higher ground were also damaged by floodwaters.

Weinstein said he was proud of the way transit agency employees — despite some having their own homes damaged in the flooding — were able to get 80 percent of bus service restored within 48 hours of the storm and 93 percent of the rail service restored at the beginning of this week.

"They’ve done some miraculous stuff here," he said.

Employees worked 16-hour days to restore rail service, in spite of boats lodged in rail drawbridges, trees that toppled onto wires that power trains and stations that were left with flooding, mud and dead fish in the waiting rooms.

"It was important because, without (the system) back in place, this state can’t come back to normalcy," Weinstein said. "People can’t start conducting their lives the way they need to conduct their lives and the way they want to conduct their lives."

All rail lines but the Gladstone Branch have been restored to at least partial service, and at least partial service could return to that branch around Dec. 1, transit officials have said. Along the Gladstone Branch, the hurricane-force winds snapped the 90-foot wooden poles that carry the electrical train wires.

Weinstein was optimistic that most of the damaged rail equipment will be covered by insurance, and said some of the equipment has already been repaired and returned to service.

He said the agency will assess what worked well and what didn’t during Hurricane Sandy.

But, Weinstein said, critics of where NJ Transit kept the trains might not realize how complex a process moving them can be.

"People say, ‘Oh, you just move the trains,’" he said. "This is not a toy train set, They’re not buses you buy at a Hess station for your kids at Christmas. This is real life. This is big machines that take a lot of people who are very well trained."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

NS names Atlanta rail welding plant in honor of late engineering executive

Received the following via email.

Nov. 16, 2012

Norfolk Southern names Atlanta rail welding plant in honor of late engineering executive

ATLANTA – At a dedication ceremony here Nov. 10, Norfolk Southern named its rail welding facility after the late Hubert L. Rose, who retired from Norfolk Southern as senior assistant vice president maintenance of way and structures and planning in 1991, after a 43-year career with the company.

Rose, who died in January 2012, headed the railroad’s maintenance of way group for 15 years, during which he led the railroad in its transition from laying jointed rail, which uses bolts to connect 39- or 78–foot sections of track, to installing continuous welded rail, in which 1,440-foot sections of rail are welded together to form one continuous track. Continuous welded rail is stronger, provides a smoother ride, needs less maintenance, and allows trains to travel at higher speeds.

A native of Kenly, N.C., Rose graduated from North Carolina State University and in 1948 joined Southern Railway as a surveyor. In 1971, he was named chief engineer, and in 1976, he was promoted to assistant vice president of maintenance of way and structures, the position he held until his retirement.

At the dedication, NS CEO Wick Moorman said, “Hubert Rose was an industry leader in the maintenance of rail infrastructure, and he is the person most identified with helping Norfolk Southern take advantage of the benefits of continuous welded rail, saving millions of dollars in maintenance costs and preventing derailments. Putting his name on the building is a fitting thank-you on behalf of our employees and friends everywhere.”

Since opening in 1958, the Atlanta rail fabrication plant has been manufacturing railroad track for Norfolk Southern. The complex stretches over 30 acres and includes plants for rail welding, rail renewal, switch panels, track panels, and rail reclamation. The rail welding and rewelding plants turn out new quarter-mile strands of rail for use on mainline tracks and reconditioned rail for use on secondary lines and industrial sidings.

Norfolk Southern Corporation 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) Susan Terpay, 757-823-5204 (susan.terpay@nscorp.com)
(Investors) Michael Hostutler, 757-629-2861 (michael.hostutler@nscorp.com)

CSX CFO to Participate in a Wolfe Trahan Business Update Conference Call

Received the following via email.

CSX Corporation Executive Vice President and CFO to Participate in a Wolfe Trahan Business Update Conference Call

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., (November 15, 2012) - Fredrik Eliasson, CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX) executive vice president and chief financial officer, will participate in an interactive dialogue on the current state of the business hosted by Scott Group, director and senior transportation analyst at Wolfe Trahan and Company, Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

Investors interested in participating in the conference call may dial (888) 267-2845 or (973) 413-6102 and enter the conference ID 547822. Participants should dial in ten minutes prior to the call. A replay will be avaialble at http://investors.csx.com approximately one hour following the conclusion of the call.

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, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces. CSX's network connects more than 240 short line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river, and lake ports. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like
us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).

Contact:

David Baggs, Investor Relations
904-359-4812

Lauren Rueger, Corporate Communications
877-835-5279

NJ Transit train strikes tractor-trailer Monday evening, 11-12-12

Received an email with the following comment and a link to the newspaper article below. 

"Evidently the truck driver must have been from out-of-state since the roads around the grade crossing are not driver friendly for tractor trailers." 


NJ Transit train strikes tractor-trailer, one injured

By Tomas Dinges/The Star-Ledger
on November 12, 2012 at 11:40 PM, updated November 13, 2012 at 7:00 AM

BRANCHBURG — A New Jersey Transit train empty of passengers struck a tractor-trailer on the tracks near a Somerset County station Monday night, an official said.

About 7:45 p.m. the train was heading back to the railyards along the Raritan Valley Line when it struck the tractor-trailer at a road crossing near the North Branch station in Branchburg, an NJ Transit spokesman said.

A conductor on the train was taken to a nearby hospital for non-life threatening injuries, said spokesman John Durso. Remaining members of the skeleton crew was not hurt, he said.

It was unclear why the tractor-trailer was on the track, or if there was anyone inside the trailer when it was struck, Durso said.

Commuters were being bused between the High Bridge and Raritan stations while the rail line was shut down, he said. By midnight, the tracks were clear, officials said.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sunday's images of BR&W's Steam Excursions

(Train sightings on 11-11-12.)

With Sunday's sun breaking through the morning fog, this day was turning out to be unseasonably nice to track side chasing BR&W's 10:45 AM and 2 PM steam excursion runs. After Hurricane Sandy and that snowy nor'easter NJ experienced over this past week, Sunday's sun and warmth served to be a good tonic for lifting some weather weary spirits. Attached are some images from Sunday's two runs.


Image 1: finds #60 backing its four coach consist across the River Avenue grade crossing into the Three Bridges (NJ) yard on the first run.

 

Image 2: The engineer takes advantage of an unseasonably warm day as he peers out the window, , #60 passes beneath the Pennsylvania Avenue bridge on its first trip of the day with Ringoes being its destination.

 

Image 3: The final run of the day finds # 60 shoving the coaches towards Three Bridges as it crosses over the Raritan River.



Thanks for looking...

NS increases its Hurricane Sandy relief support

Received the following via email.

Nov. 6, 2012

Norfolk Southern increases its Hurricane Sandy relief support

NORFOLK, VA. – The Norfolk Southern Foundation is increasing its support of American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy relief work. NS now will provide a 1:1 match for contributions made by active and retired NS employees to the organization.

Individual gifts of at least $25 (by check, credit card, and donated stock) will be matched under this special program. Gifts made between Nov. 6, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2012, will be matched up to a maximum corporate contribution of $50,000.

Employees and retirees who donate by check should print, fill out, and enclose a Norfolk Southern Foundation Matching Gifts form with their gifts.

Employees and retirees who donate by credit card should forward copies of their online receipts to Norfolk Southern Foundation, Box 229, Three Commercial Place, Norfolk VA 23510.

In all cases, contributors should indicate on their matching gift forms that their donations are for “Hurricane Sandy Relief.”

The special matching program follows NS’ Nov. 2 contribution of $100,000 to the American Red Cross.

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 (fsbrown@nscorp.com)
(Investors) Michael Hostutler, 757-629-2861 (michael.hostutler@nscorp.com)

Florida to New Jersey in 156 Seconds (GE Juice Train)

Received an email alerting us to this YouTube video.

Hop into the locomotive of the GE Juice Train and check out the view as its 48 hour trip from Florida to New Jersey is accelerated into just a few minutes in this time lapse video.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb8mk2HSJUc&feature=share

NS Thanksgiving Holiday Operations

Received the following via email.

Thanksgiving Holiday Operations

Norfolk Southern plans to operate scheduled train service and other rail operations over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Some unit train operations and local service may be reduced depending on customer operations.

Our Operations and Service Support Center will contact local customers to confirm needed service over the holiday weekend. Customers may also contact their Operations and Service Support or National Customer Service Center regarding questions on specific shipments or local service requirements. The latest ETA and routing information is always available through Pacesetter and accessNS.

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

Customer Service Operations at 800-635-5768.
Customer Service Automotive Operations at 888-649-9273.

Customers with questions regarding local service should contact their Operations and Service Support Representative.

Operations and Service Support at 800-898-4296.

Monday, November 19, 2012

CSX Named Most Military Friendly Employer in Transportation Industry for Third Consecutive Year

Received the following via email.

CSX Named Most Military Friendly Employer in Transportation Industry for Third Consecutive Year

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - November 8, 2012 - CSX was recognized as the number two military-friendly employer on G.I. Jobs' 2013 Top 100 Military Friendly Employers ranking today, leading the transportation industry for the third consecutive year.

"We actively work to hire the best employees to serve our customers, and that means recruiting U.S. military veterans with strong backgrounds in team environments, safety training and leadership skills," said Michael J. Ward, CSX chairman, president and chief executive officer. "As we prepare to celebrate Veterans Day, CSX is proud to support and employ the men and women who have defended and protected us."

This recognition celebrates CSX's ongoing commitment to support the U.S. military and its veterans - one in five CSX employees have served in the armed forces. In May, CSX was also honored as a Most Valuable Employer for Military by CivilianJobs.com.

Since 2006, G.I Jobs has issued an annual ranking of businesses based on veteran recruiting practices. The publication examines more than 5,000 American businesses with more than $500 million in annual revenues. Out of these eligible members, only two percent make the annual ranking. G.I. Jobs ranks each company by weighted factors, including long-term commitments to hire veterans, specialized military recruiting programs and supportive policies for reserve member employment while off duty.

To view the full list of G.I. Jobs' 2013 Top 100 Military Friendly Employers, please visit http://militaryfriendly.com/.

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, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces. CSX's network connects more than 240 short line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river, and lake ports. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like
us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).

Contact:
Carla Groleau
1 (877) TELL-CSX

Boldly-painted NS locomotive honors military veterans everywhere

Received the following via email.  Also see the posting below for pictures of this locomotive.

Nov. 6, 2012

Boldly-painted Norfolk Southern locomotive honors military veterans everywhere

ALTOONA, PA. and NORFOLK, VA. – Norfolk Southern is placing a one-of-a-kind “Veterans Locomotive” into freight service on its system to honor people who have served in the military and reserves, especially those employed by the railroad.

No. 6920 is an SD60E model that will operate primarily in general freight service. Its red, white, and blue paint scheme, and yellow ribbon with the message “Honoring our Veterans,” was selected by a group of 18 NS employees representing all branches of the armed forces.

“At Norfolk Southern, we are very grateful for the service of our railroaders, their families, and all veterans,” said NS CEO Wick Moorman. “The Veterans Locomotive is a rolling reminder of their contributions and sacrifice in the name of freedom.”

Some 450 NS employees, active military representatives, civic leaders, news media, and other guests of the railroad will attend two invitation-only unveilings of the Veterans Locomotive.

The first unveiling, at Norfolk Southern’s shops in Altoona, Pa., where the unit was built and painted, is Thursday, Nov. 8. NS General Foreman Tim Strickenberger, a former U.S. Air Force staff sergeant who served as an F-16 aircraft mechanic during U.S. operations in the Middle East, and Trainmaster Calvin Law, a 26-year U.S. Navy veteran who served as a lieutenant commander during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, will speak about their military and railroad experiences. Keynote speaker will be Col. Grey Berrier II, deputy commander, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

The second unveiling, at NS’ Lamberts Point coal transload facility in the railroad’s headquarters city of Norfolk, Va., is Monday, Nov. 12, which is the morning after Veterans Day. Chris Carter, NS conductor and chief warrant officer 2, Virginia Army National Guard, will address the guests about his military and railroad experience, and CEO Moorman will highlight NS’ desire to attract even more veterans into railroad careers. Keynote speaker will be Col. William J. Davis, U.S. Marine Corps (retired), director of the MacArthur Memorial and executive director of the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation.

Painting the Veterans Locomotive involved 26 NS employees, two of whom are veterans, using 66 gallons of primer and paint over a 112-hour period. To the extent possible, No. 6920 has been kept under wraps while the work has progressed.

With its non-traditional paint scheme, the locomotive joins NS’ Heritage Fleet of 20 locomotives that were painted in the schemes of key predecessor railroad companies earlier this year in observance of NS’ 30th anniversary.

Photos of No. 6920 will be posted on NS’ web site and the Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube social media sites after the Nov. 8 unveiling.

Over the past six years, Norfolk Southern has hired some 1,300 veterans, and today 14 percent of the total NS workforce -- more than 4,200 employees -- are veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserves. More information about working at Norfolk Southern can be found at NorfolkSouthern-veterans.jobs.

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 (fsbrown@nscorp.com)
(Investors) Michael Hostutler, 757-629-2861 (michael.hostutler@nscorp.com)


Saluting Veterans: NS Veterans Locomotive Photos & Videos

Received the following via email.

Daytime views, fresh out of paint shop, at attached link. Also at that link are 2 short videos. The "Two Careers - One Mission - Let's Roll" video, honoring those who proudly served in our U.S. Armed Forces and are now working for Norfolk Southern, is impressive.

http://www.nscorp.com/nscportal/nscorp/Community/veterans/index.html#&panel1-5

Thank You to all who serve and have served.


Here are 2 photos of the NS Veterans locomotive.  See the web site above for more photos. 




NS 2012 sustainability report details five-year progress

Received the following via email.

Nov. 6, 2012

Norfolk Southern 2012 sustainability report details five-year progress on environmental stewardship

NORFOLK, VA. – Norfolk Southern Corp. has issued its fifth annual corporate sustainability report, documenting progress on the railroad’s efforts to reduce its business impacts on the environment.

The 2012 report can be found on Norfolk Southern’s environmental website, www.nssustainability.com. It highlights advances made in the five years since the company launched a sustainability program with the goals of achieving industry leadership in fuel conservation, emissions reduction, efficient energy use, recycling, use of renewable materials, and environmental partnerships.

“I am pleased with the progress we have made and the plans we have for strengthening connections with our people, communities, customers, investors, and all those who have a stake in Norfolk Southern’s success,” notes CEO Wick Moorman. “In five years, we’ve made a good start. We pledge our long-term commitment to corporate responsibility in sustainability practices and to the principle that environmental stewardship is essential to Norfolk Southern’s business success.”

The report details initiatives involving social responsibility, economic performance, and environmental conservation. Among other highlights, the railroad reports reaching nearly 60 percent of a five-year goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Norfolk Southern set a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 10 percent per revenue ton-mile of freight between 2009 and 2014. By the end of 2011, the railroad had reduced emissions by 5.9 percent per revenue ton-mile. The report outlines strategies the railroad has adopted to reduce emissions, including use of technologies and computer-based systems to improve network operating efficiencies and the fuel economy of its locomotive fleet, the company’s largest source of carbon emissions.

“Even as increased demand for our freight transportation services has led to higher fuel consumption, we are constantly working to improve our greenhouse gas intensity,” notes Blair Wimbush, vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer.

The report also updates progress on Norfolk Southern’s $5.6 million Trees and Trains program, an initiative launched in June 2011 with partner GreenTrees to reforest 10,000 acres in the Mississippi Delta. As part of a broader plan to reduce potential environmental impacts of its railroad operations, Norfolk Southern is working with private-sector partners to sustain longleaf pine forest ecosystems and to restore American chestnut trees to their native range through planting initiatives at former coal mine sites.

“Norfolk Southern’s sustainability program is all about minimizing our footprint while connecting with partners who share our vision for responsible corporate environmental stewardship,” Wimbush said.

Norfolk Southern Corporation 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) Jon Glass, 757-629-2789 (jonathan.glass@nscorp.com)
(Investors) Michael Hostutler, 757-629-2861 (michael.hostutler@nscorp.com)

Photos from the vault

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

In keeping with the Halloween Spirit, I am sending you photos from the archives....the dates are wrong, but reflect when the image was originally processed. Enjoy!


American Railroads 4902 at So Philadelphia, PA_11-1969
 

CNJ train at Lehigh Gap, PA_6-1967


CR 239 in North Philadelphia, PA_4-1977


CR 4800 & train at Baltimore, MD_5-1977


L&N 99 & train_8-1969


MP 366_date not specified  


SCL 521 at Deland, FL_8-1969


Southern 4501 at Belle Vernon, PA_7-1973


CSX CFO to Address Baird's 2012 Industrial Conference

Received the following via email.

CSX Corporation Chief Financial Officer to Address Baird's 2012 Industrial Conference

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - November 1, 2012 - Fredrik Eliasson, CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX) executive vice president and chief financial officer, will address Baird's 2012 Industrial Conference in Chicago on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, at 9:40 a.m. CST/10:40 a.m. EST.

Access to the audio webcast will be available on CSX's website at http://investors.csx.com. A replay and accompanying audio will be available following the conclusion of this event. Additionally, presentation materials will be posted on the company's website.

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, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces. CSX's network connects more than 240 short line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river, and lake ports.

More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).

Contact:

David Baggs, Investor Relations
904-359-4812

Lauren Rueger, Corporate Communications
877-835-5279

Sunday, November 18, 2012

NS - Hurricane Sandy Service Alert

Received the following via email.

Hurricane Sandy Emergency Plan

Norfolk Southern has implemented emergency plans for the Northeast region that could be effected by Hurricane Sandy. Traffic in Virginia through New England may be impacted by heavy rains, flooding, and high winds. Rail traffic in these areas should expect delays of at least 72 hours.

Updated ETA and routing information is always available through Pacesetter and accessNS

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

Customer Service Operations 800-635-5768

Customers with questions regarding local service should contact their Operations and Service Support Representative.

Operations and Service Support 800-898-4296





Middlebrook Industrial Track; an update...

(Train sightings on 10-14-12 and 10-27-12.)

...with the Middlebrook Industrial Track (MIT) now severed at Route 22 in Bridgewater, a temporary ballast loading facility has been constructed adjacent to Polhemus Lane and NJT's RVL between MPs 31 to 32. Stone is trucked over from the Chimney Rock Quarry to this location and then loaded into ballast hoppers.

Photo 1: October 14: shows some ballast hoppers on the MIT awaiting to be loaded. In the background can be seen NJT 5523 passing through the Polhemus Lane grade crossing after departing from the Bridgewater station.


   
Photo 2: October 27: I am speculating that these hoppers were filled with a larger type of stone in anticipation of Sandy's arrival in NJ on Monday should there be any washouts along NJT's RVL.

 
 
Photo 3: October 27: A roster shot of NJT 9200 that is filled and ready to go should those stones be needed after Sandy's departure from the area.


 

NS Locomotive To Honor Veterans

Received the following via email.

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO DEBUT LOCOMOTIVE TO HONOR VETERANS: An announcement was made early this morning that NS 6920 (SD60E) will be painted in a Red, White, and Blue paint scheme to honor our Veterans. It will be debuted on this upcoming Veteran's day on Monday, November 12th, 2012. (Altoona Works Facebook Page - posted 10/26/12)

Engineering leader Drake retires at Norfolk Southern; Wheeler and Evans named to key operations positions

Received the following via email.

Oct. 25, 2012

Engineering leader Drake retires at Norfolk Southern;
Wheeler and Evans named to key operations positions


NORFOLK, VA. – Norfolk Southern Corp. announced that Timothy J. Drake, vice president engineering, is retiring Oct. 31.

Michael J. Wheeler, formerly vice president transportation, has been named vice president engineering to succeed Drake, and Terry N. Evans, formerly vice president process engineering, will follow Wheeler as vice president transportation.

Drake, vice president engineering since 2007, is a veteran of 36 years with NS. He joined the company as an assistant track supervisor and served in a variety of engineering positions on the rail system. “Tim Drake and his team, quite simply, have set the standard for safe, reliable rail infrastructure in this country,” said CEO Wick Moorman. “We truly appreciate Tim’s contributions and service.”

Wheeler joined NS in 1985 as a research engineer. He served in positions of increasing responsibility in operations before being named vice president transportation, his most recent position, in 2009. He holds degrees from the University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech.

Evans joined NS in 1979 as a management trainee in the operations division. He served in positions of increasing responsibility in operations before being named vice president process engineering, his most recent position, in 2009. Evans is a graduate of North Carolina Central with degrees in education and history.

“Terry and Mike bring a range of valuable experience to their positions and will help lead the way as our shippers and receivers come to rely even more on the railroad industry as the backbone of the economy,” Moorman said.

Wheeler and Evans report to Mark D. Manion, executive vice president operations. Their appointments are effective Nov. 1. Both are headquartered in Norfolk.

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 (fsbrown@nscorp.com)
(Investors) Michael Hostutler, 757-629-2861 (michael.hostutler@nscorp.com)

CSX, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Officials Celebrate Midway Point of National Gateway Phase One Progress

Received the following via email.

CSX, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Officials Celebrate Midway Point of National Gateway Phase One Progress

Upgraded Freight Rail Corridor Scheduled for Spring 2013 Completion

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - October 23, 2012 - CSX Corporation Chairman, President and chief Executive Officer Michael J. Ward today joined federal, state and local officials from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to mark the midway point of progress on the first phase of projects for the National Gateway.

The National Gateway is an $850 million public-private partnership launched in 2008 to alleviate freight bottlenecks in the Midwest that cause delays for companies and consumers shipping or receiving freight from west coast ports by creating a double-stack cleared corridor for intermodal rail shipments between the Midwest and the mid-Atlantic ports. Once completed, the National Gateway will help provide CSX customers with better access to competitive, environmentally friendly double-stack intermodal freight rail service.

The celebration took place at Pittsburgh's SouthSide Works, where the $13 million J&L Tunnel project will soon become the latest Phase One project to increase the vertical clearance on CSX rail lines to accommodate trains carrying double-stack intermodal containers. Phase One, creating double-stack rail access between CSX's state-of-the-art intermodal terminal in Northwest Ohio, and its new modern intermodal terminal in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, is scheduled to be completed by spring 2013, and will enable more freight to move through the region on the same number of trains.

The J&L Tunnel clearance project, an upgrade to a tunnel built in the 1880s that runs directly through the SouthSide Works complex, will help alleviate pressure on regional highways and lower the cost of doing business in the Pittsburgh region by improving access to intermodal freight shipping options.

The J&L Tunnel upgrade and other National Gateway projects are funded through contributions by CSX and the federal government, as well as a $35 million Pennsylvania Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) Grant. The State of Ohio is also contributing $30 million to this first phase of clearance work.

"We are proud that we have been able to work with our partners in the federal and state government, communities and the private sector to invest in strategic transportation infrastructure that will alleviate highway congestion and enable our customers to better leverage rail, the most environmentally friendly way to ship goods over land," said Ward.

As one of the nation's largest transportation projects, National Gateway will create more than 50,000 jobs over a 30-year period, including more than 9,000 jobs for Pennsylvania. When completed in 2015, to coincide with the expansion of the Panama Canal, which is expected to increase traffic through East Coast ports, the National Gateway will provide more than $1.6 billion in public benefits to Pennsylvania in the route's first 30 years of operations by decreasing fuel consumption, lowering emissions, improving safety, reducing highway maintenance costs and saving shipping costs.

To learn more about the National Gateway, visit www.nationalgateway.org.

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. CSX's network spans approximately 21,000 miles, with service to 23 eastern states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces. CSX's network connects more than 240 short line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river, and lake ports. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).

Contact:
Robert Sullivan
1 (877) TELL-CSX

INland Logistics Port Receives CSX Select Site Designation

Received the following via email.

INland Logistics Port Receives CSX Select Site Designation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - October 24, 2012 - CSX Corporation today announced that INland Logistics Port in Kingsbury is Indiana's first location to receive CSX's Select Site designation.

CSX's Select Sites program reviews manufacturing and distribution development sites along the CSX network that can rapidly utilize freight rail service based on their topography, rail and road layouts and other significant characteristics.

INland Logistics Port-Kingsbury, which broke ground in September 2012, will further enable the region to connect with the world by offering efficient and environmentally-friendly freight transportation options to businesses located there. The project will also help create new jobs and help area businesses grow through indirect investment.

"Companies continue to seek development-ready sites, with reduced development risk and better access to market, said Clark Robertson, CSX's assistant vice president, regional development. The Select Site program recognizes these corporate objectives.

We believe the INland Logistics Port will be an attractive option for companies searching in the area for a home in the Kingsbury area" Robertson said. "We are excited to add this industrial business park to a portfolio of sites that we expect to compete well for new opportunities."

CSX introduced the Select Sites program in January to better help companies find premier manufacturing properties in the eastern U.S. that feature easy and reliable access to freight rail service. CSX partnered with The Austin Company, a nationally-known site selection and certification consulting firm, to screen candidate sites and assist communities with the application and certification process.

To receive CSX Select Site designation, the location must meet a rigorous list of criteria including infrastructure and utility availability, environmental reviews, appropriate zoning and entitlement, air quality permitting, rail serviceability, proximity to highways or interstates, and other attributes. Once certified, the sites are also featured on a new user-friendly web portal featuring press releases, promotional materials and direct marketing to site selection professionals.

"The CSX Select Site program sets the standard for shovel-ready, rail-served industrial sites," said Jonathan Gemmen, location consultant, The Austin Company. "The program website provides the fundamental information that site selectors need to short-list a specific property."

In addition to INland Logistics Port-Kingsbury, CSX identified five other inaugural Select Site locations in Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, and South Carolina.

To learn more about CSX Select Sites online, visit http://www.csx.com/index.cfm/customers/new-to-csx-or-rail/regional-development/site-search/csx-select-sites/.

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. CSX's network spans approximately 21,000 miles, with service to 23 eastern states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces. CSX's network connects more than 240 short line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river, and lake ports. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).

About the INland Logistics Port - Kingsbury
The INland Logistics Port - Kingsbury is a 627-acre dual rail served Logistics Park providing rail and truck access to the Upper Midwest Consumption zone, reaching 41 million people in one days' drive.

ILP-K is the CSX network location for manifest, bulk and transload materials serving the Chicago, NW Indiana and upper Midwest Markets. Occupants within ILP-K can realize significant cost savings due to direct-rail access and overweight capabilities. Sites have flexibility to handle multiple uses, including transloading, food distribution, refrigerated warehousing, bulk storage and petro-chemical. Due to the transportation efficiencies, ILP-K is an ideal location for manufacturing and processing. www.ilpkingsbury.com/

Contact:
Carla Groleau
1 (877) TELL-CSX

Reading & Northern's Fall Foliage excursion...

(Train sightings on 10-20-12)

...This trip which departed from Port Clinton, Pennsylvania on the morning of October 20 was heading to Jim Thorpe on this "Fall Foliage Excursion". It would be the last of three October excursion trips the Reading & Northern scheduled for the passengers to admire autumn's colors. Unfortunately Friday night's rainstorm left some lingering cloud cover dulling the hues and making for a rather dreary start to the trip. Reading & Northern's motive power consisted of two SD40-2s. 3057 (ex-UP 3066; nee CNW 6901) and 3058 (ex-UP 3426) were in charge of a consist that had nine coaches, a dome car with "Black Diamond" bringing up the rear markers. The first image was taken as the excursion was approaching New Ringgold. The second and third images were taken near Zehners.


 









Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A little bit of this and that...

(Train sightings from the past.)

... Just wanted to drop a few images your way of various railroading scenes from my archives. So without anymore fanfare, lets delve into what this email contains. The first image shows the return trip of one of my favorite NJT trains on the RVL. It would pass through Raritan on its way to Phillipsburg around noon time. Once in Phillipsburg, it would then make the return trip in the early afternoon. The few times I did have the opportunity to ride this train, you could count the number of passengers on one hand! On this return trip, NJT 4112 is seen heading east past CP STONE. This location was just past the North Branch Viaduct. From the looks of that shed, someone must have been was using it for target practice. Built in October, 1968, 4112's history goes back to when it was ex-CNJ 3678, was rebuilt by CR from NJT 4102 and would eventually be rebuilt as a GP40PH-2. If memory serves me correctly, those two coaches still retain the CNJ paint scheme. This scene's date is un recorded.



The second image, whose date is unknown, shows CR 8115 (ex-PC 8115; built in February, 1973 as a GP38-2) leading a mixed freight eastbound pass the block signal at CP WEST PORTAL. That block signal no longer exists. It was west of this location when NS decided to lengthen the western siding at West Portal. Hope you enjoyed this little look back in time...