Thursday, July 5, 2012

Colorful Locomotives and a Birthday Party, Part 2

"This is better than any fireworks I've ever seen"  -Wick Moorman 7/3/2012

I was there.  He was right.

It was sunny and hot.  Mid 90's.  It was humid. Dew point in upper 60s.  It was crowded.  Several thousand.  People were cowering in whatever shade they could find.  They were lined up at the drinking fountains refilling water bottles.  They were passing out right and left and being hauled out by the very busy EMTs.  But, those are just details....

It was terrific!

NS and the museum folk put on quite a show.  First up, they took each locomotive for a spin on the turntable, sort of like models on a runway.  People were lined up 3 and 4 deep around the rim of the turntable.  There was a viewing platform and some bleachers available, but most people opted for an up-front view.

The crowd at the pit Tuesday morning.

Making sure the wheels stay where they are supposed to...

Lackawanna gets her turn

Erie going for a spin

All lined up for the speeches to begin

Brainy, Wick and North Carolina Dept of Cultural Resources Secretary Linda A. Carlisle....and half of Jim Wrinn of Trains Magazine

The lighting wasn't great for pictures at the turntable, but there was narration describing some of history, effort and nuances of each railroad and it's paint scheme.

New York Central freight black lightning stripes

Lehigh Valley with chevron striping on the nose

Sun-lit noses and sweaty railfans

My sentimental favorite heritage unit rolling toward the turntable.

The long hood end of the N&W unit.  In a "what-if" world, would this have been the F end?
Following the speeches, they started a parade to the south in an area the named "Heritage Hill".  They did their best to keep the locomotives aimed the right way relative to the sun.

First came the Southern family.
Southern "Cresecent" green

Sharp looking Central of Georgia

The obscure, original Norfolk Southern

The even more obscure Interstate

Southern traditional black on Savannah and Atlanta
The museum had spotted some of their collection in the area making for some interesting comparison shots.

Southern E8

Norfolk Southern Baldwin AS616

Southern FP7

Southern GP30

Heritage unit with E8

Wabash Heritage next to Norfolk Southern Baldwin
After the sun swung around a bit, they continued with the N&W family.

N&W in "C&O merger" blue

The New York, Chicago and St. Louis...

known as the "Nickel Plate"

Virginian in the Trainmaster scheme

Very sharp looking Wabash

The "you can't miss it" Illinois Terminal.  Where's the trolley pole go?

Red shadows on capital letters!

All lined up
And, finally after the sun move around a bit more, the Conrail Family.
Classic Conrail paint scheme

PRR 5 strip Tuscan Red with BP-20 inspired keystones

Keystone in circle logo

PC wearing the somewhat controversial Brunswick Green paint

Erie passenger scheme

Sharp looking Lackawanna paint


Reading with the "Bee Line" slogan

Lehigh Valley in Cornell Red

Monongahela in "Super 7" gray scheme
There was a lot of opportunity to get up close to the locomotives...although if you got TOO close or stayed TOO long, you'd get hoots and hollers from guys trying to take pictures!

1968 revisited?

Looks like it could be Erie in 1990!

Rolling off the turntable, headed for Heritage Hill.

Conrail with some predecessors

NYC and PRR - too close for comfort?

Erie - Lackawanna

Could be Bethlehem?
The Anthracite Roads
There was plenty of other stuff to look at, too.The museum's regular collection was on display in the roundhouse.  There were tables with cool stuff for sale.  I bought a Conrail T shirt.  NS was giving away a free book, "Eat Steel.  Spit Rivets."  The railroad historical societies all had booths and Amtrak showed up with some equipment you could tour including a diner, sleeper and dome car.
One of Amtrak's five heritage locomotives

The only Viewliner Diner
After nine sweaty hours, two liters of water and a quart of Gatorade, I had seen and done enough.  It was time to call it a day.  What next?  Maybe I'll try to catch one of these heritage locomotives out on the road, doing some real work.

But, for now, I think I'll stay inside and enjoy these pictures in the cool for a while!


  1. Don: Thanks for this Photo Posting!
    What memories,and what fun :~))
    Thanks for sharing them.

    Along side the Eldorado sub on
    the BNSF Transcon!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Great photos. Wish I had been within a couple hundred miles of Spencer and I would have been there! Alas, I live in Oklahoma for now and have to look for the Heritage fleet on the BNSF north - south mainline in OKC.

    David, future NS/BNSF/TRE/KCS/or other RR employee when the military is done with me!

  4. Would you mind if I posted a link to your blog page with the NS Heritage units on our web page?



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