Old 10-11-2005, 02:27 AM   #1
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Default A Few Hours on the Second District

After having a month of bad railfanning luck, including the trip down the KD sub which ended up with zero photos and my car being towed back home, I almost decided to give railfanning up for something more productive. Luckily, NS ran some good power last week and that changed my decision. So last Monday night, I got a call from a railroader/railfan friend saying that there was a 54Z in Danville with NS 6168 leading, complete with the horn of the gods. Two hours later, I was at his place and we waiting to see when the train would be called.

3:00 am rolls around and the train's still not called out of Danville. We figured the best thing to do would be to call it a night and hope it doesn't get out in the next few hours. We were very lucky. He checks it again around 8:30 am, and finds out that the train should be out of Danville by 10:00.

With that info, we leave the house and go get some breakfast at Dairy Queen (much better than the greasy egg sandwich from McDonald's I might add), and decide the best place to wait for this train would be around Tateville. Anywhere north of Somerset was out of the question due to the copious number of traffic lights. We heard T01 working, and upon our arrival in Tateville, spot it backing up to couple onto a single ACF center flow.

http://www.cmherndon.com/nsphotos/ns...teville100405/

117 and 133 are en route now, as well. After heading to the other crossing at Tateville, we only had to wait a short time before 117 popped around the curve and started storming the hill.

http://www.cmherndon.com/nsphotos/ns...atevill100405/

That straight EMD consist sure did look and sound nice. Just a shame that tunnel motor that was in there wasn't leading. But hey, SD60's are always nice in this sea of catfish. So could we keep up this trend with 133? Nope. about 15 minutes later, it pops around the same curve with a pair of catfish. I shot it, but didn't take the time to work on it, even though it turned out slightly better than 117. I mean how many more shots of catfish do you want to see?...That's what I thought.

After waiting for a while, and hoping that nobody would call the law on us, we finally heard what appeared to be 54Z calling signals. Neither one of us were sure, but I think that screaming EMD turbocharger gave it away. Because I wanted a better shot, I didn't get out of the truck, but Andy shot video of it. The chase is now on.

In the chase, we catch the train at Greenwood next where the sound of a 645 running balls to the wall could be heard. The train encountered an approach signal there and would be stopping at Cumberland Falls to wait on 132. 54Z started moving again, and I tried an angle that didn't work at Parkers lake. However, I did manage to get a shot of a crossbuck there.

http://www.cmherndon.com/other/joenealrdcrossbuck/

The 8000 or so tons the train had made for a slow start out of the Falls, but it quickly gained speed and we caught the train again at Flat Rock. We also catch it at Whitley City and Strunk before deciding to head back north.

So it turns out that a track guy has a 23-A on #1 between Pemberton and Ratliff, while a northbound passes on #2. After shooting video of 223 at Pine Knot, we head back south just over the Tennessee state line and park it at Winfield. Turns out that northbound is 042, which is heading back to Elkhart for more trailers for FEMA. Shame it wasn't 041. The train had a GP50 leading and a GP60 trailing.

So a few minutes after 042 passes, 54Z gets a clear signal. They're only a little over a mile away, but with it being down hill, the train is moving pretty well by the time it reaches Winfield...and so are the clouds. Wouldn't you know that about two seconds before I press the button, a cloud moves over the sun and pretty much ruined my shot. Ah well, at least it's good power.

http://www.cmherndon.com/03e204e0.jpg

With nothing else coming and clouds rolling in fast, we decide it's just best to call it a day. While not the most productive day I've had, it surely beat that trip in September down the KD Sub. Also, it certainly beat sitting at the house on a relatively nice day, so I'll take what I can get. Until next time...

Hope y'all enjoy, and thanks for looking!
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:06 AM   #2
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Nice report. I like that last shot. Definetely nice to see something other than a wide cab in the lead!

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Old 10-11-2005, 12:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
I almost decided to give railfanning up for something more productive.
Blasphemy!!!!!
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Old 10-12-2005, 12:52 AM   #4
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Nice shots, Caleb. Thanks for sharing your report. Keep up the great work.
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Old 10-12-2005, 10:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Blasphemy!!!!!
Or started shooting UP.
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Old 10-12-2005, 11:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ru1056
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Blasphemy!!!!!
Or started shooting UP.
Come to think of it, shooting UP might be more productive. Just have to find out where those train are parked at.
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Old 10-12-2005, 05:51 PM   #7
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Great trip report, Caleb. Yours are always so well done and presented. Nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmherndon
NS 6168 leading, complete with the horn of the gods.
Is this the same horn that I hear coming from the original NS SD60s? (not the ex-CR ones) If it is, then I will agree that they are god-like. Never heard anything else like it. Very disitinctive.
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Old 10-12-2005, 09:18 PM   #8
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Thanks, Chuck.

Quote:
Is this the same horn that I hear coming from the original NS SD60s? (not the ex-CR ones) If it is, then I will agree that they are god-like. Never heard anything else like it. Very disitinctive.
No, this is the Leslie RS-5T. I think all of the SD60's except the last 15-20 were delivered with Airchime P5's. The last bunch have the now standard K5LA. The RS-5T can also be found on a few other locomotives that aren't N&W heritage if the horns have been replaced. Here are a couple of sound files for your enjoyment.

http://trainhorns.net/leslie/rs5t_030614_2.wav - RS-5T

http://atsf.railfan.net/airhorns/s5tr_9nw.wav - same horn, N&W style
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Old 10-12-2005, 11:27 PM   #9
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Caleb, you rock. Thanks for those samples.

That SD60 Airchime P5 to me is pretty neat. I can almost call the locomotive before I see it when I hear it. It has a more nasal sound, maybe a little higher pitched. It reminds me of about 10 years ago hanging out at my girlfriend's apartment and hearing them blast up and down the Sandusky line in Worthington. There were 3 grade crossings all of about 1-2 miles apart, and man, would they let loose- and this was before the Conrail split, so I can only imagine what it would be like living there now!! That must've been when the SD60s were still somewhat 'premier' power on the NS; before the onslaught of the Dash 9!!
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Old 10-13-2005, 12:31 AM   #10
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Hi Caleb. Thanks for sharing the horn samples. The RS-5T sounds just like the EJ&E that runs by my house. Great horn!
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Old 10-13-2005, 01:00 AM   #11
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Can you tell what type of horn it is just by looking at the arrangement on the loco?
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Old 10-13-2005, 05:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Can you tell what type of horn it is just by looking at the arrangement on the loco?
Me? No, but with practice and some study I could. And I'm not tooting my own horn!! It's too difficult to actually see them on the roof as they pass by, especially the NS units that are mounted on near the radiator fans (like an SD60).

As far as recognizing the sound, I'm sure I could learn all of the different horn models and their respective sounds. I think some are known to be tuned to certain musical chords, like for example I believe one is tuned to an A major 6th chord. But that's only accurate if each individual bell is working. I've heard that lots of times they fail and don't get replaced unless absolutely required. Plus, when it's a multiple unit consist, the sound of 15 horns gets kind of muddled anyway.
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Old 10-13-2005, 06:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmherndon
I almost decided to give railfanning up for something more productive.
And sitting up at a train tunnel for 3 hours waiting for a train that isnt going to come isnt productive!? It all depends on your definition of productive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmherndon
Come to think of it, shooting UP might be more productive. Just have to find out where those train are parked at.
Sad but true

Nice report, and I love B&W NS shots, they look exactly the same
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Old 10-13-2005, 03:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
It's too difficult to actually see them on the roof as they pass by
Well, then, how about if they're slowed down and captured in time, like on a photo? Like these:

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 117608
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 117607
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus


Those are the loudest dang horns they have those NPR GP35s I've ever heard. Ear splitting...
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Old 10-14-2005, 03:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Ear splitting...
I hear 'ya! (I think... )

Sometimes it seems like they can adjust the volume depending the sense of urgency in the particular situation. I've heard:

SUPER LOUD= GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY AND OFF THE TRACKS, WE'RE COMING THOUGH!!

and then also,

quiet-toot How are you doing, hello!
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Old 10-14-2005, 09:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaranna
I hear 'ya! (I think... )

Sometimes it seems like they can adjust the volume depending the sense of urgency in the particular situation. I've heard:

SUPER LOUD= GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY AND OFF THE TRACKS, WE'RE COMING THOUGH!!

and then also,

quiet-toot How are you doing, hello!
If you pull the horn lever hard, it is loud and it you pull it lightly, it is quiet. Once a conductor invited me to ride on the front platform of an engine and get some video. He told the engine to go light on the horn, and he did.
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Old 10-14-2005, 10:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmherndon
Come to think of it, shooting UP might be more productive. Just have to find out where those train are parked at.
Come to St. Louis.
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Old 10-14-2005, 10:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmherndon
No, this is the Leslie RS-5T.
http://trainhorns.net/leslie/rs5t_030614_2.wav - RS-5T
All righty, nice sound clip! I'm not up on the model designations of horns, but that sounds exactly like mine, and if it is, it is also my favorite. That's the reason I kept mine all these years. It was from a CSX U30C. CSX used a bunch of these, did they not?
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Old 10-15-2005, 05:06 AM   #19
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CSX used a bunch of these, did they not?
If I'm not mistaken, this was the standard horn on the Seaboard with several also scattered about the L&N.
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