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

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Jersey Girl

Thanks again the Facing Book for alerting me to another Norfolk Southern Heritage motor that I hadn't seen. This time it was on train 22A, it wasn't leading, but it was still coming through. 

I wanted a shot of the rear of the engine, the side and the nose. I also knew it was facing rearward so shooting at my usual train shooting spot was going to be a bit trickier than normal because at the time of day it came through the angle of the sun makes serious glare at certain points. 

I got there about 30 minutes early and it was raining ... bummer ... but then it stopped ... yeah ... but then it stayed cloudy ... bummer ... then the clouds started rolling away ... yeah. I'm glad I had time to work on camera settings for a while because It was much darker than I expected so I need a lot of test shots to gets a happy medium between speed - for a clear shot of a moving target - and brightness.

I thought I was positioned properly for the three shots I wanted, but I was a bit too close. so the butt shot had the nose clipped, the side shots were off center, and most of the nose shots had spots of glare. Well darn. The following is the best of the bunch.



The nice thing about it being on 22A is that it's likely that it will return on the 23G in a few days. So hopefully I'll get another shot at getting it right.

__________________________________
UPDATE: (09/10/2014)
The 1071 made a return trip through the are on train 23G, and this time it was leading! It's notoriously hard to get the timing right on 23G, but it had made two recent trips through here about 7:00AM, so I was hoping for a repeat, but Just to be sure I was up and ready to go at 6:00AM. 

When I heard it clear Jonesborough on the scanner I took off for the bridge over Boone Lake in Bluff City. Traffic was with mr and I arrived in plenty of time ... just to find the whole place socked in with fog ... crap! It was too late to go to another spot so I stayed at the bridge hoping the sun would get up high enough to burn off some of the fog before 23G got there.

The wind picked a bit and the fog blew in and out, mostly out. When the train got to the bridge the fog was just about right, but I didn't get the exposure just right, so the pics are a bit darker then I'd like, but there's a nice reflection. All in all it's not too bad; I'd like another shot at it though.


__________________________________
A new heritage engine for me, I'm at 16 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
        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

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lightning Stripes

UPDATED: 10/05/2014

The NYC made a surprise return visit on  a cool bright Sunday morning on the 16T. I saw on HU.com that the NYC was in Asheville yesterday on a train that ends up in Knoxville. I then heard the dispatcher give a TA to a 106-something to proceed to Piney Flats. I knew the 106x series were all SD70ACe's with the coolest horns out in the fleet, so when I heard the train horn in Jonesborough I took a chance and made a quick run to Johnson City Metals ... Jut in case.

My efforts were rewarded with the following two pictures of the NYC leading 16T eastward toward Bristol.


 __________________________________

It's been a while since one of the Norfolk Southern Heritage engines came through the area. The fine folk on the Facing Book posted about the New York Central coming east from Chattanooga on 16T which meant a daylight opportunity for a shot at a new Heritage motor for me. The reports had it trailing 2nd of three so I knew it wouldn't be a great photo opportunity. And I wasn't sure when 16T typically moves eastbound from Knoxville so it was going to be a wait-by-the-scanner day.

I heard the dispatcher give a track warrant to a westbound 29W which would meet some unknown eastbound at Telford, so I went to Jonesborough to wait on the eastbound, just in case. I got a few shots of the SD60 leading the westbound 29W - which was kinda cool - then I heard the dispatcher give a track warrant to 38Q coming into eastbound into Telford ... bummer ... not the train I thought the NYC was on. But it was only 10 minutes away so I decided to wait and take a few pics because 38Q usually has 5 or more engines so it's always cool to see and hear that.

I snapped a few pics of the whole consist as it came toward Jonesborough, and imagine my surprise when I saw the lightning stripes of the NYC trailing 5th of 5. I had already lowered my camera so I had to quickly get back on task. I got off six shots, the best three are below.




Trying to get a good shoat at an engine that far back in the consist is hard enough when you have time to plan for it, so I'm pretty happy they turned out as well as they did given the hastiness of the shooting.

__________________________________
A new heritage engine for me, I'm at 15 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
        1071  Central RR of New Jersey
#11  1072  Illinois Terminal
  #4  1073  Penn Central
        1074  Lackawanna
        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

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Outside the Wire

Me and my herd o' womens went to NYC to see some English-ters put on a production of Macbeth and see the stuff that is cool while we were there. I have been in enough big cities in other parts of the country to have some preconceived notions of what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised, it was a nice place to hang out for several days. Some musings from the trip:

Traveling to the big city by trains is cool.

There's a tremendous amount of abandoned real estate along the railways between DC and NYC.

I know the railways don't always travel through the best parts of cities, but I never expected Baltimore to be such a dump ... wow ... sketchy-town USA.

We may have been the only English-speaking tourists there.

City folk don't like city noises so they all wear earphones when they are outside.

The Walk/Don't Walk signs don't really mean Walk/Don't Walk.

During the World Cup season - and only then - you can wear safety-green or day-glo-orange shoes without folk chuckling at you.

Men can wear skinny jeans if they roll the legs up past the ankle and pair them with brightly colored leather dress shoes ... we saw lots of red ones. The exception is when wearing black leather skinny jeans which must be tucked into high-top tennis shoes.

The yellow ones don't stop.

Europeans think jorts are cool.

I was never overly concerned for our safety at any time we were there.

Navigating the city was very easy because most streets are numbered, not named; traveling on the subway was fine.

Go to Times Square one time - just to say you've been there - then don't waste your time going back. The same goes for Central Park ...meh.

Josh from FACTs was in NYC at the same time ... he was in Manhattan when we were uptown and vice versa tho.

I still don't like Shakespeare plays, even when done by a legit knight and Amy Pond's daughter.

NYC has a bunch of gorgeous old churches that were completely surrounded by super-tall, super-modern buildings.

There's a 75% chance that we might have seen two famous people.

When we were at the Top of the Rock there was no tremendous feeling of being up high, I suspect because the things that were close to us were also pretty tall. I couldn't see my house from there.

I opted to take my GoPro camera instead of my Nikon and it turned out to be a mixed bag. While I definitely enjoyed not having to lug the size and weight of the Nikon, I definitely missed having exposure and zoom control. The GoPro is quite amazing for it's size but it's no match for a real DSLR for still shots. I had to get a little heavy-handed with knocking down the exposure to reduce the glare in a lot of these, a polarizer would have been most helpful.

Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island ferry.
Lower Manhattan from the Staten Island ferry.
Church of Our Lady of the Rosary in Lower Manhattan.
Entrance to the Cloisters.
Garden in the Cloisters.
Back of the Cloisters
The Freedom Tower.
The Empire State Building.
Emily and Me at the 9/11 Memorial.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Threesies

UPDATE (06/04/14):

The 1070 Wabash & 8099 Southern made a return trip on Wednesday leading 202 back to Pa. This time it would be a daylight run in the early afternoon so I burned a few hours of PTO to get some decent shots. I started back in Jonesborough then made the drive to Bluff City to snap a few as it crossed Boone Lake. The results this time were muchly gooder.




This past weekend saw more of the Norfolk Southern Heritage engines move through Jonesborough than any 3 day period since I've been looking for them. None of the three were new heritage motors for me but the 8105 Interstate coming through on Sunday afternoon was a much better photo op than the night shots I'd got last year.

So this past Thursday afternoon I learned the Interstate would be traveling through on 22A ... but - there's always a but - it was going to be late evening and the forecast was for rain. It was delayed getting into Bristol and then the skies opened up. No photo ops tonight, but there's always a chance it will be sent back on the 23G.

I also learned that both the 1070 Wabash and the 8099 Southern were on 201 ... but ... - there's that but again - it too was going to be a late evening run but at least it wasn't supposed to rain. I'd not seen a single train with two Heritage otors so I really wanted a shot at this one. It was on time toward Bristol until the train ahead of it went into emergency and caused a 45 minute delay. And at this time of day it's a quality 45 minutes of light. So when 201 finally left Bristol it was 8:30 which put it in Jonesborough at 9:15 ... with nothing but street lamps for light. The image below was taken at the highest ISO that's reasonable on my camera and some LR and Photoshop magic applied I got an image that only kinda stinks if you don't look too close. Maybe they'll send it back on the 202.

Norfolk Southern 1070 Wabash and 8099 Southern, Jonesborough, TN (06/01/14)
A Dirty Creamsicle.

The Interstate was indeed scheduled to return on the 23G, and it would be leading on the this trip. Thanks to the facing book trains groups I had a pretty good idea when it would get back to Jonesborough. The only other time I've seen this motor was a rainy night last summer so I was anxious to see it during a daytime run and get some good shots. Several folk on the facing book mentioned that it was very dirty and there was even some "PC" (for Penn Central) drawn into a couple of the dirty white areas. I guess the fact that's got as much white in the paint scheme makes it hard to keep clean, but dang, would it hurt to run it through a car wash once in a while ?
 
Norfolk Southern 8105 Interstate, Jonesborough, TN (06/01/14)
... and the obligatory butt shot - look closely and you can see the PC in the dirty white paint near the numbers.
Norfolk Southern 8105 Interstate, Jonesborough, TN (06/01/14)
__________________________________
Neither of these were new heritage engines, still at 14 of 20.

#00  1030 The Forgotten Heritage Engine
#13  1065  Savannah and Atlanta
        1066  New York Central
        1067  Reading
#12  1068  Erie
  #1  1069  Virginian
  #8  1070  Wabash
        1071  Central RR of New Jersey
#11  1072  Illinois Terminal
  #4  1073  Penn Central
        1074  Lackawanna
        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, May 18, 2014

Precision Transportation

Being a railfan in the era of social is pretty darn cool. Keeping track of the movements of the Norfolk Southern Heritage fleet is done quite well through a several pages on the Facing Book. The latest win was the Norfolk and Western 8103. 

Most railfolk knew that it was scheduled to drag the NS611 steam engine from Roanoke to Spencer, NC for the Streamliners at Spencer event the weekend of May 29. But it had been hanging around in southern Indiana for a a couple of weeks. It snuck (is that a word?) into Knoxville TN in the late evening of 5/17 and was gassed up and ready to go somewhere. I was hoping that it would be making its move to Roanoke on Sunday morning on 38Q, which usually gets to Jonesborough about 6:30AM.

Armed this info I decided to take a chance and just go hang out in Jonesborough about 6:15 Sunday morning and see if it was on 38Q. I reckoned that since it was still very early and the clouds were really thick that I'd need some street lights to help make a picture. The scanner has been completely quiet so I had no confirmation of train movement to go on. 

Just as I got to to Main St in Jonesborough I saw rail cars going by ... crap crap crap ... I missed it. So I banked hard left and drove back toward Johnson City, hoping that I could outrun it to somewhere that had street lights or was really open toward the morning sky. I decided on the crossing at OmniSource (Johnson City Metal) which had both. I'd never shot there so I knew I would need a few minutes to see if there was a reasonable angle with reasonable light. I fired off a few test shots with the F-stop wide open and kept bumping the ISO and shutter speed until I had a workable histogram. I knew the pics would be noisy at ISO 800 but you gotta work with what light you have. About a minute later I heard the horns.

As you can see below, the pics are noisy. When I got home I saw how underexposed they were and that will only make the noisier when I brighten them up in LR5. Regardless, I have pics of a new heritage motor for me! I'll get better pics when it comes back through, they always come back.

It wasn't until I got into post processing that I noticed the front door was open and the lead engine was #8013 (close to #8103).

NS Heritage 8103, Johnson City, TN (05/18/2014)
NS Heritage 8103, Johnson City, TN (05/18/2014)
_______________________________________________________________
This is a new heritage engine, # 14 of 20.

#00  1030 The Forgotten Heritage Engine
#13  1065  Savannah and Atlanta
        1066  New York Central
        1067  Reading
#12  1068  Erie
  #1  1069  Virginian
  #8  1070  Wabash
        1071  Central RR of New Jersey
#11  1072  Illinois Terminal
  #4  1073  Penn Central
        1074  Lackawanna
        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

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Veterans Engine

On Tuesday of this week the Norfolk Southern 6920 Honoring Our Veterans unit made another run through Jonesborough ... this time during the daylight !

It was trailing 3rd of 3, westbound on 37Q, but it came through town about 7:45, perfect timing for catching on the way to work.





_______________________________________________________________
This is a not a new heritage engine, still at # 13 of 20.

#00  1030 The Forgotten Heritage Engine
#13  1065  Savannah and Atlanta
        1066  New York Central
        1067  Reading
#12  1068  Erie
  #1  1069  Virginian
  #8  1070  Wabash
        1071  Central RR of New Jersey
#11  1072  Illinois Terminal
  #4  1073  Penn Central
        1074  Lackawanna
        8025  Monongahela
  #2  8098  Conrail
#10  8099  Southern
  #5  8100  Nickel Plate Road
  #7  8101  Central of Georgia
  #9  8102  Pennsylvania
        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

The Forgotten Hertitage Engine

The red-headed step-child of the Norfolk Southern Heritage fleet is the EMD SD70ACe #1030. While at the gathering of the Heritage fleet in Spencer it was representing modern-day Norfolk Southern, sporting the current horsehead paint scheme. The "30" in the road number signifies the Norfolk Southern 30th anniversary. The front number boards on the #1030 were temporarily changed to 1982 and 2012 to represent the 30 years since the merger between the Norfolk & Western and Southern Railways


The 1030 came through the area after dark earlier in the week on a 22A so i had hopes that it would return on the 23G today. And another win for the FB folk with a nicely timed heads-up when it left Bulls Gap. 23G got hemmed in at Sand Valley by today's 22A which made timing the 23G through Jonesborough very easy.

_______________________________________________________________
This is a new heritage engine but I'm still at # 13 of 20 official heritage engines for me!

#00  1030 The Forgotten Heritage Engine
#13  1065  Savannah and Atlanta
        1066  New York Central
        1067  Reading
#12  1068  Erie
  #1  1069  Virginian
  #8  1070  Wabash
        1071  Central RR of New Jersey
#11  1072  Illinois Terminal
  #4  1073  Penn Central
        1074  Lackawanna
        8025  Monongahela
  #2  8098  Conrail
#10  8099  Southern
  #5  8100  Nickel Plate Road
  #7  8101  Central of Georgia
  #9  8102  Pennsylvania
        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

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tuxedo

Another win for the Interwebs, specifically folk from the Facing Book and HeritageUnits.com. I finally got a chance to catch one of my favorite paint jobs on a Heritage engine: the tuxedo paint scheme on the Savannah and Atlanta.

The Savannah and Atlanta has been stuck in Illinois for the past six months save one trip through Jonesborough back in January which I missed - but a week ago there was a glimmer of hope that it would get here when I saw on HU.com that it was making a break for West Virginia. The next update had it in central WV, then silence for a few days then BAM! it was leaving Cleveland Va leading on a coal drag bound for Belmont, NC - which would put it through NETN today. The hard part - as it always is - was knowing when it would get close to us.

FB to the rescue ... a FB buddy from the East Tennessee Rail group was waiting on it just west of Rogersville. I would typically go to Weber City Va to shoot trains coming out of SWVa toward Knoxville but I figured I was too late to the party to get to Weber City before it did ... so ... my shooting buddy John and I took and early lunch and bolted for Bulls Gap TN, figuring that the guy in Rogersville could call us off if were too late to catch it there

The following three pics came out pretty good. It would have been nice to have some clouds to break up the sky but you gotta work with what you have.

Savannah and Atlanta, Bulls Gap, TN (04/23/14)
We'd previously used the Google to scout out what looked like a good train shooting spot with an old building for a backdrop. When we got there we a bit disappointed because they layout wasn't as cool as it appeared on the Google; the railroad crossing was much higher than we expected. In the picture below you can see that a most of the bottom floor of the building is blocked.

Savannah and Atlanta, Bulls Gap, TN (04/23/14)
The obligatory butt shot.

Savannah and Atlanta, Bulls Gap, TN (04/23/14)

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This is heritage engine # 13 of 20 for me!

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

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 ?



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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)
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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