Sue and I attended the C&O Modeler’s Weekend at Pipe Stem State Park in West Virginia in late March. On the way over and on the trip back we encountered three NS trains worthy of a photograph. Friday 03-24-2017.
1. Virginia Lee is the name of a long-demolished tipple at the west end of Raitt Tunnel. It was formerly the east end of Raitt passing siding. 03-24-2017. NS 7267 at Virginia Lee.
2. The passing siding has since been truncated. This is the top of the grade separating the Levisa Fork and the Tug Forks (Home Creek and Lester Fork of Knox Creek). NS 7267 at Virginia Lee. View 2.
3. NS 7267-9837 have w/b 82G consisting of 107x from Page (former Consol Buchanan Mine) to Burns Harbor IN (Arcelor Mittal steel mill, formerly Bethlehem). At Virginia Lee.
4. A train of that length would not make it from Weller up Home Creek without help. NS 1059-1092-8153-1039 with pusher J56 (?) provides that. At Virginia Lee.
5. Nearing Bluefield we encountered NS 9821-2506-3524 on e/b 80T-24 (Revelation Coal at Wentz VA to Lamberts Point pier) with 107x. This is the east end of the passing siding at St. Clair VA on the Clinch Valley Dist. At St Clair VA.
6. NS 9821-2506-3524. St Clair VA. View 2.
7. Pushers NS 9398-4007-1063 will be needed to get the train up the steep climb into Bluefield. St Clair VA.
8. On the way home on Sunday, 03-26-2017, we found an NS ethanol train waiting at Oakvale WV, for an eastbound out of Bluefield. Ferromex 4697 is a GE ES44AC built in 2007.
9. Feromex 4697. Oakvale WV. ES44AC. View 2.
10. NS 9881-6964-9673 rips by with 172x on e/b 822-26 (Bluefield-Lamberts Point). Today's 822 consists of 77 loads from Rosebud Mining’s Lady Jane load-out at Penfield PA (Pittsburg & Shawmut RR) and 95x from the Buchanan Mine at Consol VA. Oakvale WV.
11. NS 8325-4697-2808-6767 gets a Clear for w/b 65M-25 (Winston-Salem to Chicago-CN to Dyersville IA). Today's 65M has 79 ethanol empties and 3 buffer cars. Oakvale WV.
We head non-stop for home after that.