Like many other faithful followers, I made my pilgrimage to Mecca, er, Spencer, NC on July 3rd, 2012 to observe the gathering of Norfolk Southern's Heritage units for the railroad's 30th anniversary celebration. For the first half of this year, many of us watched the internet in awe as the various paint shops performed works of art on these brutish locomotives. The attention to detail was so maticulous that a few units were routed from road duty back to the paint booth to make the design work more historically accurate.
When the announcement was made that there would be one - and only one - event where all twenty locomotives would be together, I firmly made my decision not to miss out on this historical opportunity. The gathering would take place on the grounds of The North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC. By attending this event, I could get my fill of each unit in one place, rather than travelling all over the Eastern Seaboard to capture each one. This was a critical point, as time is a precious resource for me.
The blending of these new workhorses with vintage locomotives from the original predecessor railroads made for a limitless number of creative opportunities. Below is a selection of pictures I took from that celebration.