Norfolk Southern Heritage Units.

Discussion relating to the NS operations. Official web site can be found here: NSCORP.COM.
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GulfRail
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Re: Norfolk Southern Heritage Units.

Post by GulfRail »

In addition to the EL/DERECO and Conrail connections already mentioned by Scotty, the DL&W had a historical connection to another predecessor of Norfolk Southern - the Nickel Plate Road. In addition to operating expedited Chicago-New York service with the NKP, the Lackawanna owned something like 10% of the Nickel Plate's stock. The DL&W sold this stock two years prior to the EL merger.

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ns3010
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Re: Norfolk Southern Heritage Units.

Post by ns3010 »

Nsdash9.com reporting that ES44AC's 8098 and 8099 have been delivered and are tentatively scheduled to be painted as the respective Conrail and Southern units. Conrail to be painted at Altoona and Southern at Chattanooga, respectively.

**These are TENTATIVE plans and CAN easily CHANGE at any given time. **

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scottychaos
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Re: Norfolk Southern Heritage Units.

Post by scottychaos »

jmp883 wrote:I'm as much a railfan as anyone on these forums and while I love the fact that NS is serious about the Heritage repaints I have to wonder if the money could be allocated for more important projects that would enhance operations. In this day and age I have to wonder how many shipping dept. personnel in all the industries that NS serves even know anything at all about railroad history. I'm sure there might be a few railfans working in those industries out there but my gut feeling is that most shippers could care less about how a locomotive is painted. He just wants affordable, timely service or he will look for other shipping options.
That is a debate that goes back 170 years, ever since railroads began..
and while its a valid point, and its true that most railroad customers only care about service, its also true that "image matters"..
and image can be said to gain more customers and make more money than not caring about image..its why advertising exists! ;)

If no one cared about "looks" every locomotive would be a square box..no style, no fancy design..we wouldnt have had E-units or Alco PA's, (why spend the extra money for a fancy bulldog nose when a square box would be a lot cheaper?)..no Southern Pacific streamlined Daylight, etc, there are a million examples....Style and image is important, even for freight..Railroads have spent a lot of money over the years painting locomotives in fancy paintschemes, when a plain black "dip job" would have been much cheaper..why do they bother to "waste" the money? because it isnt a waste in reality..
public perception matters..good will matters..a good public image makes your company more profitable in the long run..it might seem like it "costs more" to paint locomotives in fancy paintschemes, but in reality it costs more not to..its why advertising exists.."you have to spend money to make money"..and fancy paintschemes are basically just advertising..

the amount of money NS spends on this "unnecessary" heritage program will probably be paid back many times over in public good will, which will translate to more sales, even if its difficult to quantify exactly how it works...Railroads (or any company) dont knowingly "waste money"...they do things for a reason.
In the long run, it wont be a waste..think how much free advertising NS is going to get from all the local newspapers and TV stations who are going to do stories about these locomotives coming to every town and city NS serves..and the railfan magazines..that alone will make it worth it right there..

NS knows what they are doing! Sure, on one level its just "corporate goodwill"..they are doing it because its a cool thing to do..but they are also well aware the program will enhance the bottom line..there is nothing "wasteful" about this at all..

Scot
Last edited by scottychaos on Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MEC407
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Re: Norfolk Southern Heritage Units.

Post by MEC407 »

Not to mention the royalties they'll be able to rake in from the model train manufacturers who will most assuredly be producing big runs of each of these locomotives.

I would also point out that if you drive on any interstate highway in America, you'll see that the railroads' primary competition -- trucks -- are painted quite nicely. Image absolutely matters.

Many airlines around the world have gotten in on the heritage paint scheme bandwagon. (Quite a few of them did this before the railroads started doing it.)
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jmp883
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Re: Norfolk Southern Heritage Units.

Post by jmp883 »

Scotty,

I do understand the reasons you listed in your post regarding corporate image and how that should always be a top priority for any corporation. As for locomotive style I have never had an issue with steam or diesel engines. Form follows function and, of course, the more appealing the paint scheme is the more appealing that locomotive will look.

I also agree with MEC407's comment regarding royalty income from the model industry.
I'm quite sure that if models of these modern-era Heritage units are eventually produced there will be quite a demand for them.

I guess it's just hard for me to understand that this is a financially viable program for NS to undertake and that there will be a return for them that will justify the money being spent.

Now, as the railfan in me takes over again.....I can't wait to see the Erie and DL&W units!
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MEC407
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Re: Norfolk Southern Heritage Units.

Post by MEC407 »

One way to look at it:

When new locomotives cost $3 million a piece, and those locomotives were going to be purchased anyway, there's not going to be a significant cost difference between a two-color paint job (NS) and a three-color or four-color paint job. Certainly not a big enough difference to outweigh the benefits of the project. There may even be a cost savings from painting several of the units in-house. Additionally, quite a few of the heritage schemes are two-color, and some of them are in fact simpler in design than the NS paint scheme, so those may end up costing the same as the normal NS paint scheme, or a bit less.
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Matt Langworthy
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Re: Norfolk Southern Heritage Units.

Post by Matt Langworthy »

MEC407 wrote:Not to mention the royalties they'll be able to rake in from the model train manufacturers who will most assuredly be producing big runs of each of these locomotives.

I would also point out that if you drive on any interstate highway in America, you'll see that the railroads' primary competition -- trucks -- are painted quite nicely. Image absolutely matters.

Many airlines around the world have gotten in on the heritage paint scheme bandwagon. (Quite a few of them did this before the railroads started doing it.)
Agreed, but it should be pointed out that there will be no royalties from the Erie or DL&W paint schemes, since the Erie Lackawanna Inc officially closed its doors 20 years ago.
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JokerCM
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Re: Norfolk Southern Heritage Units.

Post by JokerCM »

Doesn't matter to me at all why they are doing it. Just that they are doing it. Can't wait to see these units rolling down the tracks.

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ns3010
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Re: Norfolk Southern Heritage Units.

Post by ns3010 »

8098 arrived in Altoona last night for Conrail paint: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... e=1&ref=nf

8099 arrived in Chattanooga shortly ago for Southern paint: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... e=1&ref=nf

RS115
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Re: Norfolk Southern Heritage Units.

Post by RS115 »

Agreed, but it should be pointed out that there will be no royalties from the Erie or DL&W paint schemes, since the Erie Lackawanna Inc officially closed its doors 20 years ago.[/quote]

Actually I believe the royalties would go to NS as the owner of the engine being modeled regardless of whether it says DL&W or "Hey Look At Me". In the case of UP, they maintained ownership of the names/logos etc of predecessor roads throughout the corporate transitions. While things might be murkier with the CR split that could be the case here or they could just be in the public domain at this point.

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MEC407
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Re: Norfolk Southern Heritage Units.

Post by MEC407 »

It's not visible in the hand-drawn mockups on the NS web site, but it's possible that NS will include their own logo somewhere on these units (hopefully small and out-of-the-way). Assuming the model manufacturers choose to include that little detail, that would allow NS to collect royalties from their own logo on all of their heritage units, regardless of whether the particular heritage logo/trademark is theirs or public domain.
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NSDash9
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Re: Norfolk Southern Heritage Units.

Post by NSDash9 »

It's my understanding that the NS logo will not be used on the heritage units. Each unit will simply have NS sub-lettering under the roadnumber on each side to denote the actual ownership.


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blockline4180
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Re: Norfolk Southern Heritage Units.

Post by blockline4180 »

NSDash9 wrote:It's my understanding that the NS logo will not be used on the heritage units. Each unit will simply have NS sub-lettering under the roadnumber on each side to denote the actual ownership.


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Great to hear Chris!! Thanks!!
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Matt Langworthy
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Re: Norfolk Southern Heritage Units.

Post by Matt Langworthy »

RS115 wrote:Actually I believe the royalties would go to NS as the owner of the engine being modeled regardless of whether it says DL&W or "Hey Look At Me". In the case of UP, they maintained ownership of the names/logos etc of predecessor roads throughout the corporate transitions. While things might be murkier with the CR split that could be the case here or they could just be in the public domain at this point.
Erie, DL&W and EL are public domain, as I'm pretty sure EL didn't transfer them to CR.

What about Lionel's NYC SD70 engine? Since that predates the heritage units, would Lionel have to pay royalties to NS now? I'm somehow doubt it, but I'll check with a friend who is a lawyer.
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cjvrr
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Re: Norfolk Southern Heritage Units.

Post by cjvrr »

Are the model manufacturers even paying royalties for existing paint schemes? I thought they just needed to get permission from the railroads to use the artwork, but no actual money was transferring hands. I would think it would cost more for the railroads to collect royalties. How much could they make off any specific model? A couple of dollars each at most, and imagine the paperwork to track that money?
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