Early morning NS F-units down the CNO&TP in KY & TN

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E.M. Bell

MP 339.4 on the gut line
"Sleep is overrated"

Sunday 05/11/14, the NS OCS made a deadhead trip down the CNO&TP, headed to Meridian MS to stage for an inspection trip. I had watched the progress of the train all day Saturday, and it seemed they were running later than "normal" and I had my hopes up for some early morning shots, and that is what I got, although I hadn't really planned on having to drive half way to Chattanooga to get them!

I went to bed before the train had even gotten into Cincinnati, and had a friend text me about 0200 to say they had departed there headed South. I did a quick figure on running times (about 3 hours plus fuel at Danville) and set my alarm and went back to sleep. A couple of hours later, my bladder woke me up (getting old sucks) and I made a quick check on ATCS and just happened to hear the train calling a signal just North of Danville, Ky They had made it down the 1st district quick..to quick..and that changed things a bit. I got dressed, grabbed the camera and was out the door about 0430.

While the OCS fueled in Danville, I was able to get a good ways South, and made my First stop at Kings Mountain. It was 0530 and the OCS had just left Danville, giving me a little time to wait. I played around shooting a Southbound in the fog (it was still dark and very foggy) and waited. I knew it was still to dark to really worry about the camera, but I stood there in the stillness of a Sunday morning and listened as those F-units came through the valley down at South Fork, and then started the hard climb up Kings Mountain. The sounds of those EMD's in #8 carried through the damp air..a great way to start a day. Soon the train passed under me and I headed on South in search of the sun.

My first shot was just North of Burnside at Elihu, KY as the train crossed the bridge over Pittman Creek. It was not even close to being light yet, but sometimes its fun to push the limits. The train changed crews at Burnside and then it was off the races as it sped South. I finally found the sun at Flatrock, KY and from there it was a mix of sun and fog the rest of the morning. I had not really intended on going into TN, but at 0830 I got my last shot at Glen Mary TN and decided to turn back North. All in all, not a bad way to spend a Sunday morning (if you don't mind getting up early)....and Carmon even got a nice mothers day gift out of it (I didn't wake her up when I left and she got to sleep late for once!)

Below are a few small samples. You can find the entire set at this link in full size >>> http://www.pbase.com/kd4jsl/nsocs_heritage2014

It was about 0530 at Kings Mountain Ky as Train 288 met Southbound 175. That classic silhouette of that old Southern Signal bridge with those model SC searchlight signals on it will soon just be a memory.

The sky was just starting to show some light as the 955 crossed the Pittman Creek bridge at Elihu, KY.

After a quick crew change at Burnside, the OCS is seen passing a old (VERY old) cemetery at Tateville, KY. There are stones from the late 1700's in there...if you have to shoot on a foggy, moody Sunday morning, might as well do it in a graveyard! .

The sun finally decided to show itself as the train raced down the single track at Flat Rock, KY

The sun was almost perfect as the train came over the top of the hill at Highpoint, TN (The highest place on the CNO&TP) but soon it would be back to the murky fog in the New River valley.

955 climbs out of the foggy New River Valley, seen here taking #2 track at Robbins, TN

My last shot of the day...955 passes through Glen Mary,,TN as the fog lifts off the Black Wolf Creek in the background. I sat here for about 15 mins after the train passed, once again just enjoying the sound of those EMD's as they climbed up towards Huffman and Sunbright TN.


Beautiful job EM. You should get a sound recorder so I can hear the F unit sound again or I am going to have to go to KY. TZ

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