ALTOONA, Pa. and NORFOLK, Va, Nov. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Norfolk Southern is placing a one-of-a-kind "Veterans Locomotive" into freight service on its system to honor people who have served in the military and reserves, especially those employed by the railroad.
No. 6920 is an SD60E model that will operate primarily in general freight service. Its red, white, and blue paint scheme, and yellow ribbon with the message "Honoring our Veterans," was selected by a group of 18 NS employees representing all branches of the armed forces.
"At Norfolk Southern, we are very grateful for the service of our railroaders, their families, and all veterans," said NS CEO Wick Moorman. "The Veterans Locomotive is a rolling reminder of their contributions and sacrifice in the name of freedom."Some 450 NS employees, active military representatives, civic leaders, news media, and other guests of the railroad will attend two invitation-only unveilings of the Veterans Locomotive. The first unveiling, at Norfolk Southern's shops in Altoona, Pa., where the unit was built and painted, is Thursday, Nov. 8. NS General Foreman Tim Strickenberger, a former U.S. Air Force staff sergeant who served as an F-16 aircraft mechanic during U.S. operations in the Middle East, and Trainmaster Calvin Law, a 26-year U.S. Navy veteran who served as a lieutenant commander during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, will speak about their military and railroad experiences. Keynote speaker will be Col. Grey Berrier II, deputy commander, 2 nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 28 th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard. The second unveiling, at NS' Lamberts Point coal transload facility in the railroad's headquarters city of Norfolk, Va., is Monday, Nov. 12, which is the morning after Veterans Day. Chris Carter, NS conductor and chief warrant officer 2, Virginia Army National Guard, will address the guests about his military and railroad experience, and CEO Moorman will highlight NS' desire to attract even more veterans into railroad careers. Keynote speaker will be Col. William J. Davis, U.S. Marine Corps (retired), director of the MacArthur Memorial and executive director of the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation. Painting the Veterans Locomotive involved 26 NS employees, two of whom are veterans, using 66 gallons of primer and paint over a 112-hour period. To the extent possible, No. 6920 has been kept under wraps while the work has progressed.