Railroad pictures from Tuscaloosa, Alabama and beyond
Sperry Rail Service
Sperry Rail Service is a private contractor that works for many railroads throughout the United States. Their "service" entails x-raying and using electromagnetic induction to find microscopic cracks and defects in the rail so that the defective rail can be cut out and replaced before the crack gets larger and causes damage (like a derailment).
NS usually has SRS check the mainline through Tuscaloosa quarterly.
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Here two SRS cars are seen in NS's Tuscaloosa Yard. This is the only time I've seen two in one place...
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SRS car 118 at Bryant waiting for a freight to pass.
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An SRS car in the yard a day before the second showed up. The cars often tie up in this yard as there is electric, water, and sewer here.
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A different angle on SRS 118 at Bryant.
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118 tied up in the yard.
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A third angle on SRS 118 at Bryant. You may be able to see a DSS satelite dish on the car's roof just after it's GPS receiver. (The GPS is the white disk on the roof, the dish is right behind it).
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118 with a train passing at Bryant... I told one of the SRS crewmen that a laundry mat was nearby while they were tied up here; he was grateful. Crewmen live on the car. There are usually three crew members. There is a bunk room, a kitchen, engine room, operators area and drivers area... I may be missing something...
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At the yard again...
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Here is a different take on the two SRS cars in the yard.
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Yes, I was invited inside once. This is part of the detector electronics. It was a 30 second tour--I saw the kitchen, the generators and diesel engines from afar, and the detector controls/console. (There are two generators onboard, one is driven from the prime mover and powers the entire car, the other is smaller and used at night to power the kitchen, interior lights, TV, etc).
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Here is more of the detector electronics, controls, and printout.
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This is the guts of the detection system.
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This is the card of an employee I met once. He was very nice. I've seen his name mentioned on other SRS sites on the net.
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A closing shot of an SRS car in the yard. The dumptruck and trailer belong to an NS contractor who operates a backhoe. He works with maintenance crews on the line, including the crew that was changing out defective rail.
Kansas City Southern---Norfolk Southern---CSX---Amtrak---Conrail---Western roads---Mercury and Chase---Sperry Rail Service---odds and ends---Tuscaloosa---Huntsville---Other parts of Alabama---Columbus, MS---Harrisonburg, VA---Erie, Pa---GE locomotives---freight car types---Ringling Brothers Circus Train
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David Kudrav and Paul "Nova" Novarese retain most rights to all photos contained within this site and are the photographers of all photos contained here-in, unless otherwise noted. None of the photos may be used for commercial purposes without written permission. None of the photo's may be used on any other web site without written permission (which is likely be granted).
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Updated: Four score and seven moons ago. (Spring 99)