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

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