Sunday, April 22, 2012

Freight Containerization-A Brighter Future For All

When I see a double-stack container train, I see evolution.  I see a railroad industry that continues to adapt.  I see containers that are themselves unloaded from trains in a matter of minutes, and are thus handed off with grace.  I see a unit of transportation that moves from point A to point B with a minimum of handling.  Both time and costs are saved by this great innovation.
As trains compete with containerization, the railroad makes itself more and more relevant.  In making itself more relevant in the time-sensitive market, more and more long-haul trucks and trucking companies utilize the railroad and containerization.  Fuel costs are saved.  Handling costs are saved.  Wear and tear is saved.  Roads become less congested.
Through containerization, railroads and trucking companies join forces to move America towards the future we all want.  A world that protects its resources.  A world that better utilizes its highways for the public.  Containerization truly is a key to a brighter future for all.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Southern SD40-2 Leads Mixed Freight at Biltmore, NC

This Southern SD40-2 leads a mixed freight at Biltmore, North Carolina.

The Local Freight

There is a peacefulness to some railroad lines.  A few freights a day make their way past.  Yet these freights have a place to go, a job to do.  They have an end of the line to reach.
I sit and wait, patiently.  I anticipate the local freight.  The locomotive approaches.  The local freight is in sight.

Norfolk Southern Empty Coal Train at Biltmore Station

It was truly a joy to see an empty Norfolk Southern coal train at Biltmore Station on the former Southern yesterday at breakfast.  It made me think of how many trains had stopped at this historic depot, passengers arriving for the Biltmore Estate and the beautiful North Carolina town.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coal Trains: Norfolk & Western at Roanoke

Coal trains roll onward at Roanoke, as they have for years.  This town grew with the railroad, with the coal that fueled industry, the coal that fueled steamships at the Chesapeake Bay.  The coal that fueled America.
The coal that came from the mountains of this region helped fuel the industry that made it possible to push westward.  The mighty Norfolk & Western with America's railroads pushed this movement.  As eager pioneers moved now on ribbons of steel, they found a new home in a new America.  A new America that promised hope.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Railfanning Norfolk Southern Cresson, Pennsylvania

I walk up Front Street in Cresson, Pennsylvania.  On a twenty foot rise stands Norfolk Southern's Pittsburgh to Altoona mainline, once the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Grinding up the hill and towards Altoona, a manifest rolls past.  I wave a the engineer.  Box car after box car thunder past.
I look up.  In the distance, a locomotive light glistens.  A westbound double-stack glides down the hill.  The first freight fights its way past.
Norfolk Southern's mainline in Western Pennsylvania brings joy to my heart.  Once the Pennsylvania Railroad, once Penn Central, once Conrail.  This mainline has always been a key artery to American railroading and continues to be today.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Andy Fletcher Will Attend CRHS Spring Rail B Que Saturday May 5, 2012 Newport, PA

Andy Fletcher will attend the CRHS Spring Rail B Que.
Hope to see you there! Go Big Blue!
Newport, PA
Saturday May 5, 2012

The Rhythm of the Train

The cadence of a freight train awakens a fondness in my heart.  There is a rhythm that continues from town to town as each carload continues from shipper to market.  Each car an integral part of the train.  The train rolls in rhythm, works in rhythm with America.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

South Yard, Roanoke-Still a Sense of the Virginian

I live a mile from South Yard in Roanoke.  On the way to the store or on errands, I often cross today's Norfolk Southern tracks.  These tracks, forged by the Virginian Railway, carry coal from the seams and hollars of West Virginia and Southwest Virginia to the tidewater at Norfolk through the critical junction of Roanoke.  A marvel of engineering and purpose, the former Virginian Railway operates much as it was intended.

The Railroad Connects Us All

I am a firm believer in rail heritage.  As I see a modern train, I see it moving on a right of way cleared many generations ago by a country with big ambitions.  A country  growing.  Growing greater.  Growing with the railroad.
On today's railroad, I see this same America.  An America linked by steel rails.  Rails that carry the commodities that we depend on, the goods that we need.  I see cities, towns and whistleposts where the trains roll by.  Where the coal trains roll and the grain heads onward.  Where manufactured goods make there way to market.
As a grandparent and grandchild give the same salute to the engineer, I see a railroad that moves the way it always has and always will.  The railroad has changed in many ways.  It has become safer, more efficient.  Yet it is the same steel highway that connects us all.  Connects America.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Andy Fletcher Will Attend Great Southeastern Rail Days June 2-3 2012 Spencer, NC North Carolina Transportation Museum

Andy Fletcher will attend
Great Southeastern Rail Days Festival
Saturday-Sunday June 2-3, 2012 Spencer, NC 
North Carolina Transportation Museum 

Thursday, April 5, 2012