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NS Heritage power, off the beaten path in West Kentucky

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  • NS Heritage power, off the beaten path in West Kentucky

    For the past several months now, NS has been operating a TVA coal train that loads on the PAL (Paducah & Louisville RR) in Western KY. NS will hand off a empty set of TVA hoppers (with NS power) to the PAL in Louisville KY to be loaded at the Armstrong mine at McHenry KY. Once loaded, the train is brought back to Louisville and the NS takes it South from there to be unloaded.

    This move (NS 890 - 891) is just one of the many new coal trains that we have seen here in Kentucky over the past couple of years. Several of the heritage units have found their way onto some of the Indiana trains so far, but this past Saturday (01/12/13) was the first time that the PAL train has had one.

    NYC 1066 was added to the 891 at Danville KY Friday evening as the train returned from Kingston TN, and that set into motion a quick plan for me. The P&L operates the old IC "Kentucky Division", which is a very scenic piece of RR that I have been wanting to shoot for several years. The only problem with that has been the nocturnal nature of P&L's operations, but these NS coal trains usually turn pretty quick at the mine. After consulting with a couple of friends who are knowledgeable about the PAL, I decided to head West early Saturday morning and hope that the train was loaded and would head back North that afternoon.

    After meeting up with the guys at Beaver Dam, we started our day at McHenry KY, where the branch to the Armstrong mine joins the PAL main. With almost perfect timing, the train came down the hill from the mine shortly after Noon and was ready to head back to Louisville. We where able to follow the train through the relentless rain for the rest of the day. It was new territory for me, but we did well despite the fact the clouds helped as the train would have been horribly backlit if the sun had been out.

    Here are a few "samples" of NYC 1066 as it leads the trains across the old IC Kentucky Division.. The entire set in much higher quality can be found at this link >>>> NS Heritage Power Photo Gallery by E.M. & Carmon Bell at

    Friday evening (01/11/13) finds NS 891 ready to leave the NS yard at Danville KY just before sunset.

    Early Saturday afternoon, NYC 1066 leads PAL train LSX1 back North through Rosine KY, the home of the Father of Bluegrass music, Mr. Bill Monroe.

    Just a couple of miles from the shot above, we caught up with the train again as it slogged up the steep grade out of Rosine. It is seen here starting through the big cut that is what remains of the Rosine tunnel (daylighted by the IC in the early 60's)

    There are not a lot of places in KY that you can stand in one place and see a 105 unit train in it's entirety. Here is LSX1 as they roll North up the valley at Spring Lick, KY Check out this shot on Pbase!

    The old IC mainline across KY was anything but flat, as evident by this shot at Blackrock KY. It takes a steady hand to guide a loaded coal train through territory like this!

    NS heritage power wearing the colors of the NYC traverses the undulating profile of the old IC Kentucky Div, now operated by the P&L, on a wet Saturday afternoon at Summit, Kentucky.
    E.M. Bell, KD4JSL
    Salvisa, KY

  • #2
    The track looks pretty fair, hard to believe CSX is part owner.
    sigpic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them" Leonidas I to Xerxes, at Battle of Thermopylae