NS unveils first responders’ commemorative locomotive

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NS911
No. 911 in its official company portrait.
Norfolk Southern
ALTOONA, Pa. – Norfolk Southern has unveiled the newest addition to its honorary locomotive fleet on Wednesday. NS Altoona-built SD60E No. 911 honors the country’s hard-working emergency first responders in the law enforcement, fire, and EMS professions.

The locomotive was rolled out at the Altoona shops late Tuesday for a photograph captured by corporate photographer Casey Thomason.
HometownHeroes
A drawing used to pitch the concept to Norfolk Southern in 2014.
Shawn Leightcap
Last summer, a petition circulated throughout social media asking Norfolk Southern to design a “hometown heroes” commemorative locomotive recognizing the men and women in public service. Shawn Leightcap, a Pennsylvania volunteer firefighter and avid rail photographer created the petition and designed his own renderings for the honorary scheme in 2014.

“On average, approximately 90 to 120 firefighters lose their lives in the line of duty each year,” Leightcap tells Trains News Wire. “These men and women are the backbone of our communities. Many of them are employees with Norfolk Southern and volunteers with local fire companies.”

Leightcap distributed his petition and drawing throughout social media, to which he received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback. Leightcap’s original drawing shows similarities to the final product released from Norfolk Southern this week. The scheme includes the Firefighter Maltese Cross, the Emergency Medial Service “Star of life”, and the Police shield through a carefully designed red, white, and gold scheme.

“The concept of a first responders locomotive submitted by Shawn Leightcap came to us at a perfect time,” an NS spokesperson tells Trains News Wire. “We found a first responders honorary locomotive to be an appropriate fit for use on our Safety Train beginning next month.”

Leightcap’s original drawing shows similarities to the final product released from Norfolk Southern this week. The scheme includes the Firefighter Maltese Cross, the Emergency Medial Service “Star of life,” and the Police shield through a carefully designed red, white, and gold scheme.

The locomotive will operate system wide, as well as on the railroad’s Safety Train that is scheduled to debut in Washington, D.C., in June.

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NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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