I’ve been prevailed upon to tell this tale:
Was it January 11th 2015, when word came over the wire?
Fellow photographer Pat Yough said to me, and I repeat, ‘the Golden Swoosh has been sighted at Buffalo and is heading this way.’
‘The what?’ said I.
‘The Golden Swoosh! It’s all the rage. Something about the black swoosh is yellow on one of the BNSF GE’s.’
‘Whoa. Back the trolley up. What’s all this about?’
So far as I can determine, sometime ago a four-lettered shoe company produced a special runner (that’s an ‘athletic shoe’ in American parlence). And, this deluxe edition shoe carried a yellow tinted zinger on the side and was known as ‘the Golden Swoosh’.
This curious term, it seems, was then transferred to a BNSF Railway General Electric Evolution-Series locomotive painted in a one of a kind variation of the company’s livery.
Instead of black lettering with angled underline (a ‘swoosh’ as it were), the ‘BNSF’ lettering and corporate underline logo was painted yellow thus creating a unique adaptation of the BNSF image on locomotive 7695.
And this curious painted variation was eastbound on CSX leading a laden oil train destined for Philadelphia.
The wire was live with reports. It was seen south of Selkirk and rolling down along the Hudson on CSX’s River Line.
But then, just as it seemed that this locomotive note-worthy for its yellow underline, was nearly upon us, word came in that it was at Kearny Yard where it was tied down and without a crew.
And so, another day passed, swooshless.
Finally, after long last, on the evening of January 13th the famed ‘golden swoosh’ was again on the move.
The weather was cold and the sky was dark. Pat and I visited Neshaminy Falls on the old Reading Company. No swoosh. Then to Langhorne where CSX’s Q417 passed in the gloom (144 axles led by engines CSX 8768 and 8836). This was followed by CSX’s Q191 led by 5359 and 509 followed by containers.
In the end we went to Woodbourne: finally a headlight appeared on the horizon. The catenary glistened. and the low chug of a GE engine shook the ground.
And there, leading a mighty train of oil, was the ‘Golden Swoosh.’
I racked up the ISO to make some effort to mark its passing.
‘There it is!’
And there it goes.
Sort of reminded me of the time Britain’s Queen Elizabeth waved to me on one of her trips through Dublin in 2011.
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