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First Responders NS Honors

Trains and fi re trucks... What little boy didn’t like one or both of these at some point in their life? A lad and his father watch


as members of the Nokesville, Fire

Department greet

Norfolk Southern SD60E 9-1-1 “Honoring Our First Responders” commemorative locomotive as it passes through Nokesville on the Washington District on May 26, 2015. The train is delivering a pair of coaches to Spencer, N.C., for the upcoming N&W 611 excursions. The locomotive was rebuilt and painted at NS’s Altoona, Pa., shop and released on May 6.


safety between Beaumont, Texas, and DeQuincy, La. KCS expects the projects to improve overall performance on this vital part of the KCS cross-border net- work where most of the traffic bound for United States customers from Mexico travels.

As the final stage of a multi-year im- provement program on the Beaumont Subdivision, work began on April 21 and will continue through the end of May. Improvements include replacement of 20 miles of rail and 40,000 cross ties, as well as improvements to ten road cross- ings in the communities of Mauriceville, Texas, and Starks and DeQuincy, La.


Englewood Standoff Continues


Englewood Railway Coalition, composed of around two dozen homeowners in Chicago’s Englewood Community, continues to resist selling their homes and lots to NS. The land in question sits between NS’s two former Conrail intermodal terminals in Englewood; the railroad needs this space to expand the 47th Street terminal southward. NS was able to reach agreement with the vast majority of property owners and that land has been cleared. However, the remaining group of owners does not want to sell and claims that it will fight efforts to condemn their houses and lose their land to eminent domain processes. NS is reportedly still negotiating to acquire the remaining lots, but some owners state that no amount of money is sufficient and that they just want to be left alone.


Portsmouth Signal Replacements

Positive Train Control enhancements and signal modernization continue on the former Norfolk & Western mainline. During May, cutovers were planned for the Portsmouth, Ohio, area. Signal work there includes retirement of two control points that have been protected for decades by Union Switch & Signal color position light signals. Eliminated are the control points and crossovers at Vera (milepost 608.5) and Spring Lane (milepost 607.5). Also, the switch to the out-of-service portion of the Cincinnati District (Portsmouth-Cincinnati) at Vera will now be hand-thrown and protected with an electric lock. In their place, a new control point has been installed at milepost 608.0 and named “Bertha”. It features universal crossovers and, of course, new Safetran color light signals.

Bellevue Yard Update

Look for additional schedule changes in the manifest network during June and July as operations at the Bellevue, Ohio, hump yard move into their final expansion phases. Last month’s column detailed some of the schedule changes primarily impacting eastward flows and reducing the number of trains handled at Conway, Pa. The changes this summer will focus on modifications to westward flows.

As of May 1 Bellevue Yard is now building an average of 23 outbound manifest trains daily and receiving an average of 24 inbound trains daily. It also builds four outbound local trains most days. In addition to these trains, Bellevue handles three manifest trains

that pass through with just a crew change and one that also swaps blocks. Consider that this is just the carload merchandise portion of traffic that passes through Bellevue. On a typical day, the terminal also manages the movement of 12 intermodal trains and eight automotive trains through its limits. Add in numerous coal, grain, and other unit train movements, and one can understand why Bellevue is such a critical operation in terms of its impact on the entire NS network’s performance.

First Responder Commemorative Unit

Norfolk Southern has added yet another locomotive to its roster featuring a commemorative paint scheme. On May 6 the railroad unveiled an SD60E at the Juniata Locomotive Shop in Altoona, Pa., wearing a special “red wave” design in honor of firemen and other first responders. Appropriately, this unit was not numbered in the roster slot normally used for SD60E rebuilds. Instead, it has been numbered as the “9-1-1.” The special locomotive was rebuilt from SD60 6577, and has already been sighted around the system this summer. The concept was proposed by Shawn Leightcap, a 20-year veteran volunteer firefighter from Pennsylvania.

Memphis Terminal

NS has apparently dropped the historic name of its former Southern Railway yard facility in Memphis, Tenn. Forrest Yard is now being referenced as “Memphis Terminal.” The facility many decades ago for Nathan Bedford Forrest, a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.

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