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Geeps, Coal and N&W Heritage on the P&L in Kentucky

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  • firedarse
    Nice job, as ususual.

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  • EM Bell
    started a topic Geeps, Coal and N&W Heritage on the P&L in Kentucky

    Geeps, Coal and N&W Heritage on the P&L in Kentucky

    For the past week or so, we have been lucky enough to have the N&W 8103 "Trapped" on the 890 / 891 TVA Kingston coal trains. These trains load on the PAL (Paducah & Louisville RR) in Western Kentucky, then are handed over to the NS at Louisville for the trip South to the power plant near Kingston, TN

    Saturday 01/24/15, Mr. Odell and myself joined a couple of other friends for the day to head West to shoot this train on the PAL mainline. While we knew the 8103 would be the bottom DPU, it would be facing the right way for the late day sun (and its a easy chase). We started the morning by shooting a few NS trains on the Louisville District in the snow before we headed West for the 2.5 hour drive to the PAL. The NS bound coal train was called out of the mine near Madisonville KY for 1300, so we took our time and followed a LG3 empty train (with a nice set of P&L GP40-3's) to the Armstrong mine at McHenry, KY.

    After a great chase South with LG3, we found a CSX coal train that had just loaded at the Armstrong mine and was headed back to CSX rails at Madisonville, Ky. This train would meet our primary target at a place called "Pond" near Madisonville, but as luck would have it, the pair of CSX GE's had issues and the train stalled out on the steep climb out of the Salt River valley at Rockport, KY. By the time they shoved back and finally got over the hill, it was getting late enough that light was a concern, and we still had not shot the N&W. Seeing as how I had already driven 250 miles, we stuck it out and finally bagged a few shots of what we came for, and mother nature even treated us to a awesome sunset for our efforts. Sometimes it pays to stay with it and keep your eye on the prize In the end, it was well worth the 400 miles of driving, and nice to get out for the first road trip of the year.

    Here are a few samples from the day. The whole set can be found at this link (including a lot of P&L goodies) The Paducah & Louisville Railway Photo Gallery by E.M. & Carmon Bell at


    P&L train LG3 works through a swag just North of Leitchfield, KY

    LG3 rolls South through the valley at Spring Lick, Kentucky.

    A CSX loaded train has stalled out on steep climb out of the Salt River Valley at Rockport, KY and is seen here getting another run at the hill, after shoving back a couple of miles.

    N&W 8103 trails a loaded (NS) TVA coal train on the PAL mainline, seen here passing an old IC signal at McHenry, Kentucky

    The train was down to a crawl as it fought the hill through Rosine, Ky (Home of the Father of Bluegrass music, Mr. Bill Monroe).

    "Fire in the Sky, Fog in the Valley" Just moments before the sun was gone yesterday evening , NS 8007 leads a loaded coal train (that will become NS 890) through the long valley at Spring Lick, Ky on the P&L mainline. This train loaded at the Cimarron Mine near Madisonville, KY and is destined for the TVA Kingston TN power plant.