Parallel Universes

NS-11R-12-9-2015 (28)

Imagine a typical, everyday Train 11R coming down the Sunbury line…. What would you expect to see in its consist?… If you’ve been following this site for any amount of time then you probably know that its manifest would contain some, or maybe even, all of the rolling stock of the following railroads….


AGR – Alabama Gulf Coast Railway
SAN – Sandersville Railroad
CN – Canadian National
CR – Conrail
CP – Canadian Pacific
HS – Hartfold & Slocomb Railroad
MP – Missouri Pacific
TFM – Terra Ferro Mexicana
KCS – Kansas City Southern
GT – Grand Trunk Western
LRS – Laurinburg & Southern
CNW – Chicago & North Western
NW – Norfolk & Western
GNRR – Georgia Northern Railroad
IBT – International Bridge & Terminal Company
LW – Louisville & Wadley
UCRY – Utah Central Railway
CRLE – Coe Rail Inc.
NOKL – Northwestern Oklahoma Railroad
CRYX – CryoTrans
DWC – Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific
ARMN – Union Pacific
IC – Illinois Central
TR – Tomahawk Railway
COER – Crab Orchard & Egyptian Railroad
IANR – Iowa Northern Railroad
GNWR – Genessee & Wyoming
EEC – East Erie Commercial
WC – Wisconsin Central
WRWK – Providence & Worcester
WCOR – Wellsboro & Corning
BNSF – Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway
ADMX – Archer, Daniels Midland
RVPR – Riverport Railroad
FXE – Ferromex
AOK – Arkansas Oklahoma Railroad
NKCR – Nebraska, Kansas & Colorado Railnet
BR – Bradford Industrial Railroad
MMA – Montreal, Maine & Atlantic
WCRC – Washington Central
CBRY – Copper Basin Railway
CIRR – Chattahoochee Industrial
LBR – Lowville & Beaver River Railroad
ALY – Allegheny & Eastern


To name a few!…

Following that same 11R to Enola it would terminate, be broken up and continue on its way south to Linwood Yard in Spencer, NC, reincarnated as Train 13R.

SpencerĀ is one of a trifecta of North Carolina railroad towns. The other two areĀ Linwood and Salisbury. This 5-10 mile cluster sits smack dab in the center of the former Southern Railway Washington, D.C. to Atlanta, Ga. mainline which now makes up a significant chunk of the “East side” Crescent Corridor. At Salisbury, the Asheville District (also known as the “S” Line) branches off to the west towards Asheville, NC and Chattanooga, Tn..

At Spencer, the Train 13R terminates and the shuffle that took place at Enola with 11R is repeated. But we’re not going west today, we’re continuing on south through Atlanta and then into Brosnan Yard in Macon, Ga..

By the time we get into the deep south things on the railroad look a lot different. In addition to the railroads I mentioned before, now you’re seeing names like….

CAGY – Columbus & Greenville
GTRA – Golden Triangle Railroad
WE – Wheeling & Lake Erie
CFWR – Caney Fork & Western
FCRD – First Coast Railroad
MB – Meridian & Bigbee
OAR – Old Augusta Railroad
CHTT – Chicago Heights Terminal Transfer (Union Pacific)
CMO – Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Paul & Milwaukee (Union Pacific)
PDRR – Pee Dee River Railway
GFRR – Georgia & Florida Railroad
YB – Youngstown Belt Railway
BCLR – Bay Colony Railroad
BO – Baltimore & Ohio
CTRN – Central Tennessee Railway & Navigation
FP – Fordyce & Princeton
PCN – Point Comfort & Northern
KYLE – Kyle Railroad (Phillipsburg, KS)
WGR – Williamette Valley Railway
KRR – Kiamichi Railroad
MR – McCloud River Railway
SRN – Sabine River & Northern
TZPR – Tazewell & Peoria Railroad
ADN – Ashley, Drew & Northern
BAYL – Bay Line Railroad
ALM – Arkansas, Louisiana & Mississippi
TOE – Texas, Oklahoma & Eastern
HOG – Heart of Georgia Railroad
RJCC – R.J. Corman Railroad
NWR – Nashville & Western Railroad
YARR – Youngstown & Austintown
ANR – Angelina & Neches River
WLO – Waterloo Railway
PAL – Paducah & Louisville
ASAB – Atlanta, St. Andrews & Bay
GS – Georgia Southwestern

And a lot more….

So what’s the point of all of this, you ask?… Simple…. Although Norfolk Southern is one railroad, depending on where you stand in its network, the railroad is going to look and operate differently…. Up north you have covered hoppers filled with salt and fracking sand, down south it’s oversize wood chip hoppers.

Up north you have centerbeam flatcars laden with lumber, down south you have loaded pole cars.

Up north you have boxcars loaded with paper, down south you have the kaolin cars that make paper making possible.

Up north you have tank cars of liquid petroleum gas, down south it’s corn syrup and sweeteners.

The north and the south have always had different cultures, and those cultures always clash when trying to integrate.

And as the Canadian corporate raider attempts a hostile takeover of the thoroughbred, it should be understood that although both railroads serve North America, the two are as different as night and day….

Can you say Penn Central?…

That’s why I say to Canadian Pacific, stay up north where you belong and stick to the culture that you know.

Parallel Universes

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Author:Railfan AC

AC is a U.S. Air Force Veteran, a long haul trucker, a transportation enthusiast and a lifelong lover of trains. AC's mission is to travel America documenting American railroading in the 21st century while educating those who want to know about the importance the railroads play in our daily lives including, but not limited to, the movement of goods, services and more.

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