CSXT Introduces New Locomotive Paint Scheme
CSXT has introduced a new locomotive paint design. It will be referred to in the Bull Sheet roster features as "YN3." The company said in a press release that the new scheme is "a visual symbol of the 'new' CSXT." The design will save money, be more durable and fade-resistant to help the locomotives maintain a fresher appearance longer. All new and rebuilt units will be painted with a solid, deep blue body with gold nose, tail and trim. The first locomotive to be painted with the new design is SD50 unit 8503.
Second 'Flyover' Bridge Planned for Kansas City
The Kansas City Terminal Railway and Burlington Northern Santa Fe have announced plans for a second major "flyover" bridge to be constructed in the Kansas City metropolitan area to expedite traffic through this, the nation's second busiest rail center. The new flyover, called the Argentine Connection, will grade-separate two key BNSF routes that intersect near the Missouri and Kansas state line at what is called Santa Fe Junction. The connection will be built as a collaborative effort among KCT, BNSF, the State of Missouri, and the Unified Government of Kansas City, Kansas.
Tower 16 in Texas Getting a New Home
After 99 years of service, a Sherman, Texas, interlocking tower is getting a new home. Burlington Northern Santa Fe's tower number 16 will move to Grapevine, Texas, as part of a collection of historic railroad structures. Tower 16, the 16th such tower authorized by the Texas Railroad Commission, entered service with the Southern Pacific in 1903. Located near Sherman's Union Passenger Station (1903 -1943), the tower and its operators served at the junction where the SP tracks crossed those of the Texas & Pacific. When it was taken out of service late last year, Tower 16 was the last working staffed interlocking tower in Texas.
Union Pacific Donates its First SD45 to Utah State Railroad Museum
Union Pacific has donated a vintage Southern Pacific diesel locomotive to the Utah State Railroad Museum at Ogden Union Station. The railroad also announced that it has renewed the lease for the historic station property to the museum for a dollar a year. The locomotive donated to the museum is the first SD45 delivered to Southern Pacific in 1966. The model became the signature locomotive on SP with 356 units, the largest SD45 fleet in the country.
BNSF Expands its Guaranteed Intermodal Service
Burlington Northern Santa Fe has expanded its guaranteed intermodal service to include an additional route to and from Chicago, and two routes into and out of Kansas City. BNSF began offering guaranteed intermodal service in May 2000. The plan allows shippers to purchase, for a premium, a service guarantee for three intermodal service levels for international, domestic and perishable shipments. For each load that does not meet the scheduled availability time for customer pick-up, BNSF will offer a 100-percent refund.
Joe Piraro Dies
[Photo by John Knecht]
[Article by Allen Brougham] . . .
Retired B&O passenger train conductor Joseph George Piraro died on February 7. He was 86.
One of the railroad's heartiest perennials, he remained working more than a decade longer than most railroaders who long for the day that they can retire. He enjoyed what he was doing so much, he simply stuck around. He was still going strong on October 8, 1990, when he turned 75, and 16 days later he completed his 50th year on the railroad.
He finally retired on October 23, 1992, just one day shy of completing 52 years on the railroad. He might have worked that one extra day, too, but that would have been a Saturday, and his train would not be running.
At the time of his retirement, he was working as a commuter train conductor between Baltimore and Washington, a position he had held for at least a couple of decades.
I can remember Joe from the 1960's, before I started with the B&O. As a railfan, I would ride trains purely for the fun of it. On one occasion, while traveling by coach eastbound from Cumberland on the National Limited, he allowed me to come back to the Pullman observation car while the train backed into Washington Terminal. This was a lavish thrill for me, watching from the plush seating of the car as the train made its way through the maze of switches, and hearing the backup air horn as he sounded it. These are memories that will live forever!
I joined the railroad in 1970, and a couple of years later I had the first of several opportunities to work in the ticket office at Baltimore's Camden Station. Joe would bring me the receipts he collected from the previous day, always being sure to share with me quips and friendly thoughts for which he was noted.
He was highly respected by those with whom he worked, and by his many passengers. John Knecht, a retired electrical engineer and a Baltimore-Washington commuter for more than 20 years, said that Joe was very friendly, helpful, and thoughtful in the way he accommodated his customers, often going out of his way to do it. He was a "railfan and a-half," said John, and he was extremely knowledgeable of historical railroad topics. He considered himself a "part of the original Baltimore & Ohio Railroad," and this is why he did not want to give it up.
John adds that when Joe retired, some officers from CSXT's headquarters in Jacksonville came to Baltimore to bid him farewell. There were parties, and he received a number of gifts from patrons. In the photograph above, taken by John on the morning of Joe's final day on the railroad, he is shown wearing a colorful necktie featuring a train, evidently a gift to him for the occasion.
His funeral was on February 11 at St. Jude's Shrine in Baltimore.
Jim Vargo Retires
[By Allen Brougham] . . .
James Vargo, veteran B&O/CSXT interlocking tower operator, clerk, agent and yardmaster, retired on January 11. At the time of his retirement, he was working in Brunswick, Maryland, as assistant storekeeper on a temporary assignment, but his regular position was that of first-shift operator at HO Tower in Hancock, West Virginia.
Jim, 61, began his railroading career with the B&O in January 1967 at Wilmington, Delaware, but he left the railroad one year later to attend the University of Delaware from which he graduated in 1973.
While attending the university, he returned to the B&O in June 1969, attending school in the morning and working in the afternoon. During this period, he worked second-shift positions as a yard clerk at Wilsmere Yard in Wilmington. Following his graduation, with a degree in Business and Economics, he remained in the Wilmington area, working the same positions until 1976, when he transferred to Baltimore where he worked the second-shift yard clerk's job at Bay View.
On occasion he would return to Wilmington, where he lived at the time, to fill temporary assignments, and in 1979 he took a relief position at the Wilsmere Yard Office, which he retained until December 1980 when he was displaced.
He then went to Winchester, Virginia, where he worked as an agent, and variously as operator at interlocking towers in nearby Brunswick, Maryland, and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. In the late 1980's, he also worked substitute positions as yardmaster at Pearson Yard near Martinsburg, West Virginia.
Meanwhile, concerned over the pending fate of towers and other jobs in general, he attended Lord Fairfax Community and Northern Virginia Community College to acquire the course work needed to sit for the CPA examination. He passed the exam, but never practiced the profession. "The tower positions lasted long enough, and the Democrats gained control of the Senate, and the rest is history," said he.
In 1990, he took the first-shift position at Miller Tower in Cherry Run, West Virginia.
It was here, in October 1992, when I displaced onto the second-shift position at Miller, that I met Jim.
My recollections of Miller Tower have been documented extensively in earlier issues of the Bull Sheet, but some of my fondest memories are of the happy family-like atmosphere that prevailed there on a day-to-day basis. On arriving at the tower it was most often Jim I was relieving, and we would always take the time to make a leisurely transfer and share pleasant thoughts germane to our respective interests. Often he would tell me of the fun of skiing, woodworking, collecting grandfather clocks, and restoring antique automobiles. At times, he would commute to work in his 1959 Mercedes 220SE sedan, one of two Mercedes cars in his collection. He always looked forward to reading his copy of the Bull Sheet, which for a number of issues he would be the very first person to receive a copy.
Neither of us will ever forget the time that I relieved him during a blizzard. He went home, but I was stuck at the tower for 24 hours. Then it was Jim who relieved me, although he had to get to the tower by train. Twenty-four hours later, I relieved him once again. Such was the life of working in such a remote location.
Miller Tower closed in September 2000, and he displaced onto the relief position at the tower at West Cumbo. When that tower closed two months later, he went to the storeroom at Brunswick, and later to the first-shift position at HO Tower.
Jim and his wife, Doris, live in Winchester. They have one son, Steve, 28.
15th Annual Mid-Winter Amtrak Excursion
[Trip Report, by Rich Ballash] . . .
February 9, 2002: Five members and friends of the PRR Technical & Historical Society, Pittsburgh Chapter, sojourned with us on our 15th (and perhaps LAST!?) annual Amtrak excursion over the Rails OF KEYSTONE HERITAGE. Alan Kevern, Dave Karas, Dick "Maglev" Luttner, and "Engineman" (SonyBoy) Lee Hegan, joined the chapter secretary for a marvelous excursion! If you decided not to come, well, you made a BIG mistake! The weather was SUPERB, sunny, 50-degrees, and it was indeed a great ride! My thanks to "outboard" OKH reporter, Ed Waugh, for documenting our progress by official Amtrak stats as follows: We departed eastward from Latrobe on Train 40, twenty-eight minutes late, at 9:57 a.m., lost 12 more minutes by Altoona, but gained back 26 minutes before our 14-minute tardy 2:30 p.m. arrival in Harrisburg. Our return on Train 41 boasted on-time performance all the way! Yeah! Go Amtrak!! Despite the talk about possible cessation of long-distance passenger service pending the ever-present, ridiculous, annual funding circus, we found the service adequate and satisfying. Both crews were friendly and courteous. We enjoyed a practically private newly-rebuilt Amfleet-II coach (new in 1982) on #40, and the same accommodations on a little more-crowded Train 41. Still, lotsa room, and nice big windows for video-viewing! Amtrak is apparently returning to its early-70's "roots" all-blue upholstery and carpeting, with gray hard surfaces. Nice, clean, and new, but in my opinion, dark and depressing. That orange, red, and tan original scheme was much nicer. Notable points on the trip were as follows: NS continues to replace, one-by-one, our classic, old ex-PRR 4-track signal bridges, installing those absolutely WoNdErFuL (Not!) NYC-style, Type "G" color lights on ground masts. Yeeuuuk! It's obvious that the railroad is doing no maintenance on even the "newer" (1985) CTC position-light installations, as many of them look like solid rust! "C" and "ALTO" towers remain open, with abandoned "SO," "AR," and "MG" still standing... The spirit of the Pennsy is being kept alive with the new Tyrone intermodal depot (complete with Keystone station signs!... Yyyess!!) and our own beautiful PRR T&HS Lewistown Junction station. We are happy to report that the beautiful but dilapidated NEWPORT depot is still standing, despite reports that the owner had wanted to demolish it a while back. And a single, defiant defect detector (Marysville) still identifies itself as "Conrail!" (Yeah!!! Go Conrail!!) [As Lee would say, "NS Sucks!"] Fellow canal-digger Al Kevern and I report seeing several BEAUTIFUL PA Mainline Canal culverts, and our best-yet sighting of the incredibly intact, marvelous aqueduct piers and east end abutment near the town of "Aqueduct," just west of the juncture of the Juniata and Susquehanna rivers. I spotted a very-apparent lock wall, right up against the south edge of the roadbed we were riding on, near McVeytown! And that BEAUTIFUL, long, stone wall extending for MILES, on the north side of the river east of Lewistown! Great stuff! Great stuff! We all enjoyed a leisurely, delicious lunch (dinner?) at the Alva, right outside the Harrisburg station (I had roast pork with filling - Mmmmm!!) And lots of good, railfan conversation! A mostly dark, dozy and rocking return run on #41 (was the track smoother under Conrail, or was it just me?), and we passed lots of trains. Lee says that business was good this day on NS, and he logged in at least 15 trains sighted. (But have you made it back to Portage yet to photograph the foundation of "NY Tower, Jiggy?) Yes, it was indeed a great day for all of us! We also decided that FEBRUARY is going to be the new standard month for our annual excursion (hoping Amtrak is still here next year, of course!), because travel is lighter than during our old, customary college travel January trip dates. So, we do hope to see YOU out there in February 2003, to join us as we once again relish another day of travel over the mainline rails OF KEYSTONE HERITAGE!
CSX Finishes UPS Campaign With Perfect Record
[CSXT Midweek Report, January 8, 2002]... In spite of a number of close calls that required quick action and coordination, CSX Intermodal and CSXT completed their 2001 UPS Stand and Deliver peak season campaign with zero sort failures. From Thanksgiving to December 26, CSX moved 19,931 UPS loads of parcels and holiday gifts throughout the eastern United States without a single trailer arriving late. "I'm extremely proud of our effort and our customer focus," said CSX Intermodal president Clarence Gooden. "CSX employees proved that we are capable of providing incredible service that can rival any service available over the highway." CSXT president Michael Ward also praised the effort. "I'm really impressed by the teamwork demonstrated by so many of our employees in the field," said Ward. "Let's build on this momentum in 2002 by striving to provide day-in and day-out service reliability for all of our customers so we can win new business and increase our profitability."
CSX Public Affairs Official Joins FRA
[CSXT Midweek Report, February 21, 2002]... The Federal Railroad Administration has announced that Robert L. Gould has joined the FRA as associate administrator for public affairs. Gould departs CSX after a 10-year career with the company. He most recently held the position of assistant vice president- public affairs in Washington. "Rob's years of service with CSX are marked with many outstanding accomplishments, most notably handling some very sensitive, high profile issues," said Jesse Mohorovic, senior vice president- corporate communications and investor relations. "He will do a terrific job at FRA and has a great future ahead of him." Federal Railroad administrator Allan Rutter announced Gould's appointment saying, "Rob's broad knowledge of transportation issues, and in particular his rail industry experience, will play a critical role as we move forward with our efforts to enhance the safety and efficiency of America's rail network."
Northeast Keeps Passenger Trains Running Smoothly
[CSXT Midweek Report, January 16, 2002]... Amtrak, VRE, MBTA, MARC - the Northeast Region handles an alphabet soup of 3000 passenger trains every month, and it makes sure they run PDQ.. Last year, for example, 92 percent of Amtrak trains on the region operated on-time, as did 95 percent of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority trains. "Like they do with the intermodal and UPS traffic, our people take a special pride in keeping the passenger trains on time," said Reggie Durden, senior supervisor- train operations at the regional operations center in Selkirk, New York. "The biggest challenge is the timing to move them through and around all of the freight we operate. Getting a passenger train in behind a freight can really slow it down." On the Hudson line between Albany and New York, the 20-plus Amtrak trains that travel the line can run as fast as 110 mph on one section. From Albany to Buffalo, they can hit 79 mph, while the fastest freights are restricted to 60 mph.. Other trains that operate over the region include those from the Virginia Railway Express and MARC service of the Maryland Transit Authority.. In addition to the dispatchers, terminal employees and maintenance- of- way forces also deserve credit for the Northeast's excellent passenger train performance, Durden said.. At Worcester and Framingham, Massachusetts, terminal employees have to be careful to keep their mainlines clear when passenger trains are running, and maintenance- of- way employees all across the region must make a special effort to keep tracks in top condition to handle the high-speed traffic.
CSXT Team Helps Resurrect BP Facility
[CSXT Midweek Report, February 14, 2002]... It has been nearly seven years since the BP fuel facility in Jacksonville, Florida, has used rail to ship its fuel; however, this recently changed thanks to a team of CSXT sales and marketing employees. Jason Tate, national account manager- core sales; market manager John Tuttle; and Bill Gillis, director- product performance, were part of a team that worked to revive the rail- served site that will ship aviation fuel. "This is a terrific example of a modal conversion win, as this facility has traditionally used barge to ship its product," said Tate. The CSXT team also helped generate new aviation gas business that will serve the North Florida and South Georgia markets. BP expects to ship four million gallons annually, yielding 160-plus carloads for CSXT. The shipment of the first two railcars from the facility last week went smoothly.
CSX Locomotive Paint Scheme Legacy
[By Allen Brougham] . . .
The more things change, the more they remain the same. The new paint design that CSX introduced last month adds yet another chapter to the legacy that was the very raison d'etre for this publication's creation two decades earlier. Then, still in pre-CSX days, our small cadre of Baltimore-based railfans needed a forum to focus upon a mere six different paint schemes that garnished the rails with freshly-painted Chessie System engines and their three component predecessors. Specifically, we needed to keep our records current on the status of our beloved Western Maryland, Baltimore & Ohio, and Chesapeake & Ohio units, apart from those painted Chessie (which we really didn't care for), lest we found ourselves unable to identify in advance what we could expect if, say, we had a choice of approaching trains with particular engines but could not remember their most recently painted identities.
The Bull Sheet (then produced by hand on note paper) fulfilled the need to identify all that was extant upon the roster, and its readers were accordingly able to create their own archives (now they'd call it a database) to achieve the intended function. The Bull Sheet later evolved into its newsletter format, but it never lost track of that original purpose. Those semi-annual roster printouts carry on this most cherished tradition, somewhat defiant of any thought that the entire locomotive roster could someday be that of a single paint design. Ha!
When CSX came into being, there were about a dozen indigenous locomotive paint schemes it inherited. The company was formed in 1980, but it took about six years to implement plans for a unified roster, and just as long to establish its own design. In the interim, Chessie and Seaboard engine designs predominated, along with examples from each of their predecessors.
A numbering scheme was developed which comprehended use of increasingly higher number series (from 2000 to 8999) in relation to horsepower. Engine numbers beginning with an odd numeral were manufactured by GE, and numbers beginning with an even numeral were manufactured by EMD. Units 2000 to 6999 had four axles, and 7000 to 8999 had six axles. Units with three digits or in the 1000-series had below 1800 horsepower, and yard engines were in the 9000-series. This coincided with the Seaboard numbering plan much more so than that of Chessie, consequently many more Chessie engines had to be renumbered than were Seaboard to get them all in sync.
According to Robert Michaels of Howell, Michigan, a renowned expert on locomotive paint designs, CSX began painting its own scheme in the spring of 1986 at its shops in Waycross, Huntington and South Louisville respectively. The first units to be completed at Waycross were 5508 and 5511 - class B30-7 from Seaboard - on May 6. They were gray with blue lettering and trim, and blue on the upper portion of the cab. The letters CSX appeared on the sides with the word Transportation appearing in smaller letters (between stripes) to the right of the initials. Three days later, Huntington renumbered a B&O GP40-2 unit from 4446 to 6344 and painted it on May 9. In the meantime, South Louisville was painting GP40-2 unit 6382 (precise date unknown). The Huntington and South Louisville units had a similar scheme to the ones painted in Waycross, except that the color gray appeared considerably lighter - almost white. It is likely that the company was simply experimenting with this lighter shade of gray for the purpose of comparison with the other two units. In any event, the lighter shade was not repeated in later paintings, and the engines with the lighter shade got a new paint job. Waycross painted U30C unit 7241 on June 1 and F-units 116 and 117 on August 26, while Huntington painted its second unit (6638) on August 27. In all, at least 17 units got painted with the new scheme in 1986 - 13 at Waycross, three at Huntington, and one at South Louisville - and by the end of the year (probably October) it had been decided to eliminate the word Transportation from the sides. For the record, the 17 units known to be painted into the CSX scheme in 1986 were: 116, 117, 118, 119, 1894, 1933, 1936, 2046, 3103, 5508, 5511, 5725, 5767, 6344, 6382, 6638 and 7241 (possibly a few others), according to Bob Michaels.
The word Transportation to the right of the initials was quickly removed from the four showpiece F-units once as it was decided to change this part of the logo, but it remained on some of the other units for a while longer. One of the engines (7241) still had it when it was retired - sighted that way while stored in Waycross in October 1990. U36B unit 5767 is believed to be the first engine painted into the new scheme without the word Transportation, and this was on October 27, 1986.
The year 1987 marked the beginning of the mass painting of units into the new CSX scheme. With sightings from around the system, the Bull Sheet had accounted for 32 units in the May issue that year, 47 in the July issue, and 105 in the November issue. (There were others, to be sure, but not yet sighted for verification).
This CSX design was initially designated on the Bull Sheet roster simply as "CSX," but there was a second design with a rather subtle difference that eventually predominated over the first one. It had to do with its blue trim. In the first design, a four-inch blue stripe ran around the entire unit, and the fuel tanks and pilot were painted black. (This stripe was at the bottom of the long hood and continued around the entire unit; the frame below the running board was gray.) In the later design, the fuel tanks and pilot were painted blue. Bob Michaels refers to these schemes as CSX-blue stripe (the first scheme), and CSX-blue down (the second), with the first version later being noted in the rosters as CSX# and the second version as CSX. The first unit with the blue down (CSX) scheme was 8198 on October 2, 1987, at Huntington. The first to be done at Waycross was 1935 on October 15, 1987. This change was evidently the result of cost efficiency - the use of two colors instead of three - but a more noticeable change came about the following year...
It happened on November 2, 1988. Thus was born the not-much-admired Stealth scheme. All-gray with blue lettering, unit 5753 was outshopped at Waycross, and unit 6742 came out of Huntington nine days later. Moreover, a fleet of road slugs, rebuilt by a contractor (VMV) from the bodies of retired units, got the same treatment (except for one, 2200, which was released early - in the CSX scheme - for an appearance at a trade show). Engines wearing either of the first two CSX schemes were generally allowed to keep them, but anything due for repainting from predecessor designs, or new deliveries from manufacturers, got the Stealth treatment. This design became known in the Bull Sheet as CSX GRAY.
And WOW, did comments (and jokes) get generated by that scheme. The name "Stealth" was coined because of its lack of visibility. It was even said that a crew had been sent into a yard on a foggy day to get on an engine, but they returned because they could not find it! (A joke, I'm sure, but the point had its meaning.) Further ribbing came forth in a magazine that superimposed a photo of a stealth engine next to a stealth bomber. Ha! Remember that one?
The company had no doubt grown unhappy with the scheme as well, and on August 21, 1989, it came up with its first design using a yellow nose. The engine getting that honor was SD40-2 unit 8420, which had been rebuilt from an SD40. This design - the fourth since CSX began painting engines three years earlier - restored blue to the top portion of the cab, applied yellow to the nose with blue lettering, and had an extra thick yellow frame stripe. This was actually a one-of-a-kind design, as on November 7 of that year the scheme was reintroduced on SD40-2 unit 8123 wearing the same colors, but with a four-inch yellow frame stripe in place of the broadened stripe of 8420. This was the beginning of the scheme that eventually became known as YN1.
The first yellow nose scheme was short-lived, however, as yet another design was born on March 21, 1990, with the outshopping of B36-7 unit 5895 at Waycross, and SD40-2 units 8319 and 8352 on March 30 and 31 at Huntington. This was the fifth paint design by CSX (not counting experimental versions), and would become known as YN2. (The company coined it the "Bright Future" scheme.)
While YN2 remained the official scheme for quite some time, the company still had a rather extensive collection of its earlier CSX schemes that lacked yellow noses. Herein was born a series of interim designs - implemented by the sudden urge to apply yellow to the front of all locomotives to increase their visibility.
The first of these hybrid schemes appeared on CSX (blue down) and CSX# (blue stripe) units, partially repainted with yellow noses and yellow frame stripes. This gave them the appearance, in theory, of a YN1 design (in fact, that is what the Bull Sheet first called it) but to the purist, it was even separate from that. Bob Michaels wrote of the new version as follows: "It was obvious when sighting one of these - besides not being a complete paint job - that when adding the yellow noses, the shop applied the yellow all the way to the top in lieu of leaving a two-inch overlap of blue on the nose. In my record keeping, despite being 'close' to the original YN1 scheme, I can tell you - in regards to YN1 units remaining - how many are original and how many are 'partials' from former blue stripes and blue downs."
Now we come to the term, "Quickies," which refers to the lack of a yellow frame stripe that had appeared on YN1 versions. In the due course of time, these (quickie) versions were indicated on the Bull Sheet roster as YN1p. The letter 'p' was intended to refer to these units as "partials," but they were actually less of a repaint than the "original" partials which had the yellow frame stripe added as well. In hindsight, these might have been more appropriately designated YN1q (for quickie) instead of YN1p, but this distinction might only have been appreciated by the purist. CSX and CSX# engines getting the yellow nose treatment along with the yellow frame stripe were considered YN1, even though they lacked the two-inch blue overlap.
As for the Stealth units, CSX was still reeling from the fallout over their reputed lack of visibility. While not admitting it publicly, there was a push to bring these into conformity, lest litigious folks might claim that an accident might have been avoided if they had been better able to see an approaching train - if at all - and yellow noses began being applied to those units beginning in 1992. At first, yellow frame stripes were added as well, but later on this feature was omitted. For roster purposes, Stealth units with yellow noses were referred to as CSX GRAY/YN (if they had the yellow frame stripe), and CSX GRAY/YNp (if they did not).
In the meantime, there were still a handful of predecessor schemes (Seaboard, Family Lines, B&O, etc.) still being worn by engines that had never gotten their turn in the paint shop. These, too, were getting their noses painted yellow. At one point this effort was in such full swing that I wrote Bob Michaels with a "news alert," joking that a "mad, yellow paint brush painter had escaped from his padded cell, and [was] at large on the system, painting everything in sight!" Indeed, some of the nose paintings even appeared to have been simply slapped on with a brush. And - get this! - at least one of the Chessie System units, which already HAD a yellow nose, got the (sloppy) treatment too!
Yet another CSX scheme got applied to the roster, this time in the spring of 1995. That is when the company came up with an orange engine with black lettering for use in maintenance of way service. With no hesitation whatsoever, this design became universally known as PUMPKIN. Six engines were known to be in this design in May 1995, all renumbered and repainted from older units, to live out their final days in work train service. By October of that year, the total had climbed to 42. The company reported that the program was improving locomotive utilization by allowing more reliable units to serve revenue-producing trains. Eventually 69 locomotives became Pumpkins - including the "Trains All American Diesel" - but their numbers have declined in recent years due to retirements. No Pumpkins have been added since early 2000, and the fleet, at last count, was down to a mere seven units. Presumably, the company can now supply its work trains with dedicated units without the need to paint them with a separate scheme.
Getting back to the YN2 scheme, a variation of the design was introduced in September 1996 with two-tone lettering on the sides of CW60AC units. Three of these units were delivered initially, and the fleet has now grown to 117. All have this particular variation.
Yet another variation - not associated with any particular paint design, but noteworthy nevertheless - is the white insulation being applied to the roofs of locomotives. Most units will have white roofs eventually. Some appear as bright white; some appear more as silver.
Let's return once again to those wonderful pre-CSX days when our group of Baltimore railfans began tracking engine designs through the input provided by the Bull Sheet. One of the schemes we followed back then was what could still be found on some C&O locomotives. They were blue with a yellow nose. We called that design "C&O BLUE/YN." Golly, one of them even survives today (although a yellow nose was not originally on that particular engine - but that's a different story). Anyway, that scheme, which we admired at the time, is virtually identical to the one introduced by CSX last month..
Once again, the more things change, the more they remain the same!