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Thursday, June 16, 2011

NECR ARRA Photo Project Commences...

Having been in the planning stages for several months, on June 10 we were finally able to launch our intensive photo project that will cover a portion of welded rail from Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) Columbia City, IN mill's scrap metal blooming through rail rolling, cooling, straightening, welding, loading and then transporting.  After the transportation is complete, we'll follow the LB Foster and RailWorks crew as they lay this portion of rail and later the install and surfacing gangs doing their thing also.  At the end of the project, we will pose Amtrak and NECR trains/locomotives at the finished section and complete the Rolling Steel to Steel Wheels photo venture.

Enjoy a sampling of lower res and small images from the thousands that were amassed during the week-long mill visit. A very special thanks to Doug Rees-Evans and Fred Warner of SDI, as well as all of the managers and especially the employees who were brought in for extra shifts to get this train out in daylight!  Fabulous crew and dedicated workforce that leaves nothing less than quality as their calling card.

A single view of the rail rolling process... When complete this fall, a book will be published outlining the entire project and more so the production of the rail from scrap steel to the finished product, every step will be documented.

SDI Mill switcher GP7u 8202 - former PAL 8202 and 2003, as well as former ATSF 2003 and constructed as ATSF 2680 - pulls a cut of NECR-bound rail to the weld plant portion of the mill.

With the train nearly complete in loading, SDI's Doug Rees-Evans applies our special logos to all four lower 'corners' of the train's rail.

Close-up of the logos...

The loaded rail train is being inspected by on-site car inspectors from the Chicago Fort Wayne & Eastern Railroad - another RailAmerica property that actually begins the haul off the SDI property.

As we await the final touches to the rail train and tie-down application, the PR helicopter arrives and circles overhead with Fred Warner shooting video on their approach to retrieve me for the remainder of the shoot.

Then from the air, we watch as the SDI GP7u 8202 pulls the train to their yard to allow the CF&E locomotive to tie on and pull toward Chicago.

And finally, the CF&E 3882 - freshly washed and cleaned up by a fabulous crew from the CF&E - pulls the train toward Chicago off the SDI property.

If you see the logos and this particular train (enroute to Vermont on Canadian National via Chicago, Port Huron, MI, Sarnia and Toronto, Ontario, and Montreal, Quebec to the NECR at St. Albans, VT) please photograph the train in an identifiable location and drop me a line...we may be able to use your photos!

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