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EASTERN RAILROAD NEWS
Last Updated 3/16/98 21:00 PM

HOT NEWS

NYS&W mechanical department returned and inspected MLW M636 #4743 on Friday. A lease agreement is in place. The #4743 was to be interchanged to the D&H this afternoon at Taylor. D&H train P-3 should bring the engine north to Binghamton tonight (3/16) or tomorrow night (3/17). The NYS&W will then pick up the engine at East Binghamton. The engine IS set up as a good leader. -SJ Botts


SPECIAL NOTE: ATSF C40-8W 904 was shipped west this morning on BAPI-6. Train was past Alto at 08:00 ET.

Reading & Northern has placed all 10 of the U23B's for sale!! Any interested parties are advised to contact the Reading & Northern at PO Box 218, Port Clinton, PA 19549. R&N has advised that the units can be purchased immediately and that they are looking at higher horsepower 4- and 6-axle units to replace the U23B fleet. The former Reading Railroad trackage dictates the use of 4-axle units, however the Lehigh Division is ideal for 6-axle power. As reported in an earlier news update, R&N has purchased SD45-2 6656 outright from Conrail. No decision has been made to the renumbering of this unit. SD45-2 6660 has been renumbered CSMX 1 (Carol Sue Muller - Owned outright by Andy Muller) and the SD38 6941 has been renumbered CSMX 12. CSMX 1 is idled at Pittston Jct., awaiting a new prime mover, while the CSMX 12 is in service at Port Clinton. Plans are for the 6-axle units to replace the U23B's on the Reading Turn (see below) and on the Lehigh Division. No definitive plans have been made to future motive power acquisitions.

Below is a listing of all of Reading & Northern's freight train operations:

 
Symbol
Origin
Destination
Time On Duty
Frequency
Motive Power
LEPI
Lehighton, PA
Pittston Jct., PA
0700-????
Sun-Fri
2-4 U23B's
PILE
Pittston Jct., PA
Lehighton, PA
Cont'd from above
Sun-Fri
2-4 U23B's
YJPI-A
Pittston Jct., PA
Yard Job
0700-1500
Sun-Fri
On Hand Power
YJPI-B
Pittston Jct., PA
Yard Job
1130-????
Sun-Fri
On Hand Power
ENG
Lehighton, PA
Port Clinton, PA
0800
Sat Only
All Power
PNMC
Port Clinton, PA
Mt. Carmel, PA
0700
Mon-Fri
2 U23B's
PNMV
Port Clinton, PA 
Minersville, PA
0800
Mon-Fri
2 SW8's
PNGW
Port Clinton, PA
Good Spring, PA
0700
Tu-Th-Su
2 CF7's & 2 SW's
PNQA
Port Clinton, PA
Tamaqua, PA
0830
Mo-We-Fr
2 SW's
PNRG
Port Clinton, PA
Reading, PA
1800
Sun-Thu
2 U23B's
PNRG
Port Clinton, PA
Reading, PA
0800
Sat Only
2 U23B's
 
Lehigh Division
Reading Division
    -Kevin Burkholder

As previously reported by various sources, R.J. Corman did acquire the former Cornwall Industrial Track from Conrail last October. To date, there has been no change to the line or the condition of the line. A representative from R.J. Corman reports that they have solicited business from various customers on line, however none have committed to rail service to date. R.J. Corman is eyeing the large Alcoa Aluminum plant near the end of the line as one of the primary customers and profit generators. Apparently, Alcoa is hesitant to move back to rail…call it bad experience with prior rail service. Alcoa wants a level of commitment that R.J. Corman is not willing to offer until after the sale of Conrail to Norfolk Southern. Norfolk Southern and Alcoa have good working relationships elsewhere on the NS, and R.J. Corman is looking to capitalize off of those already established "bonds". The R.J.Corman spokesman advised that there would likely be no upgrade or change to the line until after the acquisition of Conrail is complete. They do however feel that the line will be profitable and that they could and would provide reliable service to whoever requests it. Any business or potential customers that are interested in service on the former Conrail Industrial Track should contact R.J. Corman at 606-885-9457. - Kevin Burkholder
Former Norfolk Southern B36-7 3818 has emerged from Altoona resplendent in silver, green and orange paint. The unit was an insource project that was labeled for "Columbia Project". The unit is now wearing the number 1009 in large print under the cab window. The green is on top of the orange, which goes into a lightning stripe on the long hood, with the green and orange carrying over to the cab. There are also two running animals painted on the silver portion of the long hood. The 1009 was sitting outside the paint booth idling.

Conrail SD45-2 6663 was also on hand for repairs. The unit is leased to the Canadian National.

The Pennsylvania Railroad Museum's E44 (Amtrak 504) now appears to have the measles! The rust spots that needed to be repaired before going to the paint shop apparently have been done. Several spots of rust colored primer dot the unit. Reports are that the unit will go to the paint booth as time permits. There could be some delay, due to the current order of SD70MAC's being cycled through for paint.

Conrail SD70MAC 4130 was not out in the open, however what is probably the 4131 was visible, without any lettering or numbers. Another 70MAC was present in primer paint and looked to be heading to the paint shop. If the unlettered unit is the 4131, look for the pair, 4130 and 4131 to emerge sometime late this week or early next week. -Kevin Burkholder


As of last Monday both tracks over the new bridges at CP-Tulp have been put in service. The west leg of the connection was finished first with only 1 1/2 days of out of service time. The single track from Valley Jct. to Tulp was out of service for a week due to extensive re-grading. Pre-assembled rail panels were moved into place last Friday, crews worked over the weekend to tie them together.. New 3 arm signals were erected earlier in the project and the area is being readied for electra-track. One of the next projects in the Reading area will be the rebuilding of CP-Belt, surveyors have been back to re-establish rail centers. new ribbon will also be installed on #1 from Tulp to CP-Belt. -Dick White
Conrail is running a new local out of Marion, OH. WSMA-27 works from Marion, OH to Marysville, OH Honda via Ridgeway. This local handles Honda motor traffic. -Terry Mefford
HARRISBURG, Pa., March 16 -- Gov. Tom Ridge today announced the release of nearly $11 million in state capital budget funds to help finance 11 rail-freight and 12 airport-improvement projects throughout the state. 

``The new Pennsylvania isn't standing still -- our people and our products are on the move,'' Ridge said. ``By building a strong transportation system, we're laying the foundation for new jobs and a better quality of life.''

Transportation Secretary Bradley L. Mallory said Pennsylvania leads the nation with 70 operating railroads, and ranks fifth in track mileage with 5,400 miles of track. An estimated one-third of all U.S. rail traffic moves through Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania's system of 146 public-use airports is a major economic catalyst in the Commonwealth. More than six million visitors arrive in Pennsylvania annually via commercial airlines serving the state's 16 scheduled-service airports. More than 700,000 others come aboard general aviation aircraft that land at business and general-service airports.

Mallory noted that better airports and railroads help reduce truck traffic, making travel easier and extending the life of our roadways.

The airport projects approved by Ridge are:

•Venango Regional Airport, Franklin, $175,000, T-hangar construction;
•Bradford Regional Airport, Bradford, $300,000, T-hangar construction;
•Reading Airport, Reading, $75,000; purchase of airfield turf maintenance equipment;
•University Park Airport, State College, $1,240,000; renovation and expansion of terminal;
•St. Mary's Municipal Airport, St. Mary's, $38,000; runway reconstruction and access-road relocation;
•Somerset County Airport, Somerset, $308,000; new terminal building construction;
•Beaver County Airport, Beaver Falls, $460,000; T-hangar construction;
•Beaver County Airport, Beaver Falls, $100,000; parking-area resurfacing;
•Bradford Regional Airport, Bradford, $48,814; T-hangar construction;
•Lancaster Airport, Lancaster, $186,666; parking lot and security improvements;
•Lancaster Airport, Lancaster, $150,334; terminal hangar renovations;
•Pittsburgh International Airport, Pittsburgh; $2,194,787, enhanced transit and shuttle system.

The rail-freight assistance projects approved by Ridge are:

•Chestnut Ridge Railway, Carbon County, $247,500; rehab of yard tracks at the Zinc Corporation;
•Reading, Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad, Carbon and Luzerne counties, $270,000; rehab of track 1 between Lehighton and M&H Junction and track 2 to Dupont;
•Reading, Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad, Carbon and Luzerne counties, $2,700,000; rehab of 19 miles of track;
•Lackawanna County Railroad Authority, Lackawanna County, $450,000; rehab of Scranton railroad bridge;
•Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway Company, Washington County, $309,806; replacement of bridge ties;
•Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway Company, Washington County, $224,564; emergency repairs to bridge abutments;
•Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation, Westmoreland County, $472,500; reconstruction of a rail line;
•Emon Logisitics Services Inc., York County, $762,500; installation of a new track terminal;
•York Rail, York County, $82,500; construction of siding;
•Blue Ridge Industries, Luzerne County, $74,529; rehab and repairs of flood damage. -Pennsylvania Department of Transportation


PA DEP has ordered Conrail to develop an environmental assessment plan for its Rutherford Yard in Swatara Township, Dauphin County.

The Feb. 20 order is the result of a multimedia inspection by DEP. The inspection revealed that the Rutherford Yard, a former fueling facility and switching yard, had several areas of potential environmental concern, including an oily sheen on surface water at the site and oily sludge like material in the area of a former lagoon and drum storage area.

"We offered Conrail an opportunity to enter into a consent order and agreement with us" Southcentral Region Director Michael R. Steiner said. "The company did not respond to our offer."

The order requires Conrail to submit a full and complete characterization of the Rutherford Yard. If the investigation determines that remediation is necessary, Conrail will have to submit and implement a clean-up plan and schedule, according to Steiner.

In July, DEP conducted statewide multimedia inspections of Conrail facilities. The inspections were the result of an investigation by the State Office of the Attorney General at Conrail's Hollidaysburg Car Shop and Reclamation Plant outside Altoona.

DEP referred the Hollidaysburg case to the Attorney General's office in 1994 following employee allegations of illegal dumping of hazardous waste on the railroad property. Conrail is currently conducting a remedial investigation and cleanup of that facility. To date, more than 3,000 55-gallon drums and other materials have been excavated from the site.-Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection



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Please check this location daily, as new information will be posted, as it becomes available. If you have news to report or information regarding railroads in the Eastern United States, please send e-mail to Kevin Burkholder at KBurkholder@psghs.edu

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