Friday, March 20, 2015

Original Norfolk Southern 8114

Well it finally happened ... I finally got to see all 20 of the Norfolk Southern Heritage engine fleet. The 20th one had proved quite elusive, having been almost two years since I began collecting pictures of them on trains through Jonesborough.The final motor was the 8114 Original Norfolk Southern with a bright orange paint scheme.

A FB train buddy alerted me to the 8114 being on a train that was having trouble. The 8114 was the 4th of four engines, and it was the cause of the trouble. The 8114 was not running right and the train was so long that it need all four engines to make it to Bristol. I think the train got stuck on the hill coming up out of Jonesborough, but they finally got it running just enough to get up that hill and up the valley toward Piney Flats, but it stalled out there again and another engine was dispatched to push it into Bristol.

I had a good plan for getting a picture; the ETSU Bucs were playing a night home baseball game so I knew they would have the lights on. The train track runs along the first base side of the field about 50 ft from the field so I figured they would provide enough light for a reasonable night shot. I got there about 15 minutes before the train, si walked down the sidewalk and made a few test shots, it was going to be epic. I heard the train horns blaring and just as I could see the ditch lights of the train the field lights were cut off ... crap crap crap.

Did I mention that it started to rain too, oh bother.

My only choice at this point was to run back to the street light near the crossing and fire up the flash and just let the hundreds of inevitable water spots do do their thing. I cranked the flash power down as low as possible, but there's only so much you can do; flashes and rain/snow don't mix well


So, there's all 20 Heritage motors. So now it's on to the next challenge of catching them all leading.

__________________________________
I'd not seen the Original Norfolk Southern before, so this is a new Heritage motor for me. I'm finally at finally at 20 of 20. Woo Hoo !


#13  1065  Savannah and Atlanta
#15  1066  New York Central
#19  1067  Reading
#12  1068  Erie
  #1  1069  Virginian
  #8  1070  Wabash
 #16 1071  Central RR of New Jersey
#11  1072  Illinois Terminal
  #4  1073  Penn Central
 #18 1074  Lackawanna
 #17 8025  Monongahela
  #2  8098  Conrail
#10  8099  Southern
  #5  8100  Nickel Plate Road
  #7  8101  Central of Georgia
  #9  8102  Pennsylvania
 #14 8103  Norfolk and Western
  #3  8104  Lehigh Valley
  #6  8105  Interstate
 #20 8114  Norfolk Southern
_______________________________________________________________
This is not a new Special Interest engine for me.
6920 Honoring Our Veterans
6963 GoRail
  630 Southern Railway Steam
1030 The Forgotten Heritage Engine

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Radio Active (Part Deux)

As it normally works out, the Facing Book word went out that the Norfolk Southern Heritage engine #1074 (Delaware Lackawanna) was leading the 202. That's most excellent because 202 typically comes through Jonesborough in the early afternoon. A heritage motor though town, during daylight hours, leading ... the trifecta! My only other time seeing the 1074 was late at night back in September of last year, so this is one I've been waiting to get a decent shot of.

It was disappointing that the horn on the 1074 wasn't the typical SD70ACe horn, I really like the ACe horns. And it was raining, so that's bad; flat gray skies make for bad pictures. The engine was rather dirty (but it does work for a living) and in bad need of some touch-up paint.

So, based on how long is typically takes a train to get from Bulls Gap the Jonesborough, I planned to leave work early enough to get to Sand Valley, then sprint to Bluff City. But the word came to me that the train was at the 50 mp about 30 minutes before I though it would be. So I left work in a hurry and I got about 1/2 way there when I heard on the scanner that it was already at Washington College, so I knew I wouldn't have enough time to get to Sand Valley afore it got there. Plan B; go to the Salt House and shoot there. But traffic prevented me from making good enough time to get to the Salt House, so I bailed out and shot it at the 3rd street crossing.

NS1074 DLW, 3rd Street, Jonesborough TN, 3/19/15
NS1074 DLW, 3rd Street, Jonesborough TN, 3/19/15
As soon as it was by me, I was back on the road headed for Bluff City. I made such good time out of Jonesborough that I was able to get ahead of it and shoot it at OmniSource (JC Herb-n-Metal).

NS1074 DLW, Omnisource, Johnson City TN, 3/19/15

NS1074 DLW, Omnisource, Johnson City TN, 3/19/15

As soon as it was by me there I was back on the road to Bluff City. This where my traffic luck ran out. It felt like I caught every stop light exactly wrong, and every slow person in the are was double file in front of me. I'd made the trip before and had plenty of time to get to the bridge, but this time I was worried. Traffic cleared for me as I got out of Piney Flats so I made it to the bridge over Boone Lake with about 2 minutes to spare.

NS1074 DLW, Boone Lake, Bluff City TN, 3/19/15
__________________________________
I'd seen the DLW once before, so this is not a new Heritage motor for me. I'm still at 19 of 20.


#13  1065  Savannah and Atlanta
#15  1066  New York Central
#19  1067  Reading
#12  1068  Erie
  #1  1069  Virginian
  #8  1070  Wabash
 #16 1071  Central RR of New Jersey
#11  1072  Illinois Terminal
  #4  1073  Penn Central
 #18 1074  Lackawanna
 #17 8025  Monongahela
  #2  8098  Conrail
#10  8099  Southern
  #5  8100  Nickel Plate Road
  #7  8101  Central of Georgia
  #9  8102  Pennsylvania
 #14 8103  Norfolk and Western
  #3  8104  Lehigh Valley
  #6  8105  Interstate
        8114  Norfolk Southern
_______________________________________________________________
This is not a new Special Interest engine for me.
6920 Honoring Our Veterans
6963 GoRail
  630 Southern Railway Steam
1030 The Forgotten Heritage Engine

Friday, December 26, 2014

More S&A

It had been very quite, heritage wise, for about three weeks on the rail line through Jonesborough. The facing book showed the Savannah & Atlanta was bringing 37Q from Pennsylvania back to Knoxville. The bad news is that 37Q usually gets through here in the wee hours of the morning. I was tracking it through the evening via FB and Twitter posts hoping it would be delayed on it's way into Bristol, but no joy. So I went to bed. 

Then a Christmas miracle happened.

I had inadvertently left my scanner on overnight, about 6:00AM I heard it chirp, and when I went down the hall to turn it off I heard the nice lady call NS1065! Just then leaving Bristol! Most Excellent! I got dressed and made a bee line for the Salt House in downtown Jonesborough even though it was foggy and still dark. I was hoping the fog would roll out and the sky would lighten during the 45 minute run from Piney Flats to Jonesborough.

My plan was coming together ... right up until time the crossing gates dropped. Some person who was obviously not paying enough attention drove their truck right up against the gates, seriously, I think their truck was touching the gate. And all that did was spray light from their headlights all over the middle of my picture ... serious total blowouts right dead center of every picture ... stupid truck.

Oh well, Christmas miracle giveth, Christmas miracle taketh away.

Well, I saw another post on HU.com that the S&A was tied down in Knoxville for the Christmas break. so there's always a chance that it will come back on a different train ... and it did, on 38Q the day after Christmas, but I missed it moving through Jonesborough, again. But this time I had a plan. I had to make a run to mom's anyway, so I drove by the Bristol yard and saw that the S&A was parked next to the cement plant, so I made the trip to Glade Spring and then back to Meadowview to catch it as it came by the new/old train station there. Below is the result of that plan ... not bad, eh?



__________________________________
I'd seen the S&A once before, so this is not a new Heritage motor for me. I'm still at 19 of 20.


#13  1065  Savannah and Atlanta
#15  1066  New York Central
#19  1067  Reading
#12  1068  Erie
  #1  1069  Virginian
  #8  1070  Wabash
 #16 1071  Central RR of New Jersey
#11  1072  Illinois Terminal
  #4  1073  Penn Central
 #18 1074  Lackawanna
 #17 8025  Monongahela
  #2  8098  Conrail
#10  8099  Southern
  #5  8100  Nickel Plate Road
  #7  8101  Central of Georgia
  #9  8102  Pennsylvania
 #14 8103  Norfolk and Western
  #3  8104  Lehigh Valley
  #6  8105  Interstate
        8114  Norfolk Southern
_______________________________________________________________
This is not a new Special Interest engine for me.
6920 Honoring Our Veterans
6963 GoRail
  630 Southern Railway Steam
1030 The Forgotten Heritage Engine

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Santa Train 2014

I made my annual pilgrimage to Kermit Va to shoot some pics of the Santa Train. This time though, I had a new weapon at my disposal, my quad copter with on-board GoPro camera ...

I really didn't want to be the next guy that got beat up on the Facing Book for flying my quad into trouble, so I made sure to stay outside the "60 feet from the center line of the rail" limit that the railroad has mandated. This made the resulting video more blah than I'd hoped for ... but hey. Here's a very-low-res version of the video

video

Here's a couple of screen grabs from that same video. The building on the right in the first one is the old sand plant that used to supply sand to the glass making factories in Kingsport.


It was moving faster than I could fly but I got low enough that they could see the quad. So it's about here that I think Santa and the other folk finally saw my quad and started waving.At least they didn't think it was a threat and start throwing stuff at it, or have the armed guards try to shoot it down ...


And here are a couple that we took at a crossing just down the road from the stop at Kermit:

 
 


Next year, God willing, I intend to go left around the corner toward the Sand Mountain tunnel and shoot it coming through the portal the try to follow it around the corner

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Monopoly Train

One of the more colorful paint schemes in the Norfolk Southern Heritage fleet is the 1067 Reading (pronounced "redding") Bee Line Service. I know almost nothing about this railroad other than it's one of the four railroads in the US version of the Monopoly! game. 

I was particularly interested in why it was called the Bee-Line Service, I figured it had something to do with the "make a bee line for" axiom which means "to move quickly and directly towards a particular person or thing", which sounds like something good for a railroad to do. I did a quick google of the interwebs and found this in a wiki: "... one the most innovative ideas during this time was the Bee-Line service which would dispatch an engine on demand to customers wanting to ship more than 5 cars." So there ya go.

This chase started out like most for me, with a post on the facing book. It stayed overnight at Sevier yard and left there about 1PM headed through Bulls gap to the coal fields of SWVa and beyond. The hardest part of tracking trains on this path is there's a black hole of information about train movement between Bulls Gap and Weber City. So I made an educated guess. It's approximately a 50 mile run from Bulls Gap to Weber City, so I figured it would take about two hours if it didn't have to stop. Me and a buddy took the afternoon off and went to stake out the track in Weber City.

We got there with about 30 minutes to spare. And even had time for some BBQ and a cold beverage before the chase began.



This first picture was taken along the tracks behind Brad's BBQ. The sun was way bright and lens flares were a real problem.


This one is at the trestle over Copper Creek. The Copper Creek Viaduct that's used by CSX is the high trestle in the background.


This one was taken at the Dyno Nobel? loading tower on Railroad Ave just out of Duffield Va. I thought the tower might add some cool to the picture, I'm not sure it adds that much cool.


The last one was taken at a bridge crossing about 5 miles past Duffield, I think the light was better from the other side of the tracks but the angles weren't nearly as good. So this is what I got.


__________________________________
A new heritage engine for me, I'm at 19 of 20.

#00  1030 The Forgotten Heritage Engine
#13  1065  Savannah and Atlanta
#15  1066  New York Central
#19  1067  Reading
#12  1068  Erie
  #1  1069  Virginian
  #8  1070  Wabash
 #16 1071  Central RR of New Jersey
#11  1072  Illinois Terminal
  #4  1073  Penn Central
 #18 1074  Lackawanna
 #17 8025  Monongahela
  #2  8098  Conrail
#10  8099  Southern
  #5  8100  Nickel Plate Road
  #7  8101  Central of Georgia
  #9  8102  Pennsylvania
 #14 8103  Norfolk and Western
  #3  8104  Lehigh Valley
  #6  8105  Interstate
        8114  Norfolk Southern
_______________________________________________________________
This is not a new Special Interest engine for me.
#1 6920 Honoring Our Veterans
#2 6963 GoRail
#3 Southern 630

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Radio Active

It's been a really good weekend for catching Norfolk Southern Heritage motors. The third new one for of this weekend was the only one I'd planned on, go figure. The NS1074 Delaware Lackawanna and Western came through earlier in week on 16T so I knew there was a chance it would come back on 15T this weekend ... and it did! 

The one major flaw in the plan was that the T's usually run through Jonesborough at night, so I had a funny feeling I would have to get a night shot if I wanted a picture. My success rate with night shooting trains is awful. But I went on anyway. 

It was a trifecta of fail because tt was just starting to rain, so I found an overhang to shoot from under, but this limited me to a small alley because I was shooting with a fixed 35mm lens which meant I had to be a certain distance form the rail to get the train in the frame. 

The resulting picture below serves only to prove that I actually saw the engine. I hope to get another chance real soon so that I can remove this one ....


__________________________________
A new heritage engine for me, I'm at 18 of 20.

#00  1030 The Forgotten Heritage Engine
#13  1065  Savannah and Atlanta
#15  1066  New York Central
        1067  Reading
#12  1068  Erie
  #1  1069  Virginian
  #8  1070  Wabash
 #16 1071  Central RR of New Jersey
#11  1072  Illinois Terminal
  #4  1073  Penn Central
 #18 1074  Lackawanna
 #17 8025  Monongahela
  #2  8098  Conrail
#10  8099  Southern
  #5  8100  Nickel Plate Road
  #7  8101  Central of Georgia
  #9  8102  Pennsylvania
 #14 8103  Norfolk and Western
  #3  8104  Lehigh Valley
  #6  8105  Interstate
        8114  Norfolk Southern
_______________________________________________________________
This is not a new Special Interest engine for me.
#1 6920 Honoring Our Veterans
#2 6963 GoRail
#3 Southern 630

Mongo

It's been a good weekend for train pictures ... I saw another of the Norfolk Southern Heritage engines today, the 8025 Monongahela, and it was a complete surprise! I had been watching the 8025 on a web site that tracks them because it had been hanging around the Birmingham area, and that's where the 16T originates. 

I was chatting with a FB friend, making plans to get a picture of a different heritage motor that is on a different train when we heard the dispatcher give a track authority to the 8025. I sprang into action ... well actually I got my camera and drove to my usual place in downtown Jonesborough to wait on it. Low and behold it really was Mongo leading the m42. I'm not sure how it got all the way from Birmingham to Jonesborough without someone reporting it, but there it was.




__________________________________
A new heritage engine for me, I'm at 17 of 20.

#00  1030 The Forgotten Heritage Engine
#13  1065  Savannah and Atlanta
#15  1066  New York Central
        1067  Reading
#12  1068  Erie
  #1  1069  Virginian
  #8  1070  Wabash
 #16 1071  Central RR of New Jersey
#11  1072  Illinois Terminal
  #4  1073  Penn Central
        1074  Lackawanna
 #17 8025  Monongahela
  #2  8098  Conrail
#10  8099  Southern
  #5  8100  Nickel Plate Road
  #7  8101  Central of Georgia
  #9  8102  Pennsylvania
 #14 8103  Norfolk and Western
  #3  8104  Lehigh Valley
  #6  8105  Interstate
        8114  Norfolk Southern
_______________________________________________________________
This is not a new Special Interest engine for me.
#1 6920 Honoring Our Veterans
#2 6963 GoRail
#3 Southern 630