Norfolk Southern 5291

Locomotives hide their age well. When I first saw this train I never would have guessed it was a seasoned 43 years old. If I saw a truck from 1973 running down the road I would know instantly and probably chase after it for a photo. At first glance this was just another train parked along the former passenger siding of OnTrack, a failed passenger venture of the New York, Susquehanna and Western railway. I was going to walk on by but the Norfolk Southern livery brought me in for a closer look. The black and white color scheme was a breath of fresh air from the standard blue and yellow of CSX locomotives commonly seen in the area. Ol’ 5291 here has seen plenty of changes over the years with a few clues speaking to its history. From a novice standpoint I spotted CSX spill response stickers on the fuel tanks and NYSW safety stickers on the walkways indicating a shared history among the three companies. Further digging at reveal this EMD GP38-2 was originally built for the famous Penn Central company. Later it would haul under the Conrail empire. This old rig has held up well through decades of turmoil and hard work and looks ready for many more years to come.

Norfolk Southern 5291

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3 Responses to Norfolk Southern 5291

  1. DAVID Kingsbury says:

    The NS and most other RR’s including my Employer Union Pacific us these Units for Yard Switching, Local Freight Switching and Even Road Freight Work.
    They are Cycled through the shops every 3 years for Brake System Work and other Major Work and also For Regular Upgrades and Overhauls as Needed.
    At 2000 HP with Twin Roots Blowers they are Really Nothing More than an Oversize Detroit Diesel without the Detroit Sound.

  2. Brian Smith says:

    EMD diesels have a unique sound of their own; at idle (275 rpm) they have a distinctive “thum-thum-thum-thum-thum-thum-thum-thum” beat with a continuous tone “whine” of the Roots blowers superimposed over; some fans refer to EMD engines have a chant. When I was much younger I worked in a lumber yard across the street from the local PRR rail yard, and the white noise sound of an idling EMD 12-567 or 16-567 was a constant, welcome companion.

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