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Surprise Heritage on the CNO&TP and getting high on the Louisville Dist.

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  • Surprise Heritage on the CNO&TP and getting high on the Louisville Dist.

    It seems in this modern age of the internet, cell phones ect, that we keep track of every move of all of the NS Heritage engines (and other assorted goodies) more than the RR does. I don't think we have missed any of them moving through this area in the past year, but every once in awhile, something sneaks up on you, and that is not always a bad thing...

    Saturday 06/22/13, Carmon and myself headed South to spend a few hours shooting the progress of the ongoing Double Track project on the CNO&TP between Somerset and Burnside KY (more on that in a day or Two). We knew that we had a couple of the pretty paint jobs headed our way (the LV & the Wabash), but both where trailing and I was not going to make any special effort to catch those. After spending an hour or so around Elihu, I heard a 797 call the South End dispatcher and say they where swapped out and ready to head North from Burnside. I framed up a nice shot for the train coming under the old Jones Knob bridge and waited.

    My view of the tracks was blocked by the bridge, and about 10 minutes later I heard the train grinding up the hill. I put the camera to my eye and started banging away as 797 rolled past. As I was shooting, something in brain said "hey stupid..thats Blue"...and I panned around in time to realize that the 8098 was leading. After I moved around and got the DPU on the other side of the bridge, I debated for a minute or so about chasing the train North, but Northbounds are almost impossible to shoot on a sunny day, so we stuck with the plan and got some more shots of the construction area (while sent a couple of texts to get the word out about the 8098)

    Awhile later, we headed back North and found the 797 sitting near Southfork, waiting for the afternoon fleet of pigs to run, and for a few other Northbounds to get through Danville. By this time, the sun had swung around just enough to get some (sort of) decent shots in a few carefully chosen places. Once the train finally got into Danville, we headed on home to cool off for awhile and that gave me time to hatch a plan for one last shot of it. Late in the evening, I went over to the farm owned by a close friend, borrowed a tractor with a front end loader on it, and got myself hoisted about 35 feet or so for an elevated shot of the train as it came across the creek at Bondville...not a bad way to end the day!

    On Monday 06/24/13, I got word the CR unit was leading a loaded coal train back East, and got out to grab a couple of shots on the Louisville District near home. Power that ends up in the Indiana coal pool tends to stick around a while, so we may have a few more chances with the 8098.

    Below are a few of my favorites from the day. The entire set can be found at this link >>>>>> NS Heritage & OCS Power 2013 Photo Gallery by E.M. & Carmon Bell at

    I was more concentrated on composing the shot than paying attention to the lead unit as 797 came under the Jones Knob bridge near Elihu Ky...I got the shot I wanted with the old bridge, and then managed to get a "Standing Pan" as the train passed by.

    Later in the afternoon, we found the train sitting in the Green River Dip near Southfork Ky, waiting for a chance to move towards Danville.

    By the time the train got on the move, the temps where over 90 degrees, and the Green River valley was hazy as the train crossed over under the endangered signal bridge at Geneva, Ky

    After a brief stop at while OTTO made up its mind what to run, 797 starts up the hill at Palm Ky

    While the train spent 3+ hours in the yard at Danville getting a 1000 mile brake test and fuel, we went back to the house to cool off for awhile. Once I heard he was on the move West towards Louisville, we ran over to a friends farm just down the road from home, and I got him to lift me up in the bucket of a tractor for an elevated shot as 797 came by the signals and across the bridge at Bondville KY. This was by far my favorite of the day!

    I tried my best to get Carmon to go up in the bucket with me, but she flat out refused..muttering something about checking to make sure my life insurance was paid up and someone needing to be around to call 911. She did however, provide a shot of me up getting the shot...evidence I guess..

    And one last shot from Monday evening as the loaded train went back East, seen here passing my favorite fence at Vanarsdale Ky. Be sure to check the link above to see the rest of the shots from these Two days!
    E.M. Bell, KD4JSL
    Salvisa, KY

  • #2
    Was the "bucket shot" on your "bucket list?"
    Nice outcome & very resourceful.
    Also, from this set, I like the B&W at Geneva & like that you left the searchlights red.
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    • #3
      I have plenty of tractors, but a bucket truck IS on my bucket list! I have been looking for one of the smaller ones with a 75 foot or so reach for a couple of years now. If I ever find one in decent shape at the right place, I will be "getting high" a lot more.. Elevation never hurts when it comes to photography.
      E.M. Bell, KD4JSL
      Salvisa, KY