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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad turns 115


The Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad Co. (NPBL) is marking its 115th anniversary this month.

To commemorate the occasion, the switching and terminal railroad — which is jointly owned by CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway — in the next few weeks plans to take delivery of a locomotive painted in the bright red and maroon colors sported on its first diesel locomotives in the 1950s.

For many years, NPBL has been operating solid-black locomotives with simple stenciling. NPBL leases its locomotives from NS, which designed the vintage color scheme.

The inspiration for the scheme came from NS' popular Heritage Locomotive program, through which a fleet of 20 locomotives last year were painted in colors based on predecessor railroads, NS officials said in a press release.

NPBL owns 34 miles of track and retains trackage rights for a 27.3-mile segment of an NS line. The short line serves 25 customers in Norfolk, Chesapeake and Portsmouth, Va., including the Port of Virginia.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/9/2013