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MARCH 20, 1998                           Last Updated 15:30 ET                         Eastern Railroad News


NORFOLK SOUTHERN CONSTRUCTION Norfolk Southern has begun construction on their new Pennsylvania Division Headquarters near Harrisburg, PA. The new building is just under construction and is located off of Linglestown Road, north of Harrisburg City. The new center will house the day-to-day operations for most of the new territory inherited by NS. The irony in this is that in 1996, Conrail abolished the Harrisburg Division and moved the offices and dispatchers to Mount Laurel, NJ. The new office site is approximately 3 miles from the former Conrail offices! -Kevin Burkholder

CONRAIL’S RUMSEY TO JOIN NORFOLK SOUTHERN

NORFOLK, VA - Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) today announced that Raymond J. Rumsey, chief engineer - Roadway Assets for Conrail, will join Norfolk Southern effective April 1.Rumsey will be named to the position of chief engineer - Maintenance Services, based at Atlanta, and will be responsible for certain maintenance-of-way support groups and shops. He will report to Gary Woods, assistant vice president - Maintenance of Way and Structures.A 20-year Conrail employee with experience in the transportation and engineering departments, Rumsey started as a management trainee and served in positions of increasing responsibility, including division engineer at three locations. Prior to his current position, he was a district superintendent.Rumsey is a graduate of Lafayette College. He is a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers and the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance Association. -Norfolk Southern

NY/NJ PORT AUTHORITY REACH AGREEMENT WITH NS AND CSX

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced March 19 an agreement with Norfolk Southern and CSX that it said "satisfies agency concerns about rail freight service to the Port after the railroads acquire Conrail routes and assets."

A news release distributed by the Port Authority said "the bistate agency has had specific concerns throughout negotiations with NS and CSX: that shippers throughout the region would receive the greatest possible benefits of competitive rail service; that there would be sufficient rail capacity to meet the needs of shippers and consumers; that the railroads make sufficient capital investments to allow for future growth; and that the transition be smooth, with as few operational disruptions as possible.

"Richard Lobron, deputy executive director of the Port Authority, said that the railroads' operating plan can result in significant improvements in the region's rail freight system," the release said. (For more reaction to the announcement, see 'Quotable'.)

"In addition," the release noted, "the agreement...provides that executives of the Port Authority and railroads will meet regularly, and that the railroads will provide operating and capital data to the Port Authority so it can monitor operations and investments. The Port Authority agrees to support the joint CSX/Norfolk Southern application before the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, and the railroads agree that the Port Authority has standing to seek changes before the STB."

The release also said the Port Authority "argues that operational capacity must be adequate for the needs of the new rail freight system. More freight trains will be operating in the system than were operating under Conrail. The Port Authority wants to ensure that rail facilities can provide smooth service, and that capacity expands to accommodate future growth."

First Implementing Agreement Signed: On March 13, the United Railway Supervisors Association general committee representing claim agents employed by Conrail signed an implementing agreement with NS, CSX and Conrail. The agreement provides for the coordination of work and the selection of forces between NS and CSX following STB approval of the transaction.

IMPLEMENTATION COUNTDOWN

STB hears oral arguments, June 4, 1998

STB votes on application, June 8, 1998

STB publishes its written decision, July 23, 1998

the effective date of the STB decision and the Control Date, Aug. 22, 1998

"Day 1," the hypothetical Closing Date for NS planning purposes, Sept. 1, 1998

QUOTABLE

From a news release distributed March 19 by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey:

"The Port Authority has argued for many years that rail freight customers in the region deserve the benefits of competitive rail service. We made those concerns clear to Norfolk Southern and CSX. We support this agreement because we believe it creates a framework for monitoring rail operations and resolving issues that may arise. We look forward to continuing the positive relationship that we have established with the railroads in recent months. It is our goal that this transaction be successful." - Robert E. Boyle, Port Authority executive director

Characterizing the agreement as "an important step forward for the Conrail transaction," David R. Goode, NS chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "This agreement is particularly gratifying in that it recognizes our mutual goal of strengthening the nation's safe, efficient, competitive freight rail system. We look forward to working closely with the Port Authority as this new era in rail transportation unfolds."

"We are deeply committed to addressing any and all concerns Port officials and shippers may have regarding rail operations following the acquisition of Conrail. Both CSX and NS share the Port's goal of fully achieving the benefits of competitive rail service and economic development promised by this transaction. This agreement helps create a forum for the exchange of ideas, resolution of issues and implementation of programs to make the Conrail acquisition a great success." - John W. Snow, CSX chairman, president and chief executive officer.

"For the first time in many years, the region will have competitive rail service. There is a potential for improvements in service and pricing that will boost the economies of New York and New Jersey." - Richard Lobron, Port Authority deputy executive director.

CONRAIL HERITAGE

Among relics of American transportation preserved and displayed in the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, D.C., is a famous steam locomotive - the "Pioneer" - of the Cumberland Valley Railroad, a Conrail predecessor line. One of several engines with a single pair of driving wheels (the "Jenny Lind" and the "Nicholas Biddle" were two others), the "Pioneer" was built by Seth Wilmarth of Boston. It was used in regular service until 1880, then in construction service until 1890, when it was retired. - Norfolk Southern



 CONRAIL OFFICE CAR SPECIAL
            The office car special schedule is now posted for the March 22 through March 27 trip.

CONRAIL COLLISION

Yesterday at 5:45am Conrail WIPP-20 consisting of 92 coal loads & 0 empties was struck by a pickup truck at a grade crossing on Ohio State Route 148 in Powhatan Pt., Ohio. The driver was transported to local hospital in unknown condition. Power for the train was 4 Conrail GP38-2's (8250, 8238, 8235, 8244). The truck struck car # TACX 70102 which was approx. 30 cars deep in the train. The crew was unaware of the accident until notified by police approx. 15 minutes after the crash. The crossing did not have any gates or warning lights. The pickup truck was totaled / the hopper car suffered only a broken step. -Willie Brown

CONRAIL SD80MAC-TRACK

 
4100
OUT OF SERVICE
3/14/98
4101
WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA
03:35AM
3/20/98
SPSE-9
4102
CRESTLINE, OH
23:00PM
3/19/98
COPI-9
4103
OUT OF SERVICE
3/5/98
4104
BUFFALO-FRONTIER, NY
02:48AM
3/20/98
SEPI-9
4105
ROCHSTER, PA
05:35AM
3/20/98
BUPI-9
4106
WORCESTER-TV, MA
04:06AM
3/20/98
TV-9
4107
CRESTLINE, OH
03:10AM
3/19/98
INPI-8
4108
ALTOONA, PA
22:20PM
3/19/98
OIEL-8
4109
CRESTLINE, OH
03:10AM
3/19/98
INPI-8
4110
BUFFALO FRONTIER, NY
02:48AM
3/20/98
SEPI-9
4111
SELKIRK, NY
20:25PM
3/19/98
SEFR-9
4112
SELKIRK, NY
20:25PM
3/19/98
SEFR-9
4113
WORCESTER-TV, MA
04:06AM
3/20/98
TV-9
4114
ROCHESTER , PA
05:35AM
3/20/98
BUPI-9
4115
BOSTON-TV, MA
03:10AM
3/20/98
TV-7
4117
BOSTON-TV, MA
03:10AM
3/20/98
TV-7
4116
ENOLA, PA
03:20AM
3/20/98
XSM-69D
4122
ENOLA, PA
03:20AM
3/20/98
XSM-69D
4118
SELKIRK, NY
04:20AM
3/20/98
SESP-9
4119
CONWAY, PA
23:30PM
3/19/98
PIAL-9
4120
CONWAY, PA
23:30PM
3/19/98
PIAL-9
4121
WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA
03:35AM
3/20/98
SPSE-9
4123
BEACON PARK, MA
14:50PM
3/19/98
BOSE-9
4124
SELKIRK, NY
04:20AM
3/20/98
SESP-9
4125
OUT OF SERVICE
3/1/98
4126
OUT OF SERVICE
3/1/98
4127
CRESTLINE, OH
23:00 PM
3/19/98
COPI-9
4128
ALTOONA, PA
20:10 PM
3/19/98
OIEL-9
4129
FRAMINGHAM, MA
17:20PM
3/19/98
FRSE-9
 
-Special thanks to Willie Brown

 D-L M636 ARRIVES NYS&W

Delaware - Lackawanna's ex-Canadian Pacific M-636 #4743 was picked up by NYS&W Local BH-1 at StL&H's East Binghamton Yard at 15:00 ET yesterday. The engine was turned at BD and is facing east. Unit was assigned to SU-100 after arrival at Binghamton. Power on BH-1 (and for outbound SU-100) was CP SD40 5555/CP SD40-2 5623 and D-L M636 4743. It looks like they are going to run the SD45 3612 as the trailing (4th) unit on the train. The NYS&W also had GP38 2012 and C430 3000 on hand at Binghamton (two Alc's in Bingo!). SU-100 power will turn on Friday's westbound 555 (Syracuse), due out between 10:00 p.m. and Midnight, depending on how Sealand is loading. Tough to predict after that.

Just to add to this St.L&H train #556 arrived in Binghamton at 1640 hrs with CPRS 5652/CPRS 5610/CP 4216/CP 4235 (two more Alc's).-S.J.Botts, Mike Del Vechio



"P" CONFUSION P-3 is the St. Lawrence & Hudson train that runs from Taylor to Binghamton and return. P-1 is the Taylor based local that services local industries in the Scranton / Wilkes-Barre area. P-3 is the nocturnal turn job which handles the Taylor intermodal and cars for Taylor. -S.J. Botts

 CSX REPORTS LOWEST FREIGHT DAMAGE RATE EVER

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 20 -- CSX Transportation Inc. (CSXT) today announced that its damaged freight ratio for 1997 was the lowest ever recorded by the railroad, surpassing all other major U.S. freight railroads.

The company's annual freight damage and prevention report states that the 1997 freight claim by its customers amounted to 19 cents per hundred dollars of freight value handled. The report identifies a decrease in dollars paid for both derailment and non-derailment causes, particularly in high-dollar auto, perishable and paper commodities.

CSXT's payment for auto damage was down by nearly $300,000 or 10 percent less than 1996. CSXT provides transportation for roughly one-third of the finished automobile market in the Eastern U.S.

"These numbers demonstrate that when it comes to protecting our customer's freight, our employees and the communities through which we operate, we take whatever precautions are needed to ensure that the product reaches its destination in top condition," said CSXT president and chief executive officer A.R. "Pete" Carpenter. "These numbers are great news for anyone who uses rail to move their goods," he said.

The news comes as the federal Surface Transportation Board reviews CSX's and Norfolk Southern's plan to acquire Conrail. The board plans to issue its final decision on the $10 billion transaction in July.-CSX Transportation


 HIGH SPEED TESTING

In order to test the stability of Amtrak's new express cars at speeds of up to 90MPH, Amtrak and BNSF are running a special movement March 20-21 between Chicago and Albuquerque over the route of Amtrak No. 3.

Train departs Chicago at 10:00 CT on March 20, arriving in Kansas City at 17:55 CT. Train departs KC at 18:05 CT and arrives Albuquerque, NM at 10:00 MT on March 21.

It should have an Amtrak P-42, dormitory car, instrument/dining car, MHC, 50ft express car and 60 ft express car.

No priority has been established for this train, so once it's running, hard to say what its schedule might be. If you have the day off today east of about KC, or are an early riser in the Southern Rockies, good luck getting a shot. -Pat Flynn, Fort Worth


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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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