how many of you have seen a heritage unit in person

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wurlitzer153
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Re: how many of you have seen a heritage unit in person

Post by wurlitzer153 »

wurlitzer153 wrote:Trainorders is reporting that 14T may have the NS unit today, possibly trailing.
Through Painesville, OH at 9:15 PM, 8114 leading.

2 down, 18 more to go!

Gilbert B Norman
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Re: how many of you have seen a heritage unit in person

Post by Gilbert B Norman »

Here is a convenient source to view the NS "Heritage Fleet":

http://www.heartlandrails.com/photos/pb ... /2012&src=

I remain astounded how a road that has held, including predecessors, for well the past fifty years like Henry Ford; "You can have it painted any color you want so long as it's Black, has now become the leader in developing a heritage fleet. Chessie, it's time for you to "get with the program".

Gadfly
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Re: how many of you have seen a heritage unit in person

Post by Gadfly »

That's not entirely accurate. The two major partners, Southern and Norfolk & Western DID use black for their freight locomotives. However, NW's passenger engines were often Tuscan Red, Southern's were Green & Gold (accent stripe) with white. I don't know about NW, but even some of Southern's freight locomotives were Green & Gold for a time, and they continued with the theme, only Black & White with the gold stripes. NW tended to be very austere with strictly black. Personally, and having worked for Southern, I have always thought the SR Green & Gold livery to be very attractive, none more than one morning in '78 when my wife and I went to Washington, DC. We were using what is called a "trip pass" where those newer employees could obtain a pass from their supervisor and ride for free as a company benefit. I had not been hired long, and this was part of this new adventure for a lowly yard laborer. Alas, this benefit would not last because the next year Amtrak finally took the Crescent into their fold.

We had just been seated in the dining car, which had just opened, and it was crowded. Looking out the window, I observed the 4 E-8 locomotives streaking around a curve. The sun was glinting off the engines and the silversides coaches/baggage cars ahead, and I could clearly see the word, "S O U T H E R N" emblazoned on the sides. I admittedly felt quite proud of the fact that I now worked for this company! The engines and the coaches were very shiny (they must have recently been washed at the Atlanta coachyard), and it all made for a very picturesque scene from some movie. The engineer was "playing" a tune (a jazzed up version of a crossing signal) on the unique-sounding Nathan 5 chimes. I've always wished I had got a photo of that long-ago scene as it has become a vivid part of an old railroader's memories..............

GF

Gadfly
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Re: how many of you have seen a heritage unit in person

Post by Gadfly »

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Here is a convenient source to view the NS "Heritage Fleet":

http://www.heartlandrails.com/photos/pb ... /2012&src=

I remain astounded how a road that has held, including predecessors, for well the past fifty years like Henry Ford; "You can have it painted any color you want so long as it's Black, has now become the leader in developing a heritage fleet. Chessie, it's time for you to "get with the program".
I visited the link, and frankly I am appalled. Guess who is missing? {u]THE VERY ROAD THAT WAS AND IS AN ORIGINAL PARTNER IN THE MERGER INTO NORFOLK SOUTHERN[/U]! This illustrates my allegations most vividly and proves an undeniable prejudice against Southern Railway amongst the "northern" brethren of rail buffs who fawn and coo over all those oh-so 'mighty' railroads, and ignore one of the most astute, well-managed railroads in the USA. Despite the omissions and slights, might I point out that, no matter how much you blither and drool over those other oh-so-wonderful railroads, they are either GONE thru merger, went bankrupt, or were swallowed up by more savvy, more efficient railroads--LIKE NORFOLK SOUTHERN. :( Let me ask you: if the situation were reversed, would the "mighty" Lehigh Valley have the CASH, the wherewithal, to DO a Heritage Fleet? Well, Norfolk Southern DID! If you took the time to research the history of Southern Railway like you do the "yankee" roads, you'd be surprised at its achievements, and how it earned the slogan, "Southern Gives a Greenlight to Innovations".
I mean no harm, but I get SICK of hearing about the 'wonderful' Pennsylvania" or the "NOO Yawk Central", or the Lackawanna! Hell, what I remember about these roads, for example, we were instructed that, when we got track material loaded in a Pennsy, a NYC or a PC gon, do NOT try to unload the car if they were filled with snow. YOU'RE LIABLE to FALL THRU the damn floor!!!!!!!!! No lie! We got the most rickety, shoddy cars you ever saw from these foreign roads, and our Safety Department issued these instructions. Send dangerous cars BACK, or if you can safely unload them, move them to the RIP track for repair, OR RDR (return direct route--do NOT reload!! These "great" railroads couldn't even afford to send us cars that weren't full of HOLES to fall thru! We were amazed that any railroad even HAD such dangerous, bad-ordered cars! At least SOUTHERN could afford to maintain decent, SAFE cars! "Mighty, indeed! :(
Sorry, but it makes me mad. :(

GF

PARailWiz
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Re: how many of you have seen a heritage unit in person

Post by PARailWiz »

Gadfly wrote:
Gilbert B Norman wrote:Here is a convenient source to view the NS "Heritage Fleet":

http://www.heartlandrails.com/photos/pb ... /2012&src=

I remain astounded how a road that has held, including predecessors, for well the past fifty years like Henry Ford; "You can have it painted any color you want so long as it's Black, has now become the leader in developing a heritage fleet. Chessie, it's time for you to "get with the program".
I visited the link, and frankly I am appalled. Guess who is missing? {u]THE VERY ROAD THAT WAS AND IS AN ORIGINAL PARTNER IN THE MERGER INTO NORFOLK SOUTHERN[/U]! This illustrates my allegations most vividly and proves an undeniable prejudice against Southern Railway amongst the "northern" brethren of rail buffs who fawn and coo over all those oh-so 'mighty' railroads, and ignore one of the most astute, well-managed railroads in the USA. Despite the omissions and slights, might I point out that, no matter how much you blither and drool over those other oh-so-wonderful railroads, they are either GONE thru merger, went bankrupt, or were swallowed up by more savvy, more efficient railroads--LIKE NORFOLK SOUTHERN. :( Let me ask you: if the situation were reversed, would the "mighty" Lehigh Valley have the CASH, the wherewithal, to DO a Heritage Fleet? Well, Norfolk Southern DID! If you took the time to research the history of Southern Railway like you do the "yankee" roads, you'd be surprised at its achievements, and how it earned the slogan, "Southern Gives a Greenlight to Innovations".
I mean no harm, but I get SICK of hearing about the 'wonderful' Pennsylvania" or the "NOO Yawk Central", or the Lackawanna! Hell, what I remember about these roads, for example, we were instructed that, when we got track material loaded in a Pennsy, a NYC or a PC gon, do NOT try to unload the car if they were filled with snow. YOU'RE LIABLE to FALL THRU the damn floor!!!!!!!!! No lie! We got the most rickety, shoddy cars you ever saw from these foreign roads, and our Safety Department issued these instructions. Send dangerous cars BACK, or if you can safely unload them, move them to the RIP track for repair, OR RDR (return direct route--do NOT reload!! These "great" railroads couldn't even afford to send us cars that weren't full of HOLES to fall thru! We were amazed that any railroad even HAD such dangerous, bad-ordered cars! At least SOUTHERN could afford to maintain decent, SAFE cars! "Mighty, indeed! :(
Sorry, but it makes me mad. :(

GF
Try not to be offended by this. Norfolk Southern has indeed accomplished much, and certainly outlasted the northeastern railroads in the end. The vast majority of railfans don't mean any slight to NS - I certainly don't, and I'm glad they are still around to keep the freight system moving.

Southern was a great railroad that did many things well. But there were also other circumstances that helped push the northeastern railroads down besides poor management, including the collapse of northeastern industry, the decline in use and availability of anthracite coal, general overbuilding of the railroad infrastructure, and Hurricane Agnes (not to mention the apparently gross incompetence of the PRR / PC management in its latter years). Indeed, Erie-Lackawanna almost made it, and the Reading at least had a reputation for good management until the end. If Southern had been operating in the northeast among all these problems, it's possible no amount of good management and good practices would have saved it from Conrail either.

Keep in mind that us northern railfans grew up in the north, so naturally our railroading past is the focus of our interstest, and Southern played little direct role in it until relatively recently. We focus on their history because that's what our parents and grandparents remember - working for them, riding on them, watching them roll through their communities. And there was a time when they were great railroads, long ago. But like many of our parents and grandparents and the industrial might of the northeast, they are gone - and all we have are the memories and historical records left behind, and the historical landmarks that still bear their remains: old bridges, train stations, headquarters. We can see Southern locomotives and operations anytime we want - their descendant is all over the place. But they lack that local historical connection, coming as they do from way down south in Atlanta. Seeing an authentic operating PRR, Reading, Lehigh Valley, etc railroad operation is impossible, and the NS heritage program is probably as close as we will get.

So I am grateful that NS has instituted this program, and I hope that explains why many of us focus on the old northeastern heritage units, despite the flaws of their forebears.
The picture to the right is a photo of Silverliner I 246 located at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg, PA.

Gadfly
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Re: how many of you have seen a heritage unit in person

Post by Gadfly »

PARailWiz wrote:
Gadfly wrote:
Gilbert B Norman wrote:Here is a convenient source to view the NS "Heritage Fleet":

http://www.heartlandrails.com/photos/pb ... /2012&src=

I remain astounded how a road that has held, including predecessors, for well the past fifty years like Henry Ford; "You can have it painted any color you want so long as it's Black, has now become the leader in developing a heritage fleet. Chessie, it's time for you to "get with the program".
I visited the link, and frankly I am appalled. Guess who is missing? {u]THE VERY ROAD THAT WAS AND IS AN ORIGINAL PARTNER IN THE MERGER INTO NORFOLK SOUTHERN[/U]! This illustrates my allegations most vividly and proves an undeniable prejudice against Southern Railway amongst the "northern" brethren of rail buffs who fawn and coo over all those oh-so 'mighty' railroads, and ignore one of the most astute, well-managed railroads in the USA. Despite the omissions and slights, might I point out that, no matter how much you blither and drool over those other oh-so-wonderful railroads, they are either GONE thru merger, went bankrupt, or were swallowed up by more savvy, more efficient railroads--LIKE NORFOLK SOUTHERN. :( Let me ask you: if the situation were reversed, would the "mighty" Lehigh Valley have the CASH, the wherewithal, to DO a Heritage Fleet? Well, Norfolk Southern DID! If you took the time to research the history of Southern Railway like you do the "yankee" roads, you'd be surprised at its achievements, and how it earned the slogan, "Southern Gives a Greenlight to Innovations".
I mean no harm, but I get SICK of hearing about the 'wonderful' Pennsylvania" or the "NOO Yawk Central", or the Lackawanna! Hell, what I remember about these roads, for example, we were instructed that, when we got track material loaded in a Pennsy, a NYC or a PC gon, do NOT try to unload the car if they were filled with snow. YOU'RE LIABLE to FALL THRU the damn floor!!!!!!!!! No lie! We got the most rickety, shoddy cars you ever saw from these foreign roads, and our Safety Department issued these instructions. Send dangerous cars BACK, or if you can safely unload them, move them to the RIP track for repair, OR RDR (return direct route--do NOT reload!! These "great" railroads couldn't even afford to send us cars that weren't full of HOLES to fall thru! We were amazed that any railroad even HAD such dangerous, bad-ordered cars! At least SOUTHERN could afford to maintain decent, SAFE cars! "Mighty, indeed!
Sorry, but it makes me mad.

GF
Try not to be offended by this. Norfolk Southern has indeed accomplished much, and certainly outlasted the northeastern railroads in the end. The vast majority of railfans don't mean any slight to NS - I certainly don't, and I'm glad they are still around to keep the freight system moving.

Southern was a great railroad that did many things well. But there were also other circumstances that helped push the northeastern railroads down besides poor management, including the collapse of northeastern industry, the decline in use and availability of anthracite coal, general overbuilding of the railroad infrastructure, and Hurricane Agnes (not to mention the apparently gross incompetence of the PRR / PC management in its latter years). Indeed, Erie-Lackawanna almost made it, and the Reading at least had a reputation for good management until the end. If Southern had been operating in the northeast among all these problems, it's possible no amount of good management and good practices would have saved it from Conrail either.

Keep in mind that us northern railfans grew up in the north, so naturally our railroading past is the focus of our interstest, and Southern played little direct role in it until relatively recently. We focus on their history because that's what our parents and grandparents remember - working for them, riding on them, watching them roll through their communities. And there was a time when they were great railroads, long ago. But like many of our parents and grandparents and the industrial might of the northeast, they are gone - and all we have are the memories and historical records left behind, and the historical landmarks that still bear their remains: old bridges, train stations, headquarters. We can see Southern locomotives and operations anytime we want - their descendant is all over the place. But they lack that local historical connection, coming as they do from way down south in Atlanta. Seeing an authentic operating PRR, Reading, Lehigh Valley, etc railroad operation is impossible, and the NS heritage program is probably as close as we will get.

So I am grateful that NS has instituted this program, and I hope that explains why many of us focus on the old northeastern heritage units, despite the flaws of their forebears.

The slights may be unintentional, but they are, however, slights towards a very interesting, stubborn, and astute company. I can't help noticing how Southern Railway System is most often ignored by the media that feature railroads. The merger into Norfolk Southern was not due to a desparate company in need of support, but a response to the then-new CSX that threatened to surround Southern RR, and they certainly were not going to have 'no sich' occurance. In fact, it was the Southern that furnished the final choice of names since it owned the "Norfolk & Southern" Railway name anyway. Both NW and Southern were profitable and successful companies, and no doubt, their geographic locations and customer bases played a huge part in their ability to churn out dividends. Southern Railway, for example, had a known (if begrudged) reputation for innovations, and achievement, not only among railroads, but as a consistent listee in Standard & Poors as one of the top 5 corporations in the USA, bar none. It was good for ME, too, since I made money hand over fist (for a short time til merger) in the SR stock purchase plan. Indeed, an employee of SR would be foolish NOT to be a part of their plan. Telling also was the fact that SR's stock was higher at merger than NW. Interestingly enough, some of the NW bosses came south trying to tell US how NW "saved our skins". BULL****!!!! I asked 'em then WHY was OUR stock higher than theirs at merger, and they couldn't answer that.

Part of my own history with Southern was the Southern Crescent, and how the company continued to run the Crescent well past the 1971 Amtrak deadline. Quite frankly, the story goes that Amtrak tried to tell Southern Railway how they *had* to accept all sorts of passenger "junk" cluttering up their lines. Mssrs. Claytor and Crane told Amtrak in no uncertain terms where they could ************** their "Amtrash": they'd run the Crescent for FREE before any sum**** from Amtrash would tell SR what to do!!!!!! :) Southern was losing 2 million/year on the Crescent, but was STILL paying dividends and making money hand over fist!!! Not too many railroads were able to say that in 1975-79. It had some legendary management like the fearsome D W Brosnan. I came up under people who worked for him; some of them were just LIKE him! A couple, instrumental in Southern's revolutionary track machine innovations, used to draw diagrams with lumber crayon in the floor of the Roadway Shop backshop. They would set barrels around these "works of art"---and don't you DARE run across these 'masterpieces' with a fork lift. Then they would assemble the parts according to this diagram, then try it out on the machine. If it didn't work, then they'd be back on their knees drawing again. Jack Parks knew a Tamper or a Kershaw Ballast Regulator by heart, and could almost quote you the OEM part number from memory. All these guys possessed the same kind of mentality and thinking that produced the Big John hopper car and so many innovations Southern was famous for. Southern would not accept the status quo, or 'the old way" of doing things: they saw a problem and tackled it with gusto--often with great success. But is Southern mentioned HERE? Only if someone like ME brings it up! Is it given credit for its inventions and innovations that enhanced the industry? NO. Is it mentioned in the railfan mags and rags or on TV programs? NO! Was it included in the merger photo in the thread above? NO!!! The only thing people can even THINK about are those roads who were swallowed up IN the buy-up of Conrail because they are so caught up in "the mighty Pennsy, or the New York Central, or Lehigh Valley and perhaps(?) due their prejudices, they can conveniently ignore one of the MAIN merger partners. :) Y'all had "Horseshoe Curve" and "Sandpatch". Southern had the STEEPEST mainline grade in the US (Saluda Mountain!!!!) No biggie, just..................conspicuous!

GF

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charlie6017
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Re: how many of you have seen a heritage unit in person

Post by charlie6017 »

Gadfly,

I would have LOVED to see freights go up and down Saluda Grade. Alas, I got into railfanning
a wee-bit too late to see it. It was taken OOS not long afterward. But I do understand what
you're saying.........Southern merged out of necessity, unlike financially with the NE roads.

A surrounded railroad is a DEAD railroad.

Charlie
~Charlie Ricker

Gadfly
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Re: how many of you have seen a heritage unit in person

Post by Gadfly »

charlie6017 wrote:Gadfly,

I would have LOVED to see freights go up and down Saluda Grade. Alas, I got into railfanning
a wee-bit too late to see it. It was taken OOS not long afterward. But I do understand what
you're saying.........Southern merged out of necessity, unlike financially with the NE roads.

A surrounded railroad is a DEAD railroad.

Charlie
There I gotcha. Saw it several times, and listened and talked to them working Saluda Grade while working as Operator, Hayne Yard. I heard them "doubling the hill"
at Melrose. If you actually SEE that hill, you'll wonder how steel wheels can go up such a steep grade! Saluda was so steep that if an engineer was indiscreet with his brakes he would find himself going into the sand track! He got only TWO chances!

GF

PARailWiz
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Re: how many of you have seen a heritage unit in person

Post by PARailWiz »

Gadfly wrote:
charlie6017 wrote:Gadfly,

I would have LOVED to see freights go up and down Saluda Grade. Alas, I got into railfanning
a wee-bit too late to see it. It was taken OOS not long afterward. But I do understand what
you're saying.........Southern merged out of necessity, unlike financially with the NE roads.

A surrounded railroad is a DEAD railroad.

Charlie
There I gotcha. Saw it several times, and listened and talked to them working Saluda Grade while working as Operator, Hayne Yard. I heard them "doubling the hill"
at Melrose. If you actually SEE that hill, you'll wonder how steel wheels can go up such a steep grade! Saluda was so steep that if an engineer was indiscreet with his brakes he would find himself going into the sand track! He got only TWO chances!

GF
I remember looking up the timetable entry for the Saluda Grade back when I had the opportunity...there were a lot of special rules for trains going downgrade, including stopping at the top to charge the brakes 100%. At one point I think they also had to use the horn to signal a switch up ahead that the train was in control and didn't have to be directed to the sand track?
The picture to the right is a photo of Silverliner I 246 located at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg, PA.

chuchubob
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Re: how many of you have seen a heritage unit in person

Post by chuchubob »


ohioriverrailway
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Re: how many of you have seen a heritage unit in person

Post by ohioriverrailway »

The NKP unit is part of the 765 employee special traveling roadshow. Saw it 4 times yesterday while taking vid clips of the train.
Rick H.

Gadfly
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Re: how many of you have seen a heritage unit in person

Post by Gadfly »

chuchubob wrote:SOU Heritage unit
I saw this one (Southern) and was standing just a few feet from where this photo was taken at Spencer. But when another photog took a photo of what was supposedly ALL the heritage units, the SOU unit was conspiciously absent. It would give the impression that this was ALL the heritage units represented when one of the MAIN ones was missing. Let us not forget that it was SOUTHERN and NORFOLK & WESTERN that made up the two initial partners, NOT those "mighty" roads who are only now represented by ONE locomotive and operate as a PURCHASED subsidiary of Conrail. Some of these were merged partners within the old Conrail, some were struggling, some were teetering on bankruptcy----all came under the umbrella of Conrail which was purchased by two successful railroads: NS and CSX. The rest, now under CSX, would be Seaboard, Atlantic Coastline, Baltimore & Ohio, Chesapeake & Ohio, and others I don't recall. NS, they say in real estate, had one thing going for them: location, location, location. The other one was shrewd, frugal management, low deferred maintenance, and a lower operating ratio. IOW, it was cash rich with which to BUY up other roads.

My "beef" is, SOUTHERN was always an innovative, solvent company. It didn't even go bankrupt during the Depression as many other roads did. It included diversified investments in real estate along its route, mining and various outside companies. It bought up properties along its RoW and recognized the potential for promoting rail transport to its neighbors, offering incentives to locate on the lines as well as discounts (within Federal limits) on rail shipments. I'm sure other roads did as well, but SOU was obviously quite successful at it. It wasn't the largest road, but it certainly was an extremely well-managed corporation, along with its partner, NW. They were an ideal match in philosophy and temperament, and there was no wonder Norfolk Southern has been so successful. If you live in an area into which Norfolk Southern now reaches and begrudge them because *your* favorite* road didn't "make" it, perhaps, you should do some research into these two rail partners. Hey, they are lean and mean,and brook no nonsense, but their success has been the reason they CAN do a "Heritage" series. Has there been any effort on the part of CSX to engage in such a "frivilous" effort(but I don't think its frivilous to acknowledge ones stellar past)? And even tho they *can* be less than fan-friendly due their policies towards trespassers, their pride and consciousness of what these partner railroads mean to their communities can't be denied. And there's a certain longing for their past since they recently got back into the steam excursion business in a limited way---even offering free rides to its employees and retirees.

But I digress, and my main point is that Southern is ignored by the Eastern-dominated press, by TV and by the fan rags. Just watch the advertisements on RFD TV who features "Trains and Locomotives". Look at all the videos promoted, again all about the northeastern railroads and the western roads. Even NW gets press, but SR? Noooooooooooo! This latest slight seems to reinforce the prejudices of "yankees" against anything "southern" as if we are in the dark ages, a bunch of "hicks" that talk funny and know nothing. All the while, while mocking US, these who poke fun, should look around themselves at all the bankrupt entities, not JUST railroads, and all the things that have moved............south. Is it REALLY *just* an oversight, or a deliberate attempt to shove anything "south" in the corner while ignoring reality? I don't mean to be rude, but this particular omission appears to be just another in a long line of insults. It is no biggie, but I cannot help but notice. I realize I hired out to SOUTHERN, and eventually worked the rest of my time at NS. It was a source of pride for an old railroader to have been a part of a fine, shrewd company. To have it ignored while promoting the other railroads as if they were the greatest thing since hoop cheese is almost too much! :(

GF ;)

gp80mac
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Re: how many of you have seen a heritage unit in person

Post by gp80mac »

Maybe if you didn't keep running your locomotives backwards....












(do I have to say the above was tongue-in-cheek)?? But seriously, I think you are looking way too much into some fan's photo page.
Yep.....

chuchubob
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Re: how many of you have seen a heritage unit in person

Post by chuchubob »

Returning to the original topic, the only Heritage unit I've seen working is PRR 8102, which came to South Jersey in early May and came back again in early June. Conrail and Juniata Terminal Company arranged a PRR side-by-side when 8102 headed west with NS 39G.

Gadfly
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Re: how many of you have seen a heritage unit in person

Post by Gadfly »

gp80mac wrote:Maybe if you didn't keep running your locomotives backwards....












(do I have to say the above was tongue-in-cheek)?? But seriously, I think you are looking way too much into some fan's photo page.

I realize the TIC aspect, but I can answer the "backwards" locomotive question as it was told to me. Southern felt that long hood first was safer in a headon collision and in a crossing collision with trucks because it gave the crew more time to "duck" or seek shelter--even jump clear if necessary. Short nose first, the collision was 'closer" to the crew and gave them little or no time to react. With the cab to the rear of the engine, and the cowl facing forward, the exit doors were closer to the crew where they could get out if need be. Also, often the object being hit would be pushed to the side by the long nose, again giving the crew a better chance. Didn't work in some cases, as I knew a crew who hit a gasoline tanker. It exploded engulfing the locomotive and the crew before they could get clear. Really sad time. :(

Another habit of Southern, not understood by *some* was their use of mid-train slaves and radio control cars behind the lead set of locos to control them. Know what those cars were? They were coal tenders, saved from the scrapper's torch and converted to control the slaves which could now be put at any point in the train and controlled by radio. Southern was one of the FIRST to do this, and many competing roads puzzled over how they were doing it. Some never did get the "hang" of it and abandoned the use of slaves. I remember well that we could tell when a mid-train slave train was in town; it was because our radios raised h*ll on channel 1 with "CHIRRRR-UP, CHIRRRR-UP, CHIRRRRRRRRRRRRR-UP, CHIRP"! It made a heck of a racket! Eventually, Norfolk Southern did away with the slaves--(probably at the insistence of NW who didn't use them). For a time, they experimented with B-units and cab-less engines, but abandoned that, too, as horsepower and tractive efforts increased from GE and EMD. Yeah, I guess we did some things "backwards"............................:)

GF

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