One of my favorite shots occurred as I high railed across the railroad trestle spanning the New River near Prince, West Virginia. The adjacent highway bridge would soon be replaced by a new structure for motorists to enjoy. A short distance ahead is the beginning of the Piney Creek Subdivision area where CSX and West Virginia Trout Unlimited annually seeded 5000 brown trout fingerlings into the cold water stream. I am reflected in the side view mirror… These two NS locomotives are straining up the slight grade out of Kenova yard approaching the Pocahontas mainline track while dragging loads of coal from the Kanawha River Terminals on the other side of town. The loads could have gone east to Williamson, or west to Wheelersburg or Portsmouth, Ohio. A beautiful shot of a newly built CSX coal hopper near Whitesville, West Virginia. Carrying a load of West Virginia coal-likely from the Marfork Processing Plant- out of Boone County, West Virginia, the coal could go to be headed to a domestic steel company or an overseas interest. Note the “graveyard hump” shape of the coal in the car; this was the result of the shape of the chute at the preparation plant loadout molding the coal as it disgorged the mineral from the holding silo. Also, these coal hoppers dump the coal out of the car via doors located at the bottom of the hopper. They are not made for use in a rotary-dump facility. A classic beauty – the Marshall Thundering Herd locomotive painted by crews at the Huntington locomotive repair shop. The unit had all the traction motors removed, so it could not move on its own; it had to be towed to the desired spot on game day. Here, the locomotive participated in Amtrak’s National Train Day, hosted by the city of Huntington, West Virginia. This CSX manifest train is headed west along the Cincinnati Subdivision towards the Queen City with a Norfolk Southern Thoroughbred locomotive in trail. Arrangements like this weren’t uncommon, due to trains interchanging cars and rolling stock at larger yard facilities. The train originated in Russell, Kentucky. A nice shot of Norfolk Southern’s Williamson, West Virginia yard featuring the N&W Heritage unit coupled to a Thoroughbred pulling a coal train towards the west end of the yard. These beautiful Heritage units were always highly sought by rail photographers along the lines of the company. Sad and poignant, the Upper Big Branch memorial stands outside Whitesville, West Virginia. Some of the heavy stones along the river bank that secured the Upper Big Branch memorial. I found these two fellows resting alongside a railroad crossing along the Logan Subdivision just outside Barboursville, West Virginia. Perhaps they knew of my record of successfully closing railroad crossings. They weren’t going to let me close theirs! The Lewis Tunnel has just been exited by our high rail vehicle on a trip along the Allegheny Subdivision. According to the date above the structure, it was constructed during the presidency of Herbert Hoover, himself a renowned engineer! Laboring with a heavy burden of coal loaded at the Arch coal facility east of Holden, West Virginia, this CSX coal train has just passed Whitman junction as it prepares to enter the town of Logan and Peach Creek yard located to the west of town. This beautiful scenery is located under the CSX mainline track adjacent to the James River entering Richmond from the west. Above the tracks is a cemetery, perhaps historic Hollywood Cemetery, resting place of many historic figures from the Civil War era. Some of the beautiful scenery along the James River adjacent to the CSX main line entering the city of Richmond, Virginia. It can be very challenging to work as a conductor or engineer on a train while moving into or out of a yard facility. Here, a collection of tracks, dwarf signals and high-mast signals will confront a train crew. These signals govern the movement of the train, and the switches determine the correct route. Are the switches properly lined for movement? The green-colored flag beside the track offers a clue. One must be absolutely certain before moving the train. The yellow-colored device sitting on the track is called a “Derail,” and must be properly positioned for movement. I caught this Amtrak run along the Peninsula Subdivision on a summer day near Providence Forge, Virginia. Amtrak had several daily runs between Newport News, Richmond, and Washington, D.C. Later, Amtrak service would be added to “Southside” Virginia, running between Norfolk and Petersburg along the Norfolk Southern lines. This refurbished caboose was discovered during a trip to Providence Forge, Virginia. Stenciled for the Norfolk & Western, it sat alongside the CSX mainline on the Peninsula Subdivision between Richmond and Newport News, Virginia. Beautifully restored, it was a real treat to tour and photograph. A different kind of caboose, stenciled for the Department of Defense (DOD) was spotted along the tracks during one of my trips. These trains were unusual, but always interesting to spot. They often carried sensitive shipments and traveled with armed escorts and in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies. This West Virginia historical marker sits alongside the CSX mainline track along the Ohio River Subdivision near the historic Jenkins home. Located alongside WV Route 2, the home is a must-see for students of the Civil War and those who enjoy exploring the military history of West Virginia. The Jenkins home is located across the railroad tracks, so always remember to stop and look before crossing the railroad track. A long line of CSX locomotives moves through downtown Huntington near the 16th Street yard office, former home of transportation crews working in town. Recently, the reporting station for these crews is at the former C&O Business Unit office at 7th Avenue and 9th Street. This line of locomotives may be headed towards the Huntington locomotive shop as they roll over the viaduct. I found this B-25 “Doolittle” bomber parked at a small airport near Franklin, Virginia. I was traveling along the former Seaboard Coast rail line when I noticed it. Missing an engine, but otherwise in good shape, it was a real treat. On April 18th, 1942, a scant five months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, sixteen of these planes took off from the deck of the USS Hornet and bombed Tokyo. It was an incredible feat lead by General James “Jimmy” Doolittle of the US Army Air Corps. The view ahead from a locomotive preparing to move. I am sitting on the conductor’s side of the cab. The most crucial point about this photo is the switch located ahead of the train. Is it lined correctly for movement? Yes, it is. Switches must be checked, and double checked, before a train may move through them onto another track. The presence of the “red flag” on the switch stand in the ballast alongside the track indicates that movement is lined against the track to the right of the locomotive. I caught the CSX Q302 headed east near Handley, West Virginia, on a summer day while doing some work in the area. Handley was once a teeming railroad spot, but over the years its role diminished. Huntington Division pool crews used to stop their trains in Handley while waiting for a re-crew. These trains usually originated in Russell, Kentucky, or Hinton, West Virginia, but could also arrive from the coalfield yards of Elk Run, Danville, or Peach Creek. A former coaling tower sits along the Norfolk Southern mainline near Pritchard, West Virginia. Dating to the days of the Norfolk & Western, the structure still stands but is no longer in use. I encountered several of these coal bins during my travels, including ones in West Hamlin, West Virginia, and Lynchburg, Virginia. On a stormy spring day, a CSX freight train travels along the Peninsula Subdivision on its way to Newport News, Virginia. I spent many days working in the area cataloging highway railroad crossings in an attempt to enhance the safety of the communities along the line. To the west of this location is Richmond; to the east is Williamsburg. A coal preparation plant loadout nestled in the hills in Logan County, West Virginia, near Scarlet. The rail line is located along the Pine Creek Subdivision, and may be reached by diverging at the Logan and Southern Junction located near Omar, West Virginia. The line is approximately six miles long, and ends at a small storage yard adjacent to the preparation plant loadout. I caught the CSX #5000 “Diversity in Motion” General Electric locomotive along the tracks near Catlettsburg, Kentucky. At the time, CSX didn’t have many special liveries adorning its locomotives. That trend has changed, however. In recent years there are several locomotives honoring first responders, United States Military personnel, and law enforcement officers that feature beautiful liveries painted in Huntington, West Virginia. Once, I worked with the city of Franklin, Virginia, on a downtown beautification and depot restoration project. It involved cleaning up the local railroad property in the city and contributing to the beautification efforts. Franklin was a rail junction shared by both CSX and Norfolk Southern. It was located along the route between Portsmouth, Virginia, and Weldon, North Carolina. I rode a train through the area once, going through several small towns in south Virginia including Branchville, Boykins, Franklin, and Suffolk. A CSX grain express train heads eastward by Big Sandy Junction near Catlettsburg, Kentucky. The train will cross the Big Sandy River while traveling along the Kanawha Subdivision towards Huntington, West Virginia, a short distance to the east. The lower tracks of the Big Sandy Subdivision eventually end near Shelbiana, Kentucky, east of Pikeville. A view of Elk Run yard after several of the tracks were expanded to accommodate extra capacity from coal traffic expected from the nearby Upper Big Branch mine. The coal from this mine was processed and loaded at the Marfork preparation plant just to the east of the Elk Run yard. A General Electric wide-body locomotive sits in Elk Run awaiting a crew to take it to nearby preparation plants to load. To the east of Elk Run yard is nearby Whitesville, West Virginia, along with Marfork coal processing plant, and the ill-fated Upper Big Branch Mine, scene of a tragic explosion in 2010 that killed 29 coal miners. To the west of the yard is the Elk Run mine and storage yard. An impressive amount of locomotive power is assembled at the Huntington locomotive shop. This view is westward, towards the former IDC (Inbound Diagnostic Center) building from the road leading out of the facility. The shop would regularly see hundreds of locomotives each year, some to be repaired, serviced, or held in storage. The Q303 awaits departure, headed west towards Lynchburg and later to Clifton Forge, Virginia. The lonely location featured a former “railroad YMCA,” once used by rail crews staying overnight at the terminal, just to the right of the train. The facility was later used as a community center by local residents. The CSX manifest Q303 heads west past the old depot in Gladstone, Virginia, on a clear summer day. The small railroading village has largely been bypassed by the railroad in recent years, though there is still a storage yard and a couple local industries. Gladstone was a stopping point for several trains as they awaited crews coming from the hotel in nearby Appomattox, Virginia. The former Chesapeake and Ohio depot in Alderson, West Virginia, is painted in a lively color and still stands in good shape for visitors to the town to enjoy. Alderson may be reached either by traveling between Hinton, and Ronceverte, West Virginia, which allows for more views of the railroad, or by taking a route from off nearby Interstate 64. Near Catlettsburg, Kentucky, along the Big Sandy Subdivision, a CSX freight heads through town towards the nearby yard at Russell, Kentucky. Catlettsburg featured a rail junction where the mainline crossed the nearby Big Sandy River onto the Kanawha Subdivision. The Big Sandy traveled east towards Pikeville, Kentucky, and eventually the rail yard at Shelbiana. It was always a treat to find a Conrail blue locomotive along the routes in West Virginia. This one leads a CSX coal train near Jackson, West Virginia, along the Shortline Subdivision. The occasion was a visit to the nearby Jackson Volunteer Fire Department for a Rail Safety Emergency Response class that I taught at the department. Conrail locomotives were rare by this time, a decade after CSX and NS divided Conrail after a 1998 merger. The former trestle spanning the Guyandotte River near Man, West Virginia, was eventually converted into a riding trail along the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System in Logan County, West Virginia. I worked for several years to make this project a reality, but when I began, this is what I saw-an overgrown, inaccessible area. It was difficult to imagine at the time that one day the bridge would be accessible to ATV riders bypassing the residential section of the nearby town of Man. A view from the window of my former office in Huntington, West Virginia. Huntington yard was a storage facility for both rail cars and locomotives. Some locomotives had departed from the nearby Huntington locomotive shop, a short distance east. As business in the West Virginia coal fields waned during the 2009-2016 period, many locomotives were stored or sold. In the hills above the CSX mainline (former B&O) running adjacent to the Potomac River I found a former line of the Western Maryland Railroad, a long-ago abandoned and rusting hulk. This segment of the line was abandoned when the Baltimore & Ohio merged with the Western Maryland and the B&O route along the Potomac River was selected for use. Sights such as this can be seen at several points along the backwoods road. The Randolph Tunnel, located adjacent to the Potomac River, has been visited by trespassers and vandals as evidenced by the graffiti present along the tunnel’s entrance. There should be no trespassing in areas such as this. It is dangerous and illegal to be along railroad rights-of-way. I caught this eastbound coal train poised just east of Fulton yard near Airport Road in Richmond, Virginia. The area featured double-track mainlines, allowing more than one train to traverse the area simultaneously. The area was heavily traveled along the rails, featuring multiple, daily runs of Amtrak trains headed into and out of Newport News. An inside look at an unfinished signal bungalow located adjacent to a highway railroad crossing. These bungalows housed the electronics and batteries that controlled the active warning devices (flashing lights, gates, and pedestrian bell) at a railroad crossing. These bungalows should never be entered nor tampered with in any way. I found the former Oakwood store of the New River Company along the route near Mossy, West Virginia, during a trip to Thurmond. “Company stores” such as these were common during a bygone era. Mining towns in West Virginia featured stores such as this, and many can still be found, although they long ago ceased to operate as company owned stores. Holden, West Virginia, in Logan County, comes to mind with a former Island Creek Coal Company store still visible in the community. I caught the Amtrak Cardinal at a railroad crossing near Chesapeake, West Virginia. This crossing featured the only Federal Railroad Administration Quiet Zone in the state of West Virginia (2013) meaning that trains approaching the crossing did not have to sound their horns as is the case at other public highway railroad crossings in the state. Preparing to cross the trestle over the New River near Prince, West Virginia, in a high rail truck during the Piney Creek Stream Stocking event with West Virginia Trout Unlimited. There was a narrow highway bridge adjacent to the railroad trestle which was slated to be replaced in the near future (2013). I particularly enjoyed this event due to a ride along the rails in such magnificent and beautiful territory deep in the West Virginia hills. The sleepy yard at Quinnimont, West Virginia. There was not much action in the yard that day as CSX and West Virginia Trout Unlimited prepared for the annual stream seeding event along the Piney Creek Subdivision, located a short distance from the yard. Quinnimont is mostly populated by Maintenance of Way forces, having seen a reduction in coal traffic in recent years. A large mural on the wall of the Prince station depicts life in a former time, as workers at a coal tipple prepare cars for shipment. It appears as if the track switch is lined for the movement of the car in which the worker has his right hand on the brake wheel. “Car dropping” was a process whereby a car was allowed to roll away from a loadout only to be stopped by the application of the hand brake when it had arrived at its destination. On the far left track a train appears to be ready to leave, with a locomotive coupled to the loaded cars in the distance. The sign announcing the station at Prince, West Virginia. The historic location, a ghost from the days of Chesapeake and Ohio passenger rail service, was still serviced by the Amtrak Cardinal, which transited the area on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday. One of the last projects I worked on was an attempt to arrange a donation of the station and underlying land to a private entity. I am not sure if the effort was successful or not. Near Parkersburg, West Virginia…one more great reason to Stay Off, Stay Away, and Stay Alive – remote control equipment may be in use, with no human being in the cab of the locomotive! Rail yards are private property and nobody should trespass in these areas. It is not safe; it is dangerous and illegal to trespass along railroad rights-of-way. There are several interesting aspects to this photo depicting a normal day at the yard in Grafton, West Virginia. There is an NS Thoroughbred locomotive visiting that day, along with several CSX units. The former yard tower is along the tracks to the right, and an older coach wearing a Baltimore & Ohio livery rests along a stub track. The newer CSX yard facilities are located to the left. I visited Grafton to teach several Operation Lifesaver classes during my tenure. Maintenance of Way equipment working at a crossing repair site in downtown Huntington. The machine would make several passes over the ballasted area, tamping down and securing the roadbed. Note the old crossing surface in the background consisting of timbers and asphalt. This discarded surface material would be removed, the area cleaned, and the finished surface would be ready for use by motorists. Scrap materials like these were disposed of in an environmentally friendly way to ensure minimal negative impact. These are concrete panels to be used in an upcoming grade crossing surface replacement project in downtown Huntington, West Virginia. Purchased by West Virginia Department of Transportation, this was the finest railroad crossing surface available in West Virginia. Normally, a combination of timbers, rubber strips, and asphalt was utilized by the railroad. WV DOT provided the upgrade through special funding that I aggressively pursued in order to make our crossings smoother for the traveling public. Here, a ghost from another railroad’s past was discovered near historic Petersburg, Virginia. The large concrete structures were part of the tracks of the Seaboard Coast Line, which utilized the “S” line through the area. The tracks had been removed some years before, but the foundations of the viaduct remained. In the same area, a former Conrail (NS stenciled) leads a Thoroughbred locomotive along the same route. The locomotives likely appeared on CSX rails due to an interchange at a nearby location. I particularly enjoyed seeing the NS-stenciled former Conrail locomotives trimmed in black. This shot, taken along the Potomac River in northern West Virginia, was one of several fast freights I observed that day. The occasion was a trip to the area to post eviction notices at campgrounds along the river situated on CSX property. There were many, varied trains in the area during the two days of the effort. This bridge connected the city of Barboursville, West Virginia, with a large recreational area was one project I worked on during my Community Affairs & Safety tenure. The city wished for better access to several soccer fields but had to build the bridge over the railroad tracks. This required a lot of coordination, permits, on-site visits, and meetings. The line under the bridge runs from the Wye at Barboursville towards Peach Creek yard near Logan, West Virginia. The CSX version of a specially painted “911” locomotive to honor first responders sits at the Webster Springs, WV, depot on a cloudy September day. Earlier, Norfolk Southern had also painted a special livery on an SD-60 locomotive to pay homage to those who serve us so faithfully. The CSX locomotive is a General Electric “Wide Body.” This Canadian National locomotive is attached to a Thoroughbred consist pulling an empty coal train into Williamson yard in Williamson, West Virginia at the Armor Crossing. This is an older unit, an EMD unit built by General Motors, likely an SD 70 MAC. “Foreign” units were more common along Norfolk Southern lines than CSX. It was not uncommon to spot the liveries of Union Pacific, Canadian Pacific, CSX, Canadian National, and Kansas City Southern along NS rights of way. This is the Arnold B. McKinnon building, former home of the corporate offices of Norfolk Southern in Norfolk, Virginia. Called the “Emerald Tower,” by some, I visited the site in 2018 as a newly hired manager at Norfolk Southern. I greatly enjoyed the time I spent in Norfolk. The training we received was first-rate, a two week orientation to the company, its policies, and railroad operations. Newly hired, very happy manager standing outside the corporate headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia. A visiting Thoroughbred locomotive sits on the west side of the CSX Huntington Locomotive Shop in Huntington, West Virginia. It wasn’t unusual to spot locomotives from other railroads at the facility. It was always interesting to see units from other lines arrive at the shop for maintenance or repair. Another special project performed by the paint shop crew at CSX Huntington Locomotive Shop was to convert an older unit in Chesapeake & Ohio livery into this beautiful Clinchfield Railroad unit. Freshly painted and prepared to lead the “Santa Train,” out of Shelbiana, Kentucky, to Spartanburg, South Carolina along the former Clinchfield route, the unit was unveiled to much acclaim by CSX in time for Christmas. Here, she sits inside the paint shop facility awaiting finishing touches. A westbound NS freight heads west along US 52 just outside the town of Ironton, Ohio. An industrial facility, one of several along the line, sits on the south side of the tracks. Further west is the huge Sun Coke facility, an industrial customer served by rail crews based in Portsmouth yard. The author poses on the “B” end of restored unit 8272, a former CSX locomotive repainted in the classic Chessie System livery. The work of the craftsmen at the Huntington Locomotive Shop was second to none; they were locomotive artists at work. Here, I am demonstrating good safety form with three points of contact as I pose for the photo. I was the day shift foreman of the Purchasing & Materials Department at the locomotive shop during this time. Another view of the unit destined to become a museum piece- a restored Chessie System locomotive lettered for the C&O Railway. Often, Chessie System locomotives featured three designs: C&O, B&O, and WM, denoting which railroad the locomotive had belonged to in former times, the Chesapeake & Ohio, the Baltimore & Ohio, or the Western Maryland. All three lines were merged to create the Chessie System in 1972. This view looks west to east along Track #4 of the Huntington Locomotive Shop. Of particular interest is the immaculately maintained facility, clean, orderly, and very well maintained by the employees and managers who worked there. Track 4 ran the entire length of the shop and could be used to move a unit from the main shop eastward towards the paint shop. The unit sitting on the track is likely headed in that direction; the tan finish on the locomotive would soon be replaced with CSX colors. Another locomotive begins the journey into the chamber of the paint shop at the Huntington Locomotive Shop facility. The sealed chambers were clean, airtight and well ventilated. The paint shop in Huntington produced some of the finest locomotive liveries in North America, whether the project was a regular CSX paint job or a special project featuring the Chessie System, Clinchfield Railroad, or the Chesapeake & Ohio. “Flying a locomotive,” at the Huntington Locomotive Shop involved attaching a crane to a unit, carefully securing it, then after close examination raise it above the level of other locomotives and move it along the “High Bay” area of the shop. This is how a unit was transferred from the primary track into the shop - #4- to another track for repairs or maintenance. I caught this newer Canadian National locomotive just west of Big Sandy Junction, poised to pull a freight train over the Kanawha Subdivision towards Hinton, West Virginia. It was rare to spot locomotives from other railroads along CSX tracks, but occasionally they could be spotted. It was always a treat to find one of the more rare Canadian locomotives in service locally. This Canadian National unit was a rare sight on any rail line, but I found it one day at the yard in Portsmouth, Ohio, attached to a Union Pacific unit and pulling a mixed freight train. This was the only such unit of this class that I ever witnessed. The unique “Zebra” stripe livery may have been to increase motorist visibility of the train. NS painted several locomotives in a special livery to announce the conversion of older DC (Direct Current Traction Motor) units to more efficient AC (Alternating Current Traction Motor) locomotives. I spotted several of the units, this one pulling into a middle yard track in Portsmouth, Ohio, along the operating corridor. Black and Gray, Blue and Gray, and Yellow and Gray were featured on the units. NS # 9384 carries an Operations Supervisor Trainee-Me-into Pritchard, West Virginia, on a late summer day. As part of our training, each manager on the Kenova District was required to ride with four trains each month, one in the yard, two in local industry service, and one over the road train traveling at least 50 miles. Most of my fellow managers had an extreme dislike for riding the trains, however, I couldn’t get enough of it. Normally, I stayed on the train all the way into Williamson, but on this day my wife was waiting in Pritchard to pick me up for the trip home so I disembarked there. On a stormy day over Portsmouth yard I caught this unusual cloud formation above the yard. We often felt like it rained every day in Portsmouth. One of my fellow managers once remarked that we worked in a rain forest; sometimes it did feel that way. I caught another of the DC to AC conversion units pulling into Kenova yard on a sunny day in the summer of 2018. The train was pulling loads of coal through the yard towards the Kanawha River Terminals facility located across town. Before accessing the KRT facility, the NS crew had to call the CSX dispatcher to obtain permission to cross that railroad’s mainline tracks which ran east-west along the Kanawha Subdivision. I found this beautiful Chesapeake & Ohio livery alongside the CSX mainline tracks in Clifton Forge, Virginia. Nearby is the museum of the C&O Historical Society. Clifton Forge is a town with a rich railroad history and should be visited by anyone interested in Appalachian railroading. I was a yardmaster for CSX and Clifton Forge yard was one of the locations where I oversaw operations. This NS work train sits aside the mainline near Fort Gay, West Virginia. Work trains were smaller, often featuring only one or two cars, a locomotive and a caboose. The work of these trains was directed by a roadmaster, a manager in the Engineering department. They could be used to clean up material such as old crossties, rail, ballast or soil. Resplendent on a summer day is #7239 featuring a newly painted wide-body during a stop in Williamson yard. On the hill above is the highway running through town, US 52. This point in the yard was a stopping point used to recrew trains before they proceeded further west towards the yards at Kenova, West Virginia or Portsmouth, Ohio. A westbound NS freight sits poised along the mainline track on the west side of Williamson yard. This consist, led by a Union Pacific unit, was a coal train headed to the Wheelersburg, Ohio, coal terminal located ten miles east of Portsmouth yard. A Kansas City Southern unit is welcomed into the Huntington Locomotive Shop on a sunny summer day in 2017. These units were rarely spotted along CSX tracks; KCS is primarily a north-south railway running from the American heartland into Mexico. I had found a unit similar to this one in a small facility located near Romney, West Virginia. This unit sits on a track inside the Huntington Locomotive Shop awaiting a transformation into a Clinchfield Railroad unit destined to pull the “Santa Train,” an annual Christmas excursion train that CSX still operates each year over former Clinchfield territory. It surprised me how small the unit was in comparison to the more modern locomotives. A visiting Union Pacific locomotive is towed by a track mobile along a running track into the west side of the Huntington Locomotive Shop. Track mobiles were used to move locomotives, and a special craft of employees, from the Firemen and Oilers union, were used to operate the vehicle. There were two in use at the shop and they could often be seen shuttling locomotives around on the different tracks. Another special project of the Huntington Locomotive Shop was to adorn #7534 with the classic blue and gold livery of the C & O Railway. As was the case with the other projects, an older unit was brought to the facility, the paint removed, repairs made, and finally given a fresh coat of paint in a classic livery. This beautiful shot of an incredible cloud formation on the east side of the Huntington Locomotive Shop was taken on a warm spring day. This side of the shop was a storage area for wheel sets, older locomotives, and scrap cars. An impressive array of Thoroughbred power is poised along tracks on the east end of Williamson yard near the “Sycamore” signal. These trains would either head to the yard at Bluefield, West Virginia, 100 miles east, or, diverge from the mainline towards Weller yard located near Grundy, Virginia. There are many steps involved when undertaking a complicated job such as painting an older locomotive in original Chessie System colors. The paint must be applied in stages, due to the different colors that are used. Orange, blue, yellow, black, all contributed to the finished product-a eye-popping locomotive headed to a museum! One of my favorite photos, taken at night when I performed a duty called “Fire watch.” Normally, the Laborer craft performed this work; however, when none of the craft members were available it became available for the clerks. Most of the lights inside the shop were turned off to conserve electricity, casting a haunting glow over the locomotives awaiting maintenance work. Every hour throughout the night I would inspect each area of the shop to ensure that all was well and no problems existed. Unit “HLS 1,” (Huntington Locomotive Shop) was the workhorse of the facility, often used to drag and push other locomotives undergoing final testing before being released from the facility back into transportation service. At the “Load Test,” HLS1 would be hitched to another unit and would run east-west on a track on the north side of the shop until the necessary tests were completed. The tests were designed to mimic conditions found in mainline service to ensure that the locomotive undergoing the testing was ready to perform. Getting ready to depart, two EMD units head west out of the shop along Track 4 towards the mainline. The Huntington Locomotive Shop was the main heavy repair shop in the CSX mechanical department network and had serviced thousands of locomotives over it’s life. Another view of the inside of the locomotive repair shop in Huntington. The shop was organized into smaller “shops,” each tasked with building or repairing different components of a locomotive. There was the wheel shop, where wheels were ground to the proper gauge and constructed into sets; the electric shop, where traction motors were built and repaired, or the truck shop, where wheel sets were combined with traction motors and placed into an undercarriage frame that a locomotive body rested upon. Rolling westward through the town of Kermit, West Virginia, located on the Kenova District of the Pocahontas Division, a Norfolk Southern “double-stack” intermodal train heads towards Portsmouth, Ohio, and ultimately Columbus, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois. The cargo originated at the Port of Virginia and was enabled by the NS Heartland Corridor project, in which tunnels along the route were widened and raised to accommodate the double-stacked intermodal containers. This forward-thinking, innovative project paid handsome dividends for Norfolk Southern. In a place that I know very well, running past the entrance of the former Marrowbone Development mining complex a Thoroughbred coal train heads west towards the junction at Naugatuck. There, the train will await a signal from the dispatcher granting permission to leave the Delbarton branch and access the mainline. Years ago, the Norfolk & Western had changed the path of its track from the former route through Wayne County, West Virginia, to the current track configuration. The newly christened track is designated by the initials “NA” or, New Addition. Thus, milepost NA 1 begins near Naugatuck and runs all the way to Kenova, West Virginia, where the former mainline ran through the Lavalette area into Kenova yard and rejoined the line across the Ohio River towards Portsmouth, Ohio. A Thoroughbred “Autorack” consist is led through Fort Gay, West Virginia by two units on a summer evening as the train heads towards Portsmouth, Ohio. There were two trains each day that hauled the autorack cars, one headed east and one west. These trains were usually some of the easiest to deal with, because they did not set off nor pick up cars in Portsmouth. However, a yardmaster in Portsmouth had to be careful, sometimes the trains could exceed 12,000 feet in length! A rare sight in Williamson, West Virginia, is what apparently looks like a CSX train moving east through town. The train is actually an NS train, pulled by borrowed CSX locomotives. I used to wish for a CSX-NS merger in order that I might be able to work in my hometown; however it never happened. One of my favorite photos – a lonely SD70 MAC sits along the track outside the Standard Line area of the Huntington Locomotive Shop. Dawn is just breaking on a humid summer morning as I catch this shot when arriving for the day’s shift. The north side of the paint shop area at the Huntington Locomotive Shop was an area that once resembled a locomotive graveyard, with former Chessie, C&O, Western Maryland, and Family Lines/Seaboard Coast Line units parked there. There are not so many units there on a summer evening when I took this photo against the backdrop of a beautiful sunset in Huntington, looking west. Unit #80 sits in a bay of the Russell Locomotive Shop in Russell, Kentucky, as I arrive for the night shift in the Purchasing and Materials Department. Union craft employees could access underneath the locomotive to perform work by descending down a ramp to the area below. Employees used pushcarts, such as the blue one pictured, to carry supplies to each unit while work was performed. Unit #499 sits in a bay at Russell Locomotive Shop. Each unit was pulled into the shop and parked in a bay while work was performed. Of note is the immaculately clean area surrounding the locomotives; there is no trash, scrap material, or tools left unsecured at the end of the shift. Cleanliness and safety were stressed each day at Russell Shop. While working as a yard clerk at the CSX 16th Street transportation office, I caught a rare sight – a CSX locomotive adorned in black! I never saw any more locomotives painted in this way. This consist was headed west out of Huntington to points unknown. A rare C&O GP 7 or 9 unit sits in Huntington yard across from the C&O Business Unit office at 7th Avenue & 9th Street. I caught this unit in town in a consist of locomotives being hauled away from Huntington. I am not sure what the “DCVR” marking on the side of the cab denotes. C&O Units were never painted in this particular shade of green; I suspect the unit had been sold to another line years previously. On Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday nights, Amtrak train # PO51, “The Cardinal,” made a stop in Huntington as it headed west, ultimately to Chicago, Illinois. I caught this appearance on a Friday evening as I worked as a clerk at the C&O Business Unit building at 7th Avenue & 9th Street in Huntington.