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The Interstate & Lady Liberty...2 Heritage units, 2 States in 2 Days

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  • The Interstate & Lady Liberty...2 Heritage units, 2 States in 2 Days

    Over the past weekend, I was able to cross off Two more of the Heritage units from my 'list" I have been able to shoot on the road, and both by pure luck.

    Saturday (11/16/13) while chasing the Southern 630 steam trip from Knoxville to Asheville, we heard rumor that the CNJ unit was leading an empty scrubber stone train headed West. We where still a good ways from Asheville at that point in the morning and I figured there would be no way we would be able to catch it. Once the 630 had arrived in Asheville, we learned through a friend that the train had been held up at the bottom of the mountain near Old Fort. It had been a long time since I had been East of town, but I remembered how to get to the tunnel at Ridgecrest, so we headed that way.

    Almost as soon as we got to the tunnel, train 165 came up the hill, and not 10 minutes later the CNJ 1071 followed. If we had been just 10 minutes slower or made a wrong turn, that would have been the end of that, but we got lucky! After the shot at Ridgecrest we managed to get it One more time in Downtown Asheville. We had planned on shooting the Sunday 630 trip as well, but with a very wet forecast, decided to cut our losses and head back home..

    The next day (Sunday 11/17/13) it was pouring rain here in KY. I knew the Interstate 8105 was leading train 23G out of Louisville., and With plenty of advanced notice, Carmon and I headed back out and grabbed a couple of shots of that one as well. I had not really been counting on getting either one, but luck was on our side.

    Below are a few from our lucky weekend (the SR 630 steam pics will follow in a few days) can see these in larger size over on Pbase, just follow this link >>>> NS Heritage & OCS Power 2013 Photo Gallery by E.M. & Carmon Bell at

    The Southern Loops (Between Old Fort and Ridgecrest NC) have always been one of the more famous locations in the state, mostly due to the great scenery and tunnels. The climb from Old Fort is steep, as seen by this image. Ridgecrest tunnel is a straight bore, but the grade is so severe that you cant see the other end (from a safe location anyway).. This was our first view of the 69V as it fought up the hill.

    And finally out in the muted light at the West end of the tunnel.

    69V crosses over at CP Biltmore in downtown Asheville NC. You can see the 630's excursion train sitting on the wye in the distance.

    On Sunday, the Interstate unit brings train 23G East, seen here near McBrayer Ky climbing out of the Salt River bottom.

    We just beat 23G to Convoy (between Talmage and Harrodsburg KY) and Carmon manage to grab my big lens before I could and got the shot I wanted...oh well. She was grinning from ear to ear at the thought of beating me to it I think.

    23G starts through the swag at Convoy, as seen in this...wide angle...view.

    Norfolk bound stacks in the cold Kentucky rain

    "Up & Down headed for Hogtown" I went out in the rain to shoot a Heritage unit, but this was my favorite frame of the day. The DPU on the bottom of train 23G drops over the edge of the big dip at Convoy as the rest of the train stretches out up and down (and up again) through the undulating profile. This shot is fairly representative of why they call the Louisville District "The Gut Line"
    E.M. Bell, KD4JSL
    Salvisa, KY