Category Archives: NS

Topics of yesterday and today of NS – Norfolk Southern are discussed here.  A railroad that has proven efficiency throughout its existence.

RAILROAD GROUP FORUMS (from 1-West productions™)

We now have our own Railroad Group Forums, where members can join for free, and get updated info on current Railroad information. See present and past train information, including photos, and more. Members are allowed to post and contribute any railroad-related information.

Our Railroad Groups/Forums can be found at the following links (please submit a request to join, in order to participate, and to see the posts of great information shared in our Groups on Facebook):

Photo of sunset near NS's Toledo District in OH-1-West Productions' NS Toledo District railfanning Forum (FB), with photo by & © Copyrighted 2021,1-West Productions/PJ.

Railroad Discussions Group (1-West Productions™ Group) (This is one of our first and original discussions Group that includes anything railroad-related, from modern to vintage.)

NS Sandusky District (Railfanning) (In this other Group of ours, we discuss anything related today and from the past to NS’s Sandusky District line.)

NS Fostoria District Railfanning (Here we discuss anything related to NS’s Fostoria Dist. from past to present.)

NS Toledo District (Railfanning) (Also join this Group to see all about NS’s Toledo Dist. from today and the past.)

NS Chicago Line (Railfanning) (NS’s great ex-LS&MS/NYC/PC/CR line discussions from the past and present.)

CSX Willard Subdivision (Railfanning) (CSX fans and the like will enjoy discussions about this CSX line from the past to present.)

Penn Central Railroad Discussions Group (1-West Productions™ Group) (PC fans will appreciate this Group, with history, photos, modeling info, and more.)

We appreciate your interest and support, and for spreading the word. As more members join, more discussions will appear. We will also contribute as we can.

This blog is introducing and basically the same as our RAILROAD GROUPS / FORUMS Page, with the same information and links.

©2021 1-West Productions™


Photo of 1-West Productions™ Railroad Audio CDs

We’ve added more RAILROAD AUDIO CD Titles to our Product Line. The Series is called NORFOLK SOUTHERN-N&W 1980s AUDIO ™, Volumes 1 – 12. All CDs contain vintage NS in operation, starting in Winter of 1986.

Listen to older EMD units: SD45s, SD40-2s, SD40s, GP30s, GP35s, GP40s, GP38s, GP38-2s, SD9s, GP9s, etc.; GEs: C30-9s, U33Bs, etc., & 1 S-switcher ALCO (TLE&W). Run-through freights, switching, locals, & more were recorded near the Bellevue, Clyde, & Flat Rock, OH areas, with 1 recording near NE Grand Rapids, OH of the TLE&W.

Volumes 1-4 were recorded in Mono, & the volumes after were recorded in Hi-Fidelity/Stereo/Panning Stereo. Minutes of each Volume vary from 18 minutes to over an hour.

Photo of NORFOLK SOUTHERN-N&W 1980s, VOL. 1 AUDIO ™, from 1-West Productions ™ Front Cover
Example of 1 of our RAILROAD AUDIO CDs now available for purchase.

We also have a few new MODERN RAILROAD AUDIO CDs also available.

Additional Audio CDs that we now carry include RAILROAD SCANNER RADIO AUDIO, with vintage 1980s Conrail, NS-N&W, & CSX-Chessie. Listen to dispatchers, crews, shops, trains, & more. We will have modern railroad scanner radio audio available as well. Keep checking back.

Videos are great, but also so are AUDIO CDs, where you can listen & use your imagination for imaging- a totally different experience.

Each Volume has a description of each Audio Track on the back cover, with photos of actual trains that were recorded at the time.


© 2020 1-West Productions™/PJ Duplication Prohibited.

Norfolk Southern’s New Castle District

NS’s New Castle District is part of NS’s Lake Division. It became part of NS’s major system per the N&W and Southern Railway (SR/SOU) merger in 1982. Part of the line from New Castle, IN to Ft. Wayne, IN was part of the Lake Erie & Western (LE&W), then Nickel Plate (NKP-NYCStL), and Norfolk & Western (N&W- 1964-1982). Another section of this line was originally the Pennsylvania Railroad’s (PRR) Buckeye Division, known as the Richmond Branch. Per the PRR, New York Central (NYC), and New Haven Railroad (NYNH&H) 1968 Penn Central (PC) merger, the line became the PC’s Richmond Branch and Cincinnati Division (Cinci. to Logansport-Van, IN). By 1976, at the start of Conrail, N&W bought the line between Cinci., OH to New Castle, IN. NS-N&W through-freights on the line didn’t happen until after 1978. A lot of the line was rebuilt in the early ’80s.

Photo of SB NS on NS New Castle Dist., Muncie, IN ©1988, 2019 1-WP/PJ
SB NS Triple Crown on NS Lake Div.-New Castle Dist. (ex-LE&W/NKP/N&W), crossing CR Indianapolis Line (ex-NYC/PC/”Bee Line”), Muncie, IN 1988, from Norfolk Southern Early Years (1988-89), Vol.1 ™, from 1-West Productions™. (Photo © 1988, 2019 1-WP/PJ, by K. Lehman.)

NS upgraded the line, and is used for locals, and different types of freights. We have many examples of NS action on this line in our Keith’s Trains Series™ and 1-West Productions™ Featured Series™

In the late 1980s and through the 1990s, NS had various Steam Train Excursion Specials on the line (NS trains 061, 062, etc.), with steam power NKP 587 & 765, N&W J-611, and SOU 4501. We have footage of these trains running on the New Castle District during those eras.

Below is a list of mile markers and town along the way (from an early ’80s NS/N&W timetable), starting from Cinci. (Claire), OH, to Ft. Wayne, IN (Westward-or technically NW direction):

Mile Post: Station:

Photo of NS SB Triple Crown through Hamilton, OH on NS New Castle Dist. (ex-PRR/PC section), 1989.© 1989,2019 1-WP/PJ
NS SB Triple Crown through Hamilton, OH, on NS New Castle Dist. (ex-PRR/PC section, with trackage rights on CSX-ex-B&O Toledo Dist. between west & east sections of NS New Castle Dist.), 1989, from our Norfolk Southern Early Years (1988-89), Vol. 1™, from 1-West Productions™. (Photo © 1989, 2019 1-WP/PJ, by K. Lehman.)

(More to be added later)

© Copyright 2019, 2020 1-West Productions™/P.Jordan Duplication, public transmitting prohibited.

Berea, Ohio Interlocking- Conrail, Penn Central, New York Central- now Norfolk Southern & CSX

Berea, Ohio Interlocking, or BE Tower- has always been a busy spot for railroad traffic.  Originally part of the Lake Shore Michigan Southern (LS&MS), Big Four, and Cleveland Union Terminal (CUT), then to New York Central (NYC), and Penn Central (PC- 1968), Conrail (CR- 1976), then to Norfolk Southern (NS) and CSX (1998-99).

To this day BE Tower is still a busy place.  The tower is no longer used today, but still stands.  The original CUT/NYC Depot still stands as well, across the Short Line track along Railroad St.  This place is a great spot for railfanning.

The lines running through BE are now NS’s Dearborn Division-Chicago Line (west of Cleveland, OH- ex-LS&MS/NYC Water Level/PC Buffalo-Chicago Line-Lake/Toledo Div./Conrail Dearborn Div.-Chicago Line), and CSX’s Chicago Line (east of Cleveland, OH), Short Line (NYC/PC/CUT Branch- Cleveland Short Line Branch/Conrail Short Line) and Indianapolis Line (PC Columbus-St. Louis Line, Columbus Div./CR Indianapolis Div. and Line).  The W&LE regional railroad also runs a few trains through here.   All of the lines actually run at a SW to NE direction at BE Tower, then west and east, and north and south.

The Chicago Line (NS side) runs west to Toledo, OH and Chicago, IL, and the east side (CSX) runs to Buffalo, and Albany, NY.  The Short Line starts at BE Tower, and runs to Short, Parma, orig. to the Flats, White, Collinwood Yard, then to Alliance, and Pittsburgh, PA.  The Indianapolis Line runs south to Galion, OH where it branches off to Columbus, OH, and splits west to Marion, OH, Indianapolis, IN,  and St. Louis, MO.

Below is a map of BE Interlocking duinrg Conrail days:

Photo of Berea, OH Interlocking Map by 1-West Productions™/PJ

(map by 1-West Productions™/P. Jordan)

One can see many freight types of stack, TOFC, auto rack, coal, locals, and more.  Also Amtrak runs trains 29, 30, 48, 49.  Most if not all of the original NYC/PC/CR signals have been taken down and updated to modern signals by NS & CSX.  CSX also double-tracked the ex-CR Short Line after the Conrail split between NS in 1998-99.  Over 100 trains a day pass through BE, with NS having the most traffic. Railroad scanner frequencies in use today are:  NS- 161.070, 160.980, 160.350 MHz, and CSX-160.800, 160.485, 160.860 MHz.

Our new video BEREA, OHIO INTERLOCKING WITH CONRAIL & AMTRAK, 1996™shows BE during Conrail in 1996.  At that time BE tower was still in use, and many freights, including Amtrak, were filmed on all the lines at this location.  This video, originally filmed by Keith Lehman, was orignally our Keith’s Trains Series™ #50 title, which was remastered and updated to our new title. 


© 2018 1-West Productions™/PJ



NS in the 1990s

What was the NS like in the ’90s era?  Things were still pretty much

Photo of NS in 1990s 1-West Productions

the same as in the ’80s, with standard older units in NS, N&W, & SOU paint, fallen flag freight names on equipment, a few cabooses, older track layouts, original signals, and more.  The 90s also brought the new Triple Crown service between CR & NS, and the newer W&LE Class 2 regional RR out of Bellevue & Brewster, OH.  NS 1990s Part I is a good example of this coverage.


Photo of W&LE train 1990, 1-West Productions


Also the ’90s brought more freight cars with the applied NS roadname, CSX cars were showing up more on trains as well.  NS GP30s and SD35s were showing up in loco deadlines, fewer cabooses were being seen on freight trains, although still being used on most locals.   Steam excursions were still on the rails, but coming to a slow down due to NS’s concern over liability concerns, after a few derailments.



Photo of N&W 1218 steam by 1-West Productions/PJ

The NS merger proved to be one of the very few mergers that made sense, and actually prospered financially and efficiently, until the CR break-up in 1999 with CSX.


We will cover NS in the ’90s in our NORFOLK SOUTHERN 1990s™ Series as they become available.  We also cover NS in the 90s in our Keith’s Trains™ Series.





Blog Article & All Photos © Copyright 2016 1-WP™/PJ


New EL SD45-2 Unit #1700 Painted by NS

NS has done it again- this time they have painted up an EL SD45-2 Unit #1700, ex-Erie-Lackawanna (EL) back into original EL paint, as number 1700. This unit was painted in the Altoona, PA ex-PRR/PC/CR- now NS shops.

NS aquired a few of these ex-EL units, and are usually used on the eastern part of the NS system. However 1700 should be seen across the system. So get your cameras ready.

Great to see an EL unit on the rails once again, especially being true ex-EL! The EL used many types of locomotives for their freight trains. They even used old E-units

EL was formed in 1961 as a result of the Delaware Lackawanna & Western (DLW) & the Erie railroads merging. The EL was a great railroad, cared about their employees, and became a favorite to many. It’s main downfall was due to having parralle lines, and most of the main route from Chicago to New York bypassed all major cities. They had to connect the main line to these cities by secondary lines, which turned out to be not as efficient. Also both railroads were losing money around the time of the merger, although it made profits in the mid 1960s. In 1972, the EL filed for bankruptsy. In 1976, it finally asked to be included with the newly-formed Conrail.

Most of the EL was taken up by CR after 1976. Most can say that CR was actually the PC, with ost of the employees, trackage, and equipment being from the PC, just now in different colors. Left-overs of the EL can still be seen today- sometimes a freight car on trains (we saw EL coal hoppers within the past year on an NS train), a boxcar or two being used as a shed somewhere, ROWs, bridges, viaducts, facilities, etc.

The EL once again is on the rails, as an exmaple of restored railroad history.

Norfolk Southern Railroad’s Latest News

What has NS been up to recently and this past year?  We’ll discuss in this blog Norfolk Southern Railroad’s Latest News.

Photo of an NS locomotive from 1-West Productions™(Image of NS at Hamilton, OH)

NS Derailment, Moorman Hump Opened, Profits Up:

October 8, 2022, NS had a tank train derailemt full of wax near the Columbus Ave. bridge, in dowtown Sandusky, OH.  Both NS Mains on their Chicago Line were out of service, and Amtrak had to reroute & combine various trains (Sunset & Capitol) south of Sandusky, through Fremont, Clyde, Bellevue, etc. on their NS Toledo District.  NS had the mains back in service about a day or so later.  NS also has reopened their new hump at Moorman Yard in Bellevue, OH.  Main facilities however have been closed since their last update of the terminal.  NS continues to run more freight with increased profits.

NS Profits, More Updates to Come:

NS had another great quarter in profits, which they credit to their continued PSR service.  They have plans to run more longer trains, replace more rail and crossties, increase lengths of some sidings in VA, OH, and GA, replace and update bridges across the system, and more.  NS believes investing in the plant helps the overall strength and profits of the railroad.  Revisit our blog for more updates.

NS & CP Talk About NS’s Fostoria & Chicago Districts:

Recently NS and CP held talks about CP possibly purchasing NS’s Fostoria and Chicago Districts, from NS’s Great Lakes Division, that connects Chicago, IL to possibly past Cleveland, OH.

NS Pan Am Southern Acquisition;  Stock; UP:

CSX and NS have worked out a deal to split Pan Am Southern, in order for both railroads to get another route into Boston, MA.   NS stock still up, and NS has hired an ex-UP exec. to help NS gather more traffic, since traffic has declined within the past year or so, due to the pandemic and the economy (even before the pandemic hit).  Update:  CSX to take over Pan Am Southern, with NS having trackage rights into Boston, MA.  As of 6/2021, STB rejected CSX’s plan to purchase Pan Am Southern, with Amtrak also protesting the take over.

More Changes at NS:

NS talks of closing down more of their Bellevue, OH Terminal- Moorman Yard, with shops closing.  NS to close and take up their part of Buckeye Yard, in Columbus/Hilliard, OH.  Buckeye was built by Penn Central to help offset the congestion and clearance restrictions with their ex-PRR Columbus, OH yards.  A piece of history on the brink.  Presently CSX own and uses a few tracks from that yard.  Stock still high, however traffic is down 40-45%.  How long can the money last?  This is the reason for the cuts throughout their system.  As of 12/2020, NS to close their loco shops at their Bellevue, OH Moorman Yard.  NS now to see what CSX will be doing with their plans of aquiring Pan Am Southern- a railroad NS had invested in.

NS Moving Ahead:

Work has finished with new switches, ties, and roadbed work in NS’s Blair Yard- Fostoria, OH.  They’ve made these updates to help with additional capacity with industry in town.  NS is to retire more standard cab locomotives from their fleet.  Get your photos while you can.  NS stock is still high, even with about a reduction of 40% in traffic capacity.

NS Fostoria, OH Updates:

NS has been rebuilding track in their Fostoria, OH Blair Yard, which includes new ties, rail, and switches.  Looks like they’ll be using Blair more, due to new/expanded industry SW of town.

More NS Changes:

NS will have a new COO in September, who will help with their profit planning.  Executives were riding and inspecting their lines, using their Heritage Unit SD70ACE Penn Central 1073.  They are still downgrading their Bellevue, OH Moorman Yard, and concentrating on other busier locations, such as Toledo, Cleveland, and Elkhart.  NS is also purchasing Pan Am Southern, to expand routes to Boston.   NS stock over $200 a share.  Is rail traffic picking up?  It seems to have its up and downs.  The US economy will only tell.

NS Downgrades Bellevue Terminal:

In the midst of a slowing economy and lower traffic demands, NS will be downgrading their Bellevue, OH Morman Yard facility.  This includes closing both humps (only after 5 years of the 2nd expansion of building the 2nd hump), going to flat switching, and moving most of the switching to their Toledo Airline and Cleveland, OH yards.

NS Axes Oil Trains:

CSX has outbid NS with contracts for oil trains.  CSX will now gain all of NS’s oil trains.  NS will still be delivering ethanol however.  The oil market downfalls may be NS’s reason.

New for 2020:

NS has plans of downsizing their double main to single main track on their line from Mansfield to Alliance, OH to cut costs.  NS presently own the line from Crestline, OH through Pittsburgh, PA, called NS’s Ft. Wayne Line-Pittsburgh Div. (CSX owns the line from Crestline, OH to Ft. Wayne, IN, called CSX Ft. Wayne Line/Ft. Wayne Secondary Subdiv.-Chicago Div., & CF&E leases the track on the CSX side).  This was the ex-PRR Ft. Wayne Line, later PC Ft. Wayne Division (Pittsburgh to Chicago Main Line), & CR Pittsburgh Division-Ft. Wayne Line.  NS Has also listed more locomotives to sell.

NS has been making major cuts to save on costs.  They will be closing their Roanoke Loco Shops, and moving everything to their Altoona Shops.  They’ve also been retiring many locomotives, including EMD SD40Ms, SD40-2s, and a pair of their F units.  They will be scrapping some rebuild projects, and continuing 400 GE rebuilds- with GE doing 200, and the other 200 by NS at Altoona.  They also have plans of selling off more trackage in order to save on costs.  NS, like most of the other roads will be focusing more on intermodal traffic, in order to compete more with the trucking industry, since coal traffic has been down 40%+/- overall (due to power plant companies switching to cheaper natural gas, etc.).  Mergers in the forecast? Some say no, some say we’ll see- history has shown when the industry is scraping by, mergers tend to follow…

NS Woes & Improvements:

NS had a derailment in PA recently.  NS stock still over $100 a share, continues to implement Precision Railroading.  NS has put their NS F units in storage.  They will most likely repaint all Heritage units to black once they need repainted.  NS concentrating more on making money.

NS Continues its Precision Railroading:

NS has adopted similar Precision Railroading tactics in order to cut costs, and to make more profits- similar to what CSX is doing, since the days of Hunter Harrison.  This is also due to requests by NS’s stock holders.  NS has moved all of their dispatchers to Atlanta, GA, combined trains, and recently has laid off workers at their Juniata Shops.  Since NS has combined trains, they have been using less locomotives, and their number of locomotives needing maintenance has decreased.

NS on the Move:

Since the merger talks which have stopped, NS has been busy making more money.  As of May of 2019, NS’s stock has gone over $200/share.  Yes, over $200- they must be doing something right.  NS has always followed an efficient way of running a railroad (not counting the 1999 CR breakup with CSX, which caused high congestion and other problems, which they finally got through).  NS has also gone more toward flat switching- something CSX has been trying to do, by also closing down a lot of hump yards.  Also NS is always updating their track, and have moved all dispatchers to Atlanta, GA (another thing CSX has done with Jacksonville, FL).  Will NS be closing more small yards throught the system?  They are looking at several options to increase  efficiency.

NS Merger Talks?

NS & UP in June had a meeting with each other on possible future merger ideas.  this is nothing new however.  All railroads have been in future merger talks at different times in the past.  They keep the future in mind, in order to prepare for any possible hard times ahead.  Although traffic is up, the current North American Railroad situation has most of the railroads in a bit of trouble.  From CN loosing freight, to NS shortage of power, and most of the railroads with congestion, delays, and other problems.

NS Derailment:

In February, NS had several stack containers and cars derail on their Sandusky to Columbus Line, just north of Attica, OH (papers stated Republic, OH which is nowhere near Attica!) .  Their track tends to be in great shape, so weather- high winds- were most likely the cause.   NS had double-tracked that main line after the Conrail split with CSX in the early 2000s, to help with increased traffic flow as a result of that split.  The mainline was originally PRR, mostly single-main, with passing sidings, and was sold to N&W in 1965 (per an agreement with the ICC, before the Penn Central merger of NYC & PRR in 1968).


NS stock has continued to increase by this year’s end.  Meanwhile, CSX is still having problems adjusting to the new changes CSX CEO Harrison has implemented.  With his passing as of 12/2017, time will tell which route the current CEO stand-in will take for CSX.


NS moving ahead.  Although coal has been diminishing due to the market demand (utilities and other facilities have been going to natural gas, since it costs less for them to use), NS has constructed a new long siding for coal trains that arrive from BNSF out West, located near Swanton, OH (on the ex-NYC/PC/CR Water Level, now NS Chicago Line, Dearborn Div.).

NS has also been expanding Fostoria, OH Mixing Center tracks for future Auto Rack switching.

NS has ordered new and have been rebuilding more GEs since earlier this year.

Triple Crown:

The most recent as of 9/2015, NS announced they will be phasing out Triple Crown roadrailers from the main tracks.  they will still plan on having service with roadrailers from Detroit, MI and south, with evnetually phasing them out 100%. They will still keep the name and trailers, but most trailers will now be transported on TOFC flat cars, and no longer be mounted on railroad wheel trucks.  This means the Sandusky, OH and other terminals will be closed.   Get your photos while you can.

Image of a Triple crown train from 1-West Productions™(Image of NS Triple Crown in Indiana)

Top Gons:

NS has been slowly phasing out these re-built 100 ton coal hoppers, and being replaced with new aluminum cars.  Top Gons were from a project NS had in rebuilding many of their coal hoppers in the 1990s, mainly from their H11 and 12 hoppers.  Over 2,000 cars were rebuilt in order to fill the void of coal cars they needed.

Added Route:

NS was having problems with congestion on a number of their lines, especially the Chicago Line on their end of the ex-Water Level Route, from Cleveland to Chicago.  even tho congestion was a problem after they took over their half of conrail in 1999, as oil trains increased on the system, so did congestion.  So in 2014, they leased the ex-CR Pittsburgh Division- Fort Wayne Line from CSX.  This also included NS paying to have the tracks and ties rebuilt in areas needed.  The towns this line runs through are Crestline, Bucyrus, Van Wert, and other towns in OH, and Fort Wayne, IN, etc.

New Logo:

The horse head logo started to appear within the last few years to add a small change.  The logo looks more impressive as a result.  This has been applied to locomotives and freight cars.

“New” Locomotives:

Due to a shortage of units, NS aquired wide cab units from UP, and many of them are still running around on the system still in ex-UP paint.  They also aquired SD40-2s from BNSF.  They have also been in the process of chopping all high-nosed EMD units that originally came from the N&W and SOU.  High nose on the NS will be a thing of the past.  Standard cab GE units will be converted to wide cabs in the near future as well.

A Railfan Runs The Railroad:

Even tho he has been the CEO of NS for a few years, Wick Moorman has brought back the heritage of railroading, along with turning NS into a great money-making company.  They always were a profitable railroad, but he has increased NS’s value.  He has also put out numerous heritage units, brought back steam train excursions, and has had countless events, such as an F and  E unit display event.

As railroads progress, changes are made in order to help keep them in business.  We capture things of today that will become things of the past.  Those things that are now considered vintage, were once things that were modern.  What a great way to preserve the changes of railroads- in Railroad Video DVDs and Audio CDs.

© Copyright 2015, 2018 1-West Productions™/PJ

New Norfolk Southern- N&W 1980s Vol. 11 AUDIO CD

New Railroad AUDIO CD for September 2015, of NS action from 1987 (and more- see below!):   NORFOLK SOUTHERN- N&W 1980s, Vol. 11.  This CD was produced by 1-West Productions™, and contains recordings of freight action- no pictures.  Why an audio-only version?  It gives the listener something new to use with their imagination.  Back in the day, radio shows were the hot item for entertainment before TV.  Listeners had to use their imagination for the scenes as they took place, and would become a different world.  Although having a picture is nice for seeing certain features and such, having a variety of formats can be appealing as well.

Back in 1987, we recorded the trains around the Bellevue, OH area during NS’s early merger days of the N&W and Southern Railway.  We used directional mics to help give the natural movement affects of the trains, as we hear them in person.

The CD contains older standard cab locomotives from GE & EMD, background ambient sounds, and horns that have become more rare compared to today’s horns we hear on units.

Image of Norfolk Southern- N&W1980s Vol 11 audio CD cover

For more information, please visit this page here Update 3/2022:  We now have Norfolk Southern-N&W 1980s Vol. 1-12, Vintage Scanner Radio Audio Albums/Recordings of NS, CR, & CSX,  and Modern NS Audio Albums/Recordings now available!  Please click here for a full list!  You can also find a few samples of our Audio Albums on our 1-West Productions™ Soundcloud Page and YouTube Page.



© Copyright 2015, 2022 1-West Productions™/PJ

N&W’s Diesel Locomotive Paint Schemes

For modelers and those who are interested in N&W’s diesel locomotive paint schemes and their variations, this article should be of some use.

Road Locomotives:
For years, the Norfolk and Western Railway had a Steam Era scheme that they used on all freight locomotive equipment. It was the road name spelled out in a Roman-Serif style gold lettering on the long hood, on freight locomotives, with road numbers, and no logos. The locomotive color was black. They used this same scheme on their diesel locomotives as well. The first diesel units to receive this scheme were the N&W RS3s around 1955.

Then in 1958, they added the 24″ D Gothic logo, that had a curved “N” and “W” inside a circle, with an “&” symbol in between the letters. Some had “RY” inside, some not. Locomotives only had these logos applied on the ends and under the cab windows, with the road numbers placed below the logos. The road name was 10″ high, still spelled out on the long hoods of locomotives, but in a gothic block type font in yellow, and was a reflective Scotchlite type sticker, also for the numbers. The locomotive color was black.

In 1963, the N&W had the same paint scheme, only they now adopted a new logo at the time, that some call the “hamburger” or “half-moon” logo. This logo has straight letters “N&W” in between two circle halves, and the whole logo inside a circle border. The road name, logos, and numbers were the same reflective Scotchlite stickers, and locomotives were still black. The first new units delivered new with this scheme were the GP35s in the 200 series.

In 1966, they had the same paint scheme, only dark blue paint was applied to the engines to replace the black. In photos of newly-painted engines taken back then, it shows that GE and EMD had slightly different shades of this color. When the blue faded, it turned to a light blue/gray, due to the lead in these industrial paints back then. This color was applied because around this time the N&W and C&O were in serious talks of merging, due to the fact that they saw the Penn Central merger between the NYC and PRR was approaching fast. Some GP9s in the 500 series received this blue version first in 1965, before being the standard application in 1966 to freight locomotives, beginning with the new GP40s.

In 1970, the N&W kept the same paint scheme, but went back to the black car body color, at least applied to the newly-delivered U30Bs in the 8400-8500 series.

In early 1970, they tried an experimental scheme that was the same as before with the black body and half moon scheme, but a yellow Serif-style 24″ “N&W”, similar to what was applied to coal cars, was added to the middle section of the long hood of the locomotives, replacing the spelled-out road name from before. Only 50+ units had these “N&W” stickers applied. More than likely this was the N&W’s prerequisite of a new simplified scheme they were searching for, to blend in with most other railroads at the time, that were adopting a more conservative/simple paint scheme of just abbreviated letters and logos. The N&W continued to apply these logos even during the application of the next “NW” “zigzag” scheme to come next.

In 1971, they changed the road number fonts, and the logo was changed to a 42″ “zigzag” “NW” placed on the long hood side, and 12″ nose logos. This logo variation had both letters connected at the top. The cab numbers were a different style, about 10″ in size. It is possible they came up with this logo that was similar to Penn Central’s “C” inside the “P” logo. All lettering at this point was in white, and the car body was black. One of the first new locomotives to receive this paint were the 4100 series GP38ACs. The N&W also had this scheme with the body Tuscan red and gold lettering, for all special N&W official trains. SD40-2 6175 and C30-7s 8010, and 8076-8080 received the Tuscan version.  (Examples of some of these units still in this scheme during the early NS years can be found in the Railroad DVD category: Norfolk Southern 1980s, Ohio Lines Series (by 1-West Productions™ Featured Series).) 

During 1981, the N&W came up with the “skunk” scheme that was a variation of the Southern scheme, only in black and white. The wide center stripe was white, with the road name, cab numbers, nose 15″ zigzag logos in black. The 15″ road name was slightly larger, with the “AND” being 10″. Also the cab numbers were made slightly larger. Only four units- all GP38ACs, received this scheme: 4104, 4105, 4107, and 4129.  (An example can be found on Railroad DVD Norfolk Southern 1980s, Ohio Lines, Part 1 & 2 (1-West Productions™).)

Towards the end of 1981, the “Claytor” scheme was applied to N&W locomotives shortly after. This was the same paint scheme, only the whole body was black, and no stripe, and all lettering was in white. The road name was the same as used in the “skunk” scheme, but with 12″ nose logos and 15″ cab numbers.  (Many examples of the “Claytor” scheme can be found on several of these Railroad DVDs here: Norfolk Southern 1980s, Ohio Lines Series (by 1-West Productions™ Featured Series).)

In 1982, the Norfolk Southern merger happened between the N&W and SOU. Between that time and 1984, the N&W used the “Claytor” scheme and the SOU kept their original paint scheme during this time of green and an off-white, with gold-yellow lettering. Around 1984, the NS began to paint their locomotives in the new horse scheme that we see today, but they still had the reporting marks of “NW”, “SOU”, etc., under the road numbers on the cabs.  By 1990, they were painting the reporting marks as just “NS”.

Some shops had variations in paint schemes due to the access to lettering, or for whatever reasons. An example would be the N&W F7As. There were at least three variations: -gray roof with blue car body, yellow lettering in the half-moon scheme, -same variation but no road name applied, only logos and road numbers, -all blue body with full lettering, -all blue body with logos and road numbers applied only.

Switcher Locomotives:
N&W switcher locomotives basically had the same paint schemes as the road locomotives during the time-frame previously discussed, with a few variations. Some variations would have been the T6 ALCOs that received the spelled out road name in small-case lettering.

Passenger Locomotives:
In the beginning, the N&W painted some of their passenger diesel units just like their first freight diesels. The same for the gothic and half-moon logo schemes, only the car body was Tuscan red, and wore a 3″ thick yellow stripe on the side frames. Also some wore the half-moon scheme with the blue body and a yellow pin stripe along the side frames. The E8A’s wore a variation of the blue half-moon scheme, with a pin stripe on the nose and upper side of the car body, and along the lower sill of the car body, similar to the ex-Wabash scheme applied to these units previously.

In the early days, railroads had “busy” paint schemes, with a lot of stripes, and/or spelled out road names, with/without logos. But by the 1960s, they saw that painting their locomotives this way was expensive, so they omitted most of the stripes and spelled-out road names, and went simple. Although some loved the fancy paint schemes, the simplified schemes can be just as interesting or sharp.

More railroads began to use simplified and “connecting” type logos, with only letters or variations of the first letters of the road name, made into a shape, or connected, to make their image have a more modern look. Such examples would be CN’s 1964 “noodle logo”, CP Rail’s 1968 “Pacman”, PC’s 1968 “worm”, N&W’s 1971 “zigzag”, GT’s 1964 “noodle”, SOO’s large “SOO”, BN’s 1970 N inside a B, SP’s large SP letter logo, etc.

This should give a guide to what the N&W used through the years, and also a glance at what other railroads at the time were also doing during these various eras.  Several Railroad DVDs about the N&W and early NS showing these paint scheme examples can also be found in these Railroad DVD Categories:  1-West Production™ Featured Series, NS, N&W, and Keith’s Trains™ Series.


All information was provided from researching many books (such as the N&W 1st & 2nd Generation Diesel books, diagrams, various internet research sites, and talking to informative people, such as railroaders, ex-railroaders (Ed Durnwald to name just one), hobbyists, historians, etc.
PJ 3-2015
All content in this article © Copyright 2015 1-West Productions™/PJ.