Steve Schmollinger submitted his fine shot showing side by side CSXT SD40-2's at the Port of Cincinnati.  Looking like scale models, CSX 8805 and 8380 are seen at Queensgate.


Ex-SOO SD60 now owned by lease company CEFX seen in Dalton, Georgia on October 28, 2010 (photo by Matt Meadows).


Fortescue Mining Group have recently been looking at used locomotive market in USA to obtain some AC units. Withdrawn SD90MAC-H previously operated by Union Pacific but retired in 2008 to EMLX the lessor and owners being stored at Brewster Ohio were inspected and five obtained.

FMG have purchased ex UP numbers 8522, 8527, (both built in London) 8539, 8541 and 8554 as spare. These locomotives will be rebuilt and converted by Norfolk and Southern at its Juniata Shops in Altoona Pennsylvania into SD70MACe type locomotives fitted with EMD 710G3C 4300hp engine. Other modification and refurbishment including repainting in FMG livery will be undertaken with the locomotives anticipated to be shipped to Port Hedland, Western Australia in early 2011. 

Progress Rail Services announced in October the site selection for a state-of-the-art locomotive assembly, paint and test facility to serve the diesel-electric locomotive market and allow the company to better participate in future transit projects. After an exhaustive nationwide search, Progress Rail has identified Muncie, Indiana, as the site for its newest operation.  Progress Rail made the decision to open the facility in Muncie in order to leverage logistics advantages, proximity to customers, and the well-trained workforce that the region offers. The plant will occupy 740,000 square feet and will be situated on 75 acres. This will be the first locomotive factory opened in the United States in many years.

UNSTOPPABLE Hits the Big Screen

With the release of the Hollywood blockbuster “UNSTOPPABLE” in November starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine, and of course the quartet of leased and made-over CP AC4400CW's,

We thought this would interest you before heading out to see it.  Here is a link to see the locomotives used in the film including the famous curve scene in Bellaire, Ohio

The film “Unstoppable” is somewhat based on a true CSX runaway from back in 2001.  Here is the true story behind CSX SD40-2 #8888 with the Ohio runaway, and how 'heroic' actions to halt the train by three brave employees helped bring the runaway train safely to a halt.  

(Much thanks to Keith McCann for submitting this to us).

On May 15th, 2001, human error caused the runaway of a crewless 47-car CSX train in Ohio.   No one was injured in the runaway incident, which began around 12:25 p.m. in Toledo, Ohio and ended two hours and nearly 70 miles later in rural Kenton.   The engineer on the train, whose name was not released, told investigators from CSX and the Federal Railroad Administration that he had made an error in controlling the train while in Stanley Yard near Toledo.  Prior to dismounting the locomotive to line a switch, the engineer intended to engage the three types of brakes on the locomotive, CSX said. He applied two brakes, but then inadvertently grabbed the throttle lever instead of the third braking lever.   By the time he realized the mistake, he was already off the locomotive, and it was moving too quickly.  CSX yesterday praised the "professionalism and heroic" actions of the  employees who played starring roles in efforts to stop the train: Senior Trainmaster Jon Hosfeld, a 31-year CSX veteran; Jesse Knowlton, an engineer with 28 years' experience; and Terry Forson, a conductor with one year of service.  Together, they brought new meaning to the phrase "catch a train" as they pursued southbound SD40-2 No. 8888 and its 47 cars.  Knowlton and Forson, aboard their locomotive, chased the runaway from behind and slowed it from about 45 mph to about 10 mph. That enabled Hosfeld, who was following the train in his car, to climb aboard at a grade crossing and bring the train to a stop. "I can't praise these employees more highly," said CSX Transportation President Mich. CSX and sources close to the incident said events unfolded this way:


a.. At around 12:25 p.m. On May  5th 2001, CSX #8888 and its train of 47  cars - 25 empties and 22 loads, including two cars containing molten phenol, a non-flammable chemical used to manufacture dyes, paints and pharmaceuticals - begins moving out of Stanley Yard. The train heads south on the former Conrail Toledo Branch at speeds nearing 50 mph.  After being alerted of the runaway, Hosfeld and colleague Mike Smith begin chasing the train by car. "We decided we were going to chase it down and catch it," Hosfeld told The Washington Post.


c.. At Dunbridge, routes the train onto a 6,864-foot siding in the first unsuccessful attempt to derail it. The siding has a 10-mph speed limit.


At Galatea, about 32 miles south of Toledo, the train is routed into a 7,382-foot siding but again stays on the rails. As a precaution, officials order the evacuation of about 75 workers at a nearby meat packing plant.


d.. At Mortimer, about 39 miles south of Toledo, derails are placed on the tracks. But the train simply sends the derails flying as it passes.


e.. At Dunkirk, Control Point 61 some 61.2 miles south of Toledo, northbound train Q636 sits in the siding. The crew of the northbound train -Knowlton and Forson - are ordered to uncouple their locomotive, SD40-2 8392, and prepare to chase the runaway after it passes.


f.. After the runaway passes at more than 40 mph, the dispatcher lines the switch and Knowlton runs the 8392 onto the main.


g.. The 8392, running long-hood forward, approaches the runaway train in just four or five miles, and couples on between Mileposts 65 and 66. Although a CSX press release says the 8392 couples onto the train at 25 mph, sources close to the incident say the 8392 ties onto the runaway at about 50 mph. The crew informs the dispatcher that they've got the train, and Knowlton fully applies the 8392's dynamic brakes.


h.. In a tug-of-war between SD40-2's, the 6392 begins winning and slows the train to about 11 mph. Despite the ascending grade near milepost 70, the 8888 is able to pull the train and the 6392 along. And then the train gains speed, rolling downgrade toward Kenton.


i.. Looming just ahead is a 25-mph spped elevated track.


j.. A couple of miles later, as the train slows to between 10 and 15 mph while crossing State Route 31, Hosfeld grabs the 8888's handrail and climbs aboard as a news helicopter hovering overhead broadcasts the event. The chase ends at Milepost 74, just south of Kenton, when the train is brought to a stop at 2:30 p.m., reportedly with the throttle in Notch 8.


Investigators this morning tried to recreate the incident using the same train in Stanley Yard. As part of the investigation, CSX and the FRA interviewed all employees involved and analyzed the data from the locomotive's event recorder. All mechanical equipment was found to be working as intended, CSX said.


It was unclear whether the locomotive had an alerter. Although the FRA does not require alerter devices on freight locomotives operating outside the Northeast Corridor, the vast majority of locomotives are equipped with alerter systems that stop the train if the crew does not respond in a certain time period after the alerter sounds.  Al Crown, CSX's executive vice president-transportation, said the engineer had no prior rules violations. "This is a good employee, with 35 years of service and clean record," Crown said. "He acknowledged that he made a serious error in judgment, and he will be held accountable."  Crown said that despite the fact that CSXT has never experienced a similar incident over millions of locomotive moves, the company plans to inform all operating employees of the circumstances surrounding the incident, as well as alerting.   Crown also recognized the extraordinary support of CSXT's employees  and the community agencies in the emergency. "A debt of thanks goes to every agency up and down this rail line who responded," Crown said. "Their efforts were critical to ensuring the safe outcome of this incident."  After being notified about the runaway, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency launched its disaster plan along the rail route. The State Highway Patrol, along with local police and fire departments, blocked roads at many grade crossings in the path of the runaway.  Ohio Gov. Bob Taft said “it was a miracle that there was no loss of

life or property."


Terry Illingworth forwarded us this derailment report on the Augusta, Kansas collision which occurred

on the BNSF in 2008.


D&H Vignettes:

(via Gay Knapp and Larry Marnes)  Back in 1973 I took some photos of the D&H Sesquicentennial Train.  I got thinking about this and began some "file digging" which produced the two attachments:  #302 running about 60 mph headed south just south of the Cooperville crossing and #653 headed south at RO.  Hope you enjoy them.  (Larry Marnes photos).  P.S. (Technical note for Gary Knapp).  These photos taken in the days of film and chemical photography.  Camera was a Crown Graphic 4X5.  Taken at 1/200 sec., f-8, Kodak Plus-X film.  Printed in the basement using a Graflarger.  How far we've come since then! 




© CRO December 2010