norfolk southern railroad

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Norfolk Southern B32-8 3559 rolls north through Brighton Park crossing in Chicago

October 1994

Photo by Art Gross

(via BW3-NS 3559 10-1994)

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Port Royal, Pennsylvania by Brian D Plant
Via Flickr:
Norfolk Southern unit oil train Z6W rolls east on Main 2 behind the Wabash heritage unit. The former Pennsylvania Railroad Middle Division sees more unit tank trains than coal trains today, a testament to the shifting times. I never would have imagined five years ago that we wouldn’t think twice at the sight of a modern locomotive working revenue service in a classic scheme such as this.

The Pope Lick Monster is a legendary part-man, part-goat and part-sheep creature reported to live beneath a Norfolk Southern Railway trestle over Floyd’s Fork Creek, in the Fisherville area of Louisville, Kentucky. 

Numerous urban legends exist about the creature’s origins and the methods it employs to claim its victims. According to some accounts, the creature uses either hypnosis or voice mimicry to lure trespassers onto the trestle to meet their death before an oncoming train. Other stories claim the monster jumps down from the trestle onto the roofs of cars passing beneath it. Yet other legends tell that it attacks its victims with a blood-stained axe and that the very sight of the creature is so unsettling that those who see it while walking across the high trestle are driven to leap off.

Other legends hold that the monster is a human-goat hybrid, and that it was a circus freak who vowed revenge after being mistreated. In one version, it is said the monster escaped after a train derailed on the trestle. Another version commonly told by locals of the area claims that the monster is really the twisted reincarnated form of a farmer who sacrificed goats in exchange for Satanic powers.

The legends have turned the area into a site for legend tripping. There have been a number of deaths and accidents at the trestle since its construction, despite the presence of an 8-foot (2.4 m) fence to keep thrill-seekers out.

There is a common misconception among amateur paranormal investigators that the trestle is abandoned and no longer used; in reality, the bridge is located on one of the main railroad routes into Louisville. Fast-moving, heavy freight trains cross the bridge numerous times on a daily basis, so it is easy for someone to get caught atop it while an oncoming train barrels down on them. Authorities urge citizens not to attempt thrill seeking at this area, due to the very real risk of death by train.

The pope lick monster has been subject of a 1988 film by Louisville filmmaker Ron Schildknecht called The Legend of the Pope Lick Monster. Norfolk Southern Railway officials were very upset about the film, as they thought it would encourage teenagers to visit the trestles. Because railroad officials were worried that the film would add to the death toll, the Norfolk Southern railroad issued a statement, read at the premiere, which warned of the trestle’s dangers and informed the audience that anyone caught on the trestle could be prosecuted for trespassing.

5

Happy (late Halloween)!!! Enjoy (or rather, be scared shitless of this scary ass tunnel). (Also, I didn’t take these pictures. They’re from Google Images, and I for one am smart enough to NOT go into a long tunnel, such as the Hoosac (shown in all these images) (which is roughly 4.75 miles long, and at one time in the late 1800’s early 1900’s was the longest tunnel in the world.

(By the way, only the 2nd, and 4th pictures were taken by people in the middle of the tunnel. The other couple of pictures were taken with natural light near the West end, or East end Portals of the tunnel. I only know that because the descriptions explained that.)

The tunnel shown here is the Hoosac Tunnel, in North Adams, Massachusetts, and in Florida, Massachusetts on the other side of the portal. Originally built by the Boston And Maine Railroad, it is now currently owned, operated, and used by Pan Am Railways and Norfolk Southern.

Hoosac means “forbidden” in local Native American Tribal languages. In the construction of this tunnel, over 125 people died due to collapses, cave ins, water leakage (Still a problem today. You can see puddles of water on the sides of the track.)

The original B&M mainline thru Hoosac was actually double tracked, and had overhead wires for electric locomotives because steam engines couldn’t go thru a tunnel this long without possible suffocation of crews and passengers. Too much smoke and carbon monoxide prevented steam engines from going in by themselves so they lashed up electrics which pulled the steam trains thru the tunnels. Quite the unique operation, really. Not a lot of places in the world where electrics pulled steam trains due  to long tunnels.

Because of the high rate of deaths in the making of this tunnel, many people speculate that this tunnel is haunted, and thousands of people have been stupid enough to go into this tunnel and try and get a few spooks.

This may be a cool and potentially scary tunnel, but for your own safety, don’t go in there. There are too many trains that go thru that tunnel every day, and overall it’s simply too dangerous. Suffocation from diesel fumes can also be possible.

Pope Lick Monster

The Pope Lick Monster is a legendary part-man, part-goat and part-sheep creature reported to live beneath a Norfolk Southern Railroad trestle over Floyd’s Fork Creek, in the Fisherville area of Louisville, Kentucky.

Urban Legend

In most accounts, the Pope Lick Monster (named after the Pope Lick Creek below the Pope Lick Train Trestle) appears as a human-goat hybrid with a grotesquely deformed body of a man. It has powerful, fur-covered goat legs, an alabaster-skinned face with an aquiline nose and wide set eyes. Short, sharp horns protrude from the forehead, nestled in long greasy hair that matched the color of the fur on the legs.

Numerous urban legends exist about the creature’s origins and the methods it employs to claim its victims. According to some accounts, the creature uses either hypnosis or voice mimicry to lure tresspassers to the tressle to meet their death before an oncoming train. Other stories claim the monster jumps down from the trestle onto the roofs of cars passing beneath it. Yet other legends tell that it attacks its victims with a blood-stained axe. It has also been said that the very sight of the creature is so unsettling that those who see it while walking across the high trestle are driven to leap off.

Other legends explain the creature’s origins, including that it is a human goat hybrid, and that it was a circus who vowed revenge after being mistreated. In one version, the creature escaped after a train derailed on the trestle. Another version claims that the monster is really the twisted reincarnated form of a farmer who sacrificed goats in exchange for Satanic powers.