Vintage Norfolk Southern train stops in Hagerstown

July 24, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN |
  • A vintage Norfolk Southern train stopped in Hagerstown at the Norfolk Southern Vardo Yard on Tuesday morning.
By Caleb Calhoun/Mobile Journalist

HAGERSTOWN — A vintage Norfolk Southern train stopped in Hagerstown on Tuesday at the Norfolk Southern Vardo Yard off Downsville Pike.

The train dates to 1952, according to Conductor Robin Smith.

“It’s cool and a little different to conduct,” Smith said. 
Smith said boarding the train is also different.

“There are no steps,” she said. “You have to climb up a little ladder on the side.”

Norfolk Southern spokesman David Pidgeon said in an email that the train was an F7 diesel unit making its way from Norfolk, Va., to Altoona, Pa. He said the train was painted with the colors of Southern Railway, a predecessor to Norfolk Southern.

“The locomotive and historic passenger cars spent the weekend in Norfolk, participating in several events,” Pidgeon said. “One event included a local Girl Scout troop that participated in a railroad safety poster project; the event also commemorated Norfolk Southern’s 30th anniversary and the 100th birthday of the Girl Scouts.”

There were six passenger cars, and each one had the name of a different state on the side: West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, New Jersey and Kentucky.

Engineer Jeffrey Hill said operating the train requires a little more care because of its lack of technology.

“This engine doesn’t have a dynamic brake, which is a more modern type of feature,” he said. “The dynamic brake is a way of slowing the train down.”

Hill did say however that it is “cool” to operate the train.

“It’s not the normal type of train that we usually take,” he said. “We usually take freight trains.”

The train left Lambert’s Point, Va., for Hagerstown early Tuesday.

It departed the Hagerstown yard for Harrisburg at about 9 a.m.

Staff writer Dan Dearth contributed to this story.

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