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Positive Momentum

Norfolk Southern reports positive earnings in 2009 annual reports for stock holders. Wick Moorman (CEO of Norfolk Southern) says that NS “withstood the economic shocks of 2009 to produce good economic results, and I go into 2010 with a sense of optimism for our future prospects.”

Going in to 2010, Norfolk Southern says they have a better understanding of their economic goals, and can act accordingly. They believe the company’s progress in safety and service, disciplined cost control, and investments in key projects, with aggressive pursuit of new business opportunities are important keys in continued growth.

Moorman says that Norfolk Southern has “made significant gains in each of these areas, and these same strategies will drive our continuing success in 2010 and beyond. While the short-term economic outlook remains somewhat uncertain, the longer-term prospects for Norfolk Southern and the railroad industry remain very bright.”

Norfolk Southern appears to be going into 2010 with positive momentum. Their traffic levels increased in both the third and fourth quarters of 2009 due to cost efficiency, and they are positive they can continue this trend into 2010.

President’s Award

Toyota has recently awarded Norfolk Southern with the President’s Award for Overall Logistics Excellence. This award is the highest given by Toyota in the area of logistics providers. This is the seventh time Norfolk Southern has received this award since 1996. The award was given based on the criteria of customer service, on-time performance, and quality.

A representative of Norfolk Southern said that they “remain committed to continue meeting Toyota’s high standards for excellence by providing safe, damage-free, on-time service”.
Norfolk Southern transported roughly half of a million Toyota vehicles in 2009.

Conrail Photos

The following Conrail train photos are from the collection of Gary Morris – used by permission.

Amtrak Photos

The following Amtrak photos are from the train collection of Gary Morris – used by permission.

A Holiday Trip to Remember!

Have you ever taken a trip by train? The Holiday season is probably a good time to consider one!

One of the most memorable trips that I have ever taken by train was in 1981 during the Christmas Holidays. I was in the process of moving from Upstate New York to a town in North East Georgia. I had driven a U-Haul truck down to Georgia with a load of furniture and personal belongings during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas and had decided to take the Amtrak Crescent back up North as far as Washington, DC.

I had never visited Washington Union Terminal, but had seen several pictures and was really looking forward to the visit! There was only one problem, the station had been closed for restoration and refurbishing just months before and remained so for my visit. I had however had a very enjoyable trip from Georgia to Washington. Let me share some of my memories here:

As we stood out on the passenger platform around 10:00 PM at Toccoa, GA waiting for the train, I remember thinking that there was something wrong with this picture. I had left the cold and snow behind in New York and as I stood there at the whistle stop station in GEORGIA, the temperature was in the 20’s and snow flurries were flying all around us! This made the night air nice and crisp and sound traveled seemingly forever. Before long, I could hear the whine of the locomotives in the distance and soon the blasts of the air horns, as they came into the outer limits of town. Even though the majority of our trip would be in the hours of darkness, there was still a sense of excitement that leaped inside of me! I knew that before long, I would be watching the Christmas lights all along the right of way, what a sight!

To this day I can still remember that as we came upon every station that was still being used for some purpose or another, the lights that were lit and the snow reflecting off from their glow. As we worked our way further North, the snow started sticking to the ground and as we passed sidings and yards, the snow was covering the parked freight cars. What a sight! I stayed awake well into the wee hours of the morning watching out the window and enjoying all of the things that I could see, but the warm heat in the car with its gentle rocking and clickity-clack of the wheels soon put me to sleep. On occasion we would come into a station and the conductor would wake me up with announcements, but other than that, I was dead to the world!

When I awoke to the announcement that they were now serving breakfast in the dining car, I looked out my window to find that we were traveling through places that had very deep snow. As we worked our way to the dining car, I asked an attendant where we were and was informed that we were in the mountains of Virginia. We sat down to a table that was set with a white table cloth and a red flower in a vase by the window. What a beautiful sight set against the white snow covered mountains! As we sat there eating a wonderful breakfast equal to any in a fine restaurant, I remember entering into cut through the mountain and the freshly fallen snow billowing up into the air, as went speeding through.
The remainder of the trip into Washington was filled with views of the suburbs and railroad sights that are normally associated with big metropolitan areas. When we arrived at the station in Washington, we exited byway of makeshift platforms and passageways to a section of the terminal that was still open enough to handle the operations. It had been a trip that will always remain in my mind, The Snow, The Warm Car, The clickity-clack and The Gentle Rocking, The Smell of Breakfast and the Joy of Christmas Expectations along the right of way!
This Christmas Season, you just might want to consider a Holiday Trip aboard Amtrak! Click on the link to the right and check it out!

Southern Railway

Southern Railway was a collection of nearly 150 predecessor lines that were combined and reorganized since the 1830’s.
Southern Railway was one of the first railways in many areas of modernization including, but not limited to dieselization and shop and yard modernization, to computers and the development of special cars and the unit coal train, Southern definitely was a railroad that was on the cutting edge of change, earning the company its catch phrase, “The Railway System that Gives a Green Light to Innovations.” In later years the slogan could be seen on most of its boxcars, but changed slightly to read “Southern Gives a Green light to Innovations.” In the early 1960s, a popular steam locomotive excursion program was instituted under the presidency of W. Graham Claytor Jr. The steam program survived the merger which formed the new Norfolk Southern Railway in 1982, but was finally discontinued in 1994.

Please click on the link to the right side to see the complete gallery of photos from the Southern Railway. Below are some samples from the gallery.

The following photos are from the collection of Gary Morris by permission.

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Peachtree St Station, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Peachtree St Station, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Do you remember when?

So many of us Railfans remember the “good ole days” when you could travel to another state or across the nation and see many different Railroads represented! Today crossing the nation you would be hard pressed to see 5 or 6 major Railroads. This site is designed with the intent of not only providing you with information on the current Railroads, but the Railroads of the past as well. Be sure to check out the historical societies of the Fallen Flags.

The picture below is the famed “Southern Crescent” passing through some small southern town.


Photo of Southern's Crescent taken by Gary Morris

Erie Lackawanna Railroad

The Erie-Lackawanna Railroad was created in 1960 as a result of the merger between the Erie Railroad and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. The two railroads came together to stave off the inevitable fact of bankruptcy and demise. For a brief fleeting moment, it looked like maybe they might actually be able pull the venture off and create a profitable railroad. With the increase in interstate trucking that caused a decline in rail shipments, an economy that was faltering and the final blow of hurricane Agnes in 1972, the railroad was doomed for failure. On April 1, 1976, the Erie Lackawanna became part of the now defunct Conrail system. The Erie Lackawanna still exists only in parts, as Conrail removed much of its trackage and buildings. What remains of the Erie Lackawanna today is operated as part of Norfolk Southern and CSX.

Please click on the link to the right side to see the complete gallery of photos from the Erie Lackawanna Railroad. Below are some samples from the gallery.

Railroad and Train News copyright 2007-2010 David Blizzard
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