Monday, April 7, 2014

Southern 630

The 2nd annual running of the ex-Southern Railway 2-8-0 #630 as part of the 21st Century Steam program took place on Saturday and Sunday (4/5 & 4/6). Last year we met it in Bulls Gap for the railroad day festivities and then caught it as it came back by the Salt House in Jonesborough, caught it one last time on the bridge over Boone lake at Bluff City. We didn't want to go back to those places again so we used the Google to pick a few points of interest along the out-bound leg and a few different ones on the return leg.

As it moved west on the first leg of it's trip we planned to see the train arrive in Johnson City to pick up a few passengers, then we moved to the Spring Street crossing in Jonesborough, then to the depot in downtown Greeneville.

On it's return trip we caught it at the W. Irish Street crossing in Greeneville and then one last time as it passed under the Old Jonesborough Road bridge back in Jonesborough.

I took lots of pics that were just fine, nothing special, but not bad. The following two are different renderings of my favorite of the weekend. Which do you like best ?



_______________________________________________________________
This is not a new Heritage engine for me. Still at number 12 of 20.

#1 1069 Virginian
#2 8098 Conrail
#3 8104 Lehigh Valley
#4 1073 Penn Central
#5 8100 Nickel Plate Road
#6 8105 Interstate
#7 8101 Central of Georgia
#8 1070 Wabash
#9 8102 Pennsylvania
#10 8099 Southern
#11 1072 Illinois Terminal
#12 1068 Erie
 
_______________________________________________________________
This is not a new Special Interest engine for me.
#1 6920 Honoring Our Veterans
#2 6963 GoRail
#3 Southern 630


Friday, April 4, 2014

GoRail

Norfolk Southern Railroad has some locomotives painted in Special Interest schemes that are not part of  the Heritage fleet. The newest member of this fleet is the NS6963 GoRail and it made its maiden voyage through Jonesborough this morning. The weather was very cloudy and threatening to rain at any time so I was really happy when I heard it's horn blowing at the first crossing in Jonesborough.

NS6963, Jonesborough, TN 4/4/2014

Here's some information from the NS6963 - GoRail press release:

GoRail and Norfolk Southern announced the unveiling of its one-of-a-kind GoRail locomotive today to commemorate the 10th anniversary of GoRail, a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to educating the public about the benefits of moving more freight by rail. Founded in 2004, GoRail mobilizes support for policies that would lead to more freight moving by rail and opposition to policies that would limit the freight railroads’ ability to meet growing freight demand. The GoRail locomotive will enter into regular freight service on Norfolk Southern’s system.


NS6963, Jonesborough, TN 4/4/2014
The SD60E model features a paint scheme combining the infinity lines of the Norfolk Southern livery with the tracks of the GoRail logo. The lines end in an arrow to depict movement, and the GoRail colors carry through the modified speed lines to show the unity of GoRail and Norfolk Southern, creating the look of land as seen from above and signifying freight movement. 
 
The GoRail locomotive joins Norfolk Southern’s 30th anniversary fleet of 20 non-traditional locomotives painted in the schemes of key predecessor railroad companies and the veterans’ locomotive painted to honor those who have served in the military and reserves.
_______________________________________________________________
This is not a new Heritage engine for me. Still at number 12 of 20.

#1 1069 Virginian
#2 8098 Conrail
#3 8104 Lehigh Valley
#4 1073 Penn Central
#5 8100 Nickel Plate Road
#6 8105 Interstate
#7 8101 Central of Georgia
#8 1070 Wabash
#9 8102 Pennsylvania
#10 8099 Southern
#11 1072 Illinois Terminal
#12 1068 Erie
 
_______________________________________________________________
This is a new Special Interest engine for me.

#1 6920 Honoring Our Veterans
#2 6963 GoRail

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Radio Equipped


Thanks to the fine folk on the ET Rail page on the Facing Book I was able to catch another of the Norfolk Southern Heritage engines. This time is is the 1068 Erie. It was on 16T traveling from Birmingham AL to Allentown PA ... and best of all it would be through Jonesborough during daylight hours! Score one for DST.

The following pictures were taken at the 2nd street crossing in downtown Jonesborough. I knew that the Erie wasn't leading but I didn't know which direction it would be facing. I typically want to get a shot of the tail, the side and the nose, but from my vantage point there was a telephone pole dead center of my field of view. So I opted for a tail/side shot and a side/nose shot.

NS Heritage 1068, Erie, Jonesborough, TN (03/11/2014)

NS Heritage 1068, Erie, Jonesborough, TN (03/11/2014)
_______________________________________________________________
This is another new Heritage engine for me; it's number 12 of 20! Only 8 more.

#1 1069 Virginian
#2 8098 Conrail
#3 8104 Lehigh Valley
#4 1073 Penn Central
#5 8100 Nickel Plate Road
#6 8105 Interstate
#7 8101 Central of Georgia
#8 1070 Wabash
#9 8102 Pennsylvania
#10 8099 Southern
#11 1072 Illinois Terminal
#12 1068 Erie

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Glow Worm

Twice in the same week ! Another Norfolk Southern Heritage engine made its way to Norton Va. This time it is the NS1072 Illinois Terminal sporting the most, uh, recognizable paint scheme in the heritage fleet. I'm not sure what the folk that decided on this paint scheme were going for, but it does make you wonder what colors they passed over to get to this combination. I guess that since the 8099 Southern was in town last week, sporting the best paint scheme in the heritage fleet, it was necessary to bring the IT into the same location to restore balance.

Anyway, the "paint scheme that only a mother could love" aside, the fine FaceTube folk that live in Norton were on the ball again and alerted the FB community that the IT was in town and where it was located: invaluable information for us folk that have to drive 90 minutes to get there. 

It was parked at the east end of the Norton yard, all by its lonesome. It was a pretty uneventful shoot. I walked into the same location we were given permission to go earlier in the week and snapped away. The sky was a flat gray, which makes good shooting light but you definitely want to avoid getting any of the sky in the frame.

NS1072 Illinois Terminal Heritage, Norton Va, 02/08/14
NS1072 Illinois Terminal Heritage, Norton Va, 02/08/14
NS1072 Illinois Terminal Heritage, Norton Va, 02/08/14
_______________________________________________________________
This is a new Heritage engine for me; it's number 11 of 20; on the downhill run now !

#1 1069 Virginian
#2 8098 Conrail
#3 8104 Lehigh Valley
#4 1073 Penn Central
#5 8100 Nickel Plate Road
#6 8105 Interstate
#7 8101 Central of Georgia
#8 1070 Wabash
#9 8102 Pennsylvania
#10 8099 Southern
#11 1072 Illinois Terminal

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Southern

When I first saw the Norfolk Southern Heritage paint schemes the one that caught my eye was the 8099 Southern in the green, gold and white. 

I've been watching a couple of interweb sites report that the Southern was working the coalfields about an hour from here but I couldn't find enough free time to get there ... or it was raining. Then I finally saw on the FaceTube that it was seen leading an eastbound coal train out of Norton I figured I had lost my chance. But, it came back this afternoon. So the decision was made to ease out of work a few minutes early and make the hour drive to Norton in hopes of finding it before it left again.

What I hadn't counted on was how cold it was and how fast it was getting dark. We crossed the bridge on the west end of the yard seeing nothing. We then drove to the east wend of the yard and there she was. A quick check of the google maps and we found a road that would take us closer to the engine. There were a couple of nice NS guys there that gave us permission to drive right to the engine. One of my newest FaceTube buddies lives in that area and told me that the NS folk would accommodate photographers if they can. Most Excellent.

We made a couple of shots from there then drove back toward where we first spotted the engine. We veered onto a road that came up along the opposite side of the track where we got a much better angle. The snow started blowing into our faces - and the camera - potentially leaving lots of water spots on the lens and it was getting dark fast. The following three pictures have been brightened a lot.

Norfolk Southern Heritage 8099 - Southern - Norton Va - 02/05/14
Norfolk Southern Heritage 8099 - Southern - Norton Va - 02/05/14
Norfolk Southern Heritage 8099 - Southern - Norton Va - 02/05/14
Fun Fact:
The 8099 has a small “K,” appended to its cab number. It follows the fashion of all Southern locomotives from 1972 onward until the last pre-merger units were delivered in the Spring of 1982. The check letters were Southern’s solution to prevent transposition of digits when keying movement information into the company’s computer system. 

The check code system featured 10 letters; the right code is found using this formula: Take the first number, double the second and fourth numbers; if the second and fourth numbers doubled are two digits, add those numbers together (ie, 9+9 = 18, make it 1+8=9). Then add the sums from 1 + 4 (with the doubled second and fourth digits). Finally, pick the next break point number by tens (10, 20, 30, 40) and take the difference. 

For 8099 that’s 8 + 0 + 9 = 17. Double the last 9 for 18, but because it is two digits, add them to get 9, and add everything together for a sum of 26. The next break point is 30, so the difference is 4. The corresponding numbers and letters were as follows: 0 = A; 1 = F; 2 = H; 3 = J; 4 = K; 5 = L; 6 = R; 7 = T; 8 = W; and 9 = X. So for 8099, the proper letter is “K.” 

_______________________________________________________________
This is a new Heritage engine for me; it's number 10 of 20; halfway to seeing them all!

#1 1069 Virginian
#2 8098 Conrail
#3 8104 Lehigh Valley
#4 1073 Penn Central
#5 8100 Nickel Plate Road
#6 8105 Interstate
#7 8101 Central of Georgia
#8 1070 Wabash
#9 8102 Pennsylvania
#10 8099 Southern

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Bit of Redemption

A few days back I stunk up a potential shot of the NS 8102 Pennsylvania Heritage engine on a night run through Jonesborough. The pics were only good enough to serve as proof of a heritage engine sighting but that's all. I hoped it would return on the trip back from Memphis but I also figured the best case it would be trailing. But at least there would be a chance at a better picture, this time with a snow scene for a background - a reasonable trade.

Thanks to some fine folk on the ETRail group on the FaceTube I watched the train's progression from Chattanooga to Jonesborough. The timing worked out great because I could get to a new picture-shooting location on my home from work. Well, as they say ... "the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray."

Another nice guy on the FaceTube put me onto this spot earlier in the week, but when I scouted out this location for myself it was a clear sunny morning and the sun was to my left. This time I was looking straight into the sun; nothing but lots of huge monstrous ugly lens flare. Then, while trying to find a way to block the sun from the front of the lens with my hand, I heard the engine's horn blowing at the crossings coming out of Jonesborough.

Time for plan B.

I moved back toward my truck and stood with the camera in the shadow of the RR crossing sign. That fixed the lens flare problem but a stand of trees blocked the angle to the shot that I wanted. Trade-offs.

Anyway, after all the scurrying about, I snapped these two pics of 'the Tuscan Red train with the "Cat Whisker" gold pinstripes' as it began accelerating up the hill toward Johnson City. The sun was setting quickly and there were some decent clouds to add some interest to the sky; consolation since I didn't get to use the angle I wanted.



This is not a new Heritage engine for me, still at 9 of 20, only 11 more.

#1 1069 Virginian
#2 8098 Conrail
#3 8104 Lehigh Valley
#4 1073 Penn Central
#5 8100 Nickel Plate Road
#6 8105 Interstate
#7 8101 Central of Georgia
#8 1070 Wabash
#9 8102 Pennsylvania


Monday, January 27, 2014

Super Bad PRR

For the first time in a couple of months a new Norfolk Southern Heritage engine was passing through Jonesborough. It was going to  pass through after dark, again, so I went to my usual place for nighttime shots: behind the courthouse in downtown Jonesborough.

I had a few minutes to wait so I figured I'd play around with the flash settings and exposures and shooting angles to see if I could coax a picture out of the scene that wasn't just like the others I've shot here. 

Well, it was an unmitigated disaster. You wouldn't think a train could sneak up on you but when my diesel truck is idling, and the courthouse HVAC system is running and a delivery truck is delivering it drowns out the train horns until it's too close to put the camera back to known settings before the train is there. My first clue was when the crossing signals went off ... but it was too late. I set to spinning dials trying desperately to salvage something ... but ... fail.  Such a disservice to the Tuscan Red train featuring the "Cat Whisker" gold pinstripes.

I'm almost embarrassed to publish these pics but they are proof that I saw my ninth Heritage engine and they will serve as impetus to get better pictures to replace them ASAP.



#1 1069 Virginian
#2 8098 Conrail
#3 8104 Lehigh Valley
#4 1073 Penn Central
#5 8100 Nickel Plate Road
#6 8105 Interstate
#7 8101 Central of Georgia
#8 1070 Wabash
#9 8102 Pennsylvania