Saturday, April 19, 2014

Today's Train of Thought- The Master(s) and Commander, April 19th, 2014

Today's train of thought takes us to the Peach State- specifically the home of James Brown and the Masters golf tournament.

Augusta is an eastern Georgia city that's home to about a half million people, an Army base and former Southern and Georgia Railroads through the municipality. However, the main line into town from the east is kind of hard to ignore- especially if you're travelling down 6th street, where you have to share the right of way with the Norfolk Southern.

Here, photographer Ant Davis caught former Oakway SD60- now GMTX Leasing #9027 leading Macon, GA-bound train #191 down the middle of 6th St in March 2011. The tail end of the train is still most likely on the bridge over the Savannah River, which divides Georgia and South Carolina. According to the photographer, he was able to get this slightly elevated view of the NS freight rumbling down the middle of the street under a canopy of blossoming dogwoods at the expense of some scratches in his car's trunk- no doubt catching the attention of the Richmond County Sheriff's Deputy in the cruiser to the right of the train.

Built in 1986, the burly six-axle EMD motor spent most of its first 20 years plying the Burlington Northern as part of a novel lease arrangement where the BN leased the units [painted in the colors of EMD demonstrators at the time- NANESB] based on electrical power output of the individual locomotives rather then an arbitrary amount of time or miles travelled. After more than 20 years of serving the BN and BNSF route, the locomotives were eventually returned to EMD and continued serving as leasers for Norfolk Southern. However, despite purchasing SD60s secondhand from Union Pacific in the last year or so, the #9027 can no longer be found on NS. In 2012, the Canadian National purchased more than 40 former Oakway SD60s from GMTX leasing and Oakway/GMTX #9027 would go on to become CN #5403.

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