Norfolk Southern testing brakes in Wyoming's Powder River Basin

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Norfolk Southern ES44AC No. 8035 leads a unit coal train into the Powder River Basin with research car No. 32 coupled behind. NS, BNSF, and New York Air Brake are testing train performance with electronically controlled pneumatic brakes.
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GILLETTE, Wyo. – No you are not dreaming, Norfolk Southern locomotives are running to the Powder River Basin. But just for a while.
The runs are a first for the road, which typically operates Wyoming coal trains with motive power from partner BNSF Railway.
This situation is unique in that it is the first train interchanged between the two railroads that is equipped with only electronically controlled pneumatic brakes.
According to Mike Allran, Norfolk Southern's manager of wayside detector development in the research department, the unit train will run between Macon, Ga., and several mines in the Powder River area of Wyoming. The first empty train departed Memphis and headed west on Oct. 13.
Allran says that NS research car No. 32 is cut in between the head end locomotives so members of the railroad's research, mechanical, and transportation departments, as well as officials from BNSF and New York Air Brake, can observe the train's performance during the run.

Additional trips are expected in October and November.

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