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Documenting Heritage. Norfolk Southern's Heritage Program.

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posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 02:21 AM
Earlier this year, Norfolk Southern Corporation revealed that they had intention on starting a "heritage program" to celebrate their thirtieth anniversary this year. Included in this news release were details as to what rail lines that went into Norfolk Southern predecessors Norfolk & Western, the Southern Railway. and the lines that went into the formation of CONRAIL. Speculation arose as to which railroad from the three would come out first. A few weeks had went by, the first heritage unit was released. In February of this year, Norfolk Southern locomotive #8098 was released from the General Electric plant in the paint of the Consolidated Rail Corporation.

NS "CONRAIL" 8098 sets on the ready track at Alloy, West Virginia as it and its crew prepare to take a trainload of West Virginia diamonds toward Bluefield, West Virginia.

The CONRAIL heritage wasn't the only one setting at Alloy on this warm September evening. Norfolk Southern locomotive #1065 sets next to the previous coal train as it waits for the next train to run to the mines or back to Bluefield.

I had no idea that the next one was going to go by so this next photo happened by sheer accident while I was at one of the local train watching hot spots back in August. Norfolk Southern locomotive #8105, INTERSTATE heritage, brings an empty coal train into West Virginia as it goes back toward the mines of southern West Virginia. The INTERSTATE Railroad was purchased by the Southern Railway in 1965. This scheme was prevalent on their fleet of ALCo RS3 road switchers.

As part of the heritage program, Norfolk Southern announced that they were going to be running system wide "Employee Appreciation Excursions" on weekends that were to be announced on a later date. These excursions were to be ran using steam locomotives from both the Southern Railway and the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society. When the dates for the Norfolk Southern division trips were confirmed and what steam locomotives were announced. The news spread like a raging wildfire around the railfan community. Especially among people from here in West Virginia and across the nation.

On August 4th, the first two of four weekend trips on the Pocahontas Division took place. Nickel Plate Road #765 had the privilege of running that weekends excursions on four ninety mile round trips to and from Williamson, West Virginia. I had the fortune of being able to cover the events on that Saturday. NKP 765 "splitting" the Color Position Lights at Chattaroy, West Virginia on its first westbound trip out of Williamson.

Now the N.K.P. 765 and NS 8100 weren't the only two in the area at that time. Norfolk Southern #8104, Lehigh Valley heritage, was setting in Williamson Yard as the second unit on a coal train. The Lehigh Valley railroad was one of several railroad in the northeastern United States that went into the formation of the Consolidated rail Corporation.

What would turn out to become the Virginian Railway, the Deepwater Railway was the brainchild of civil engineer William Nelson Page and one of the principal's of Standard Oil and one of the richest men in the world at the time, Henry Huttleston Rogers. With the completion of the Tidewater Railway in Virginia in 1909. The Virginian Railway was formed and became one of the most profitable railroads in United States history. It was so influential in our history that the community of Page in Fayette County was named after William Nelson Page. The Virginian Railway merged with the Norfolk & Western Railway in 1959.

The previous day I had been notified that the Virginian Railway heritage unit was setting in the yard across the river from where I live. I had been waiting to document this particular locomotive in the area due to this state's history with the Virginian Railway. Norfolk Southern locomotive #1069, Virginian Railway heritage, is seen at Dickinson Yard just south of Belle, West Virginia.

The same day that I had gotten the Virginian heritage at Dickinson Yard. I had also heard what was then a rumor that the Pennsylvania Railroad heritage locomotive was setting at Alloy, West Virginia ready to take a coal train south to Bluefield, West Virginia.

One of the first heritage units that I caught was Norfolk Southern's "Illinois Terminal" heritage unit. When I discovered where it was and what it was doing. It came as a shock to me since I did not know that it was in the area. The actual Illinois Terminal Railway Company started back in 1937 after being reorganized by the Depression afflicted Illinois Traction System. The Illinois Terminal Railroad was split up among the railroads that connected with it in 1982.

Here is Norfolk Southern locomotive #1072 as it works a load out just south of the yard and as it crosses the Kanawha River at Deep Water, WV on the ex-Virginian main.

I did not have to wait long, only two days, to catch my next heritage unit. Here we have Norfolk Southern locomotive #8103, N&W heritage, bringing an empty train to Alloy, WV.

the next two and, so far, the last two heritage units to make it up this way were the Central of Georgia and the Monongahela heritage units appeared.

posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 02:31 AM
I love it when you show me your " trains " gimme

I am going to take a good half hour to look these pictures over and read the thread, good job my friend.


posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 03:20 AM
You rail fans are a hoot. It's a hobby I will never understand, but I admire the commitment.

posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 03:52 AM
reply to post by GreenGlassDoor

Let me tell ya, I got my fair share of rail fanning mishaps that have happened to me. Like leaving the tripod mount to my video camera at home while bringing the tripod with me. Or the time I slipped and fell on some ice covered snow while a couple of other rail fans were right next to me. After I fell, I got up and proceeded to tell them that they should of had their cameras out taking pictures when it happened.

That's just some of the stuff that's happened to me.....
edit on 10-12-2012 by gimmefootball400 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 01:21 AM
It is about time that I posted another update to this thread. I guess I must have forgot about having this thread some time ago. With that aside, here are the photos and videos that needed to be posted. In this photo taken back on December 31st, 2012. We have eastbound coal train 776 being pushed into Bluefield Yard at Bluefield, Virginia with the help of the original Norfolk Southern heritage unit #8114 as it is stopped just east of the signals at Falls Mills, Virginia while waiting on other traffic to clear.
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Setting in the yard that very same dreary day back in December was Southern Railway heritage unit #8099 still tied onto another eastbound train that it had shoved into the yard earlier that day.

A few months later, I was back down on the Pocahontas District of Norfolk Southern. On August 2nd of this year, I once again spent the day rail fanning one of the most famous rail lines in the Eastern United States. First up, we have "ERIE" heritage unit #1068 heading west on a helper set at Eckman, West Virginia. This as it heads back to Welch so it could shove another train up and over Elkhorn Grade.

Later on that day and a little bit further east of there. We find "Central of New Jersey" heritage unit #1071 deep in the middle of an eight locomotive consist on an empty grain train heading into Bluefield Yard.

The last heritage unit that I have seen was "Lackawanna" heritage unit #1074. This as it has been assigned to run on Norfolk Southern trains 217 and 218 for the last month and a half. First shot of it is just north of Portsmouth, Ohio on Norfolk Southern's Columbus District between Portsmouth and Columbus, Ohio as it brings train 218 south.

The following weekend after I had to miss it on the return trip back to Chicago. It is once again in the lead of train 218 as it hustles south, timetable east, out of Columbus, Ohio as it makes its run for Portsmouth, Ohio and Roanoke, Virginia.

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