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|APRIL 23, 1998||
EASTERN RAILROAD NEWS
A series of OCS trips will bring out all three E8A's and the entire fleet of business cars during the next week. On April 24, OCS-401 will depart Juniata and carry the name "Altoona Railroaders Museum Special". The trip will originate in Altoona and pick up passengers at the Amtrak station for a trip over the famous Rockville Bridge. All three E8A's may be used on this trip. The train will be turned at Rockville on the east end of the bridge (Wye) and backed into the Harrisburg Station. OCS-401 departs Harrisburg Station at 14:10 ET and takes passengers back westbound over the famous Horseshoe Curve. Eventually, approximately 18:30 ET, the train will head back to the barn for the weekend.
On Monday April 27, two separate trips will depart Altoona, heading opposite directions with very different itineraries. OCS-402 ( TRIP 1 ) will depart Altoona at 09:00 ET with Conrail E8A's 4020 and 4021 deadheading to Cleveland for two trips on April 28. OCS-403 ( TRIP 2 ) will depart eastbound to Philadelphia-30th Street Station with E8A 4022 to stage for a series of facility tours for Norfolk Southern Executives.
On Tuesday April 28, OCS-501 will be operated as an Operation Lifesaver Special between Cleveland, OH and Erie, PA. At Erie, the power will be run around the train and will depart westbound for Cleveland. Upon arrival at Cleveland, the train will lay over at Collinwood for 45 minutes before heading east to Harrisburg, PA on a Government Affairs trip. OCS-501 terminates at 02:35 ET on April 29 at the Harrisburg Amtrak station. Also on Tuesday April 28, OCS-102 will leave Philadelphia for tours of Baltimore-Bayview and Enola yards. The train will traverse the Northeast Corridor and the Port Road before tying up at Enola. This puts both OCS trains in the Harrisburg area at the same time!
On Wednesday April 29, both OCS trains will head eastbound on the Harrisburg Line, giving viewers the opportunity to see the entire OCS fleet! OCS-103 departs Enola at 08:00 ET, lining up next to the OCS-103 at Harrisburg Station! The NS Executives will tour the Harrisburg Yard facilities before heading to Reading and Allentown for additional tours. OCS-103 will tie up at Allentown at 16:30 ET. OCS-101 departs the Harrisburg Station at 15:20 ET and picks up passengers at Hershey before heading east to Reading. At Reading, the train will be turned at Center and head back westbound, deadheading to Pittsburgh, PA.
On Thursday April 30, OCS-104 will depart Allentown and head south via the Reading and Harrisburg Lines for Camden-Pavonia Yard. A tour will be conducted at Camden before the train returns to Abrams for the passengers to detrain. The OCS-104 will deadhead back to Altoona, completing the brief Norfolk Southern "System" tour. The "other" OCS will be departing Pittsburgh, PA at 09:00 ET for an Operation Lifesaver trip that takes the train east to South Fork, PA before returning. Several on-line stops will be made to pick up invited guests. Upon the evening return to Pittsburgh, OCS-404 will be deadheaded home to Altoona. Ironically, both trains are scheduled to arrive back in the barn within an hour of each other!
This series of trips could
very well be one of the last chances to lense the entire fleet of Office
Car equipment and especially the E8A's. Recent unconfirmed RUMORS
advise that the 4020 and 4021 have been "claimed" by Norfolk Southern.
CSX has apparently not publicly committed to any of the Office Car fleet.-Kevin
A maintienance window has been imposed on the Lurgan Branch during daylight hours. The track upgrade and resurfacing project is well underway. The current window is scheduled to be 07:00 ET to 15:00 ET. With this window in place, TV-211 has had the schedule adjusted to depart 3 hours later than normal. TV-211 is generally arriving at CP-Ross in the early afternoon and holding there until the trackwork crews clear. Traffic has been shifted from the south, not allowing any trains northbound out of Hagerstown until early afternoon. This project is to last for several weeks. - Kevin Burkholder
The final SD70MAC from this order is now on the floor at Juniata. Conrail 4144 officially was placed on the shop floor today. Various components have been on the floor, but assembly will now begin. 4136 and 4137 have both been released from the paint shop. Both units will be cycled through testing between Altoona and Cresson before being released for service. The pair may be on display at the Altoona Railroaders Museum Grand Re-Opening this weekend. The three other pairs of SD70MAC's continue to hold down assignment on INEL/ELIN and now ML-482. -John Krattinger, Kevin Burkholder
The companies said John A. McKelvey would be named to the position of senior vice president - Finance and Administration, and Cheryl A. Cook would be vice president - Law and Resource Planning.
Shared Assets Areas are Conrail operations in New Jersey, Philadelphia and Detroit that would be served by both CSX and NS under the proposed transaction.
McKelvey is Conrail's senior vice president-Finance and chief financial officer. After joining the company in 1978, he served in positions of increasing responsibility and was vice president over several areas, including Service Delivery, Materials & Purchasing, controller and treasurer. He earned a bachelor's degree at Penn State University and a master's degree at Temple University.
Cook, a 15-year Conrail employee, is general counsel - Securities and Tax. She graduated summa cum laude from Pennsylvania State University and earned a law degree at the Villanova School of Law. She is nearing completion of a master's degree at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, with a concentration in finance.
CSX and NS previously named Timothy T. O'Toole president, Donald N. Nelson senior vice president operations and Ronald L. Batory vice president operations of the future Conrail.-Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation
Although supposed to be
retired last weekend, 13 MLW (Alco) units continue to hammer Canadian Pacific
Railway steel. RS18's 1811, 1812, 1822, 1828, 1837, 1838, 1839, 1842 and
1860 are all powering trains as of 03:30 ET on April 23. There are
only four M-424's listed in service. 4210, 4230, 4238, and 4240 were
also holding down assignments in road service. Several of these units
are possibly going to be retired upon arrival at St. Luc, PQ. The
following is the listing from the CPR computer:
CP 001811 Rouses Point, NY 04 22 22:15 552-22
CP 001812 Rouses Point, NY 04 22 22:15 552-22
CP 001822 Rouses Point, NY 04 22 22:15 552-22
CP 001828 St. Luc, PQ 04 23 02:34 551-22
CP 001837 St. Luc, PQ 04 23 02:34 551-22
CP 001838 Delson, PQ 04 22 08:30 LOCA22
CP 001839 St. Luc, PQ 04 23 02:34 551-22
CP 001842 Delson, PQ 04 22 08:30 LOCA22
CP 001860 St. Luc, PQ 04 23 02:34 551-22
CP 004210 Toronto, ON 04 23 02:17 530-21 Reportedly failed enroute
CP 004230 Rouses Point, NY 04 21 09:00 LOCA21 Not shown as moving since April 21
CP 004238 Rouses Point, NY 04 23 00:45 556-22
CP 004240 Rouses Point, NY 04 23 03:05 555-20
4210 and 4240 have reportededly failed and will be removed from service.
-Kevin Burkholder with thanks to Bill Miller and his reports
Not now says Norfolk Southern! In the Conrail territory upgrade project talked about yesterday, the Lurgan Branch and Hagerstown Secondary (routes between Harrisburg and Hagerstown, MD) were not discussed. Several questions arose from individuals curious as to why these lines would not receive cab signals. Some may remember the government approval for PTS (satellite tracking) over this portion of railroad. The joint venture at the time was to be shared by Norfolk Southern, Conrail and CSX. That deal had been struck prior to the Conrail acquisition and is currently on hold. Additionally unknown is whether CSX will keep their Lurgan Subdivision intact and participate in the PTS program. Norfolk Southern does plan on pursuing the project albeit after the completion of the Conrail acquisition.
Of note on the Lurgan Branch and Hagerstown Secondary is the recent heavy-duty upgrade being performed. Resurfacing and rail work has been consistently progressing over the last few weeks. -Kevin Burkholder
FATAL COLLISION PROMPTS BLE ACTION
Following a fatal train collision in Indiana last month, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers today announced it has petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration to adopt a new safety requirement that will prevent similar accidents in the future.
On March 25, one train crew member was killed and two others injured when a Norfolk Southern freight collided with a Conrail train in Butler, Ind., 20 miles northeast of Ft. Wayne.
Based on preliminary reports from the BLE Safety Task Force, the lead locomotive of the Norfolk Southern train was operating in the "long nose forward" position, a contributing factor in the crash. Operating long nose forward means that while the train is traveling north, for example, the body of the locomotive is actually facing south and running in reverse.
This dangerous situation places the engineer on the left side of the cab, the side of the locomotive opposite trackside signals. In addition, when facing north to survey the road ahead and observe track signals, the engineer must take his eyes off the control panel. Conversely, when the engineer needs to focus his attention on the control panel, he must take his eyes off the road ahead, causing an extremely dangerous situation.
Under the BLE's proposed rulemaking, trains would not be allowed to operate with the lead locomotive in the long nose forward position.
"The locomotive engineer, in most cases, cannot simultaneously face the direction of movement and observe the gauges and instruments necessary to safely operate a locomotive," said BLE President Clarence Monin. "The locomotive engineer is forced to operate in a contorted, unnatural and unsafe position while in the long nose forward position."
The BLE's proposed rule would apply to all locomotives operated over a distance of five miles or greater and/or when a locomotive engineer is at the controls of a train for more than one hour.
Placing engineers on the left side of the tracks causes blind spots that obstruct their view of trackside signals, which are located on the right side of the tracks. The signals tell engineers if they need to slow down or stop the train, and missing a signal could have hazardous and fatal results.
"Most signal systems are designed to be observed from the right side of the locomotive," President Monin said. "The momentary loss of view of a signal as it is obstructed by the body of the locomotive could result in loss of information essential to the safe operation of the train. Railroad rules require continuous observance of the signal as you approach it."
New wide-body cab designs make it even more difficult to operate in the long nose forward position.
"Many newer locomotives are not designed to be operated from other than a forward facing position," Monin said.
Monin cited federal regulations that require the engineer be given a clear and unobstructed view of the signals, including 49 CFR 229.119 (b). It states: "Cab windows of the lead locomotive shall provide an undistorted view of the right-of-way for the crew from their normal position in the cab."
A student engineer was at the throttle of the NS train involved in the Butler, Ind., collision. According to the BLE Safety Task Force, he had never operated in the long nose forward position prior to the fatal trip and was not qualified on the physical characteristics of the territory.
"The BLE believes there are benefits to consumers, government, carriers and workers whenever safety is enhanced," Monin said. "Certainly, we all benefit when the locomotive engineer is able to continuously monitor the track ahead while observing the required gauges and instruments. The BLE has evaluated the impact and believes the safety benefits far surpass any associated costs with compliance."- Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
Federal Railroad Administration Petition for Waiver of Compliance
In accordance with part
211 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), notice is hereby given
that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) received a request for a
waiver of compliance with certain requirements of its safety standards.
The individual petition is described below, including the party seeking
relief, the regulatory
provisions involved, the nature of the relief being requested, and the petitioner's arguments in favor of relief.
The Norfolk Southern Corporation (NS) seeks a temporary waiver of compliance from certain provisions of the Railroad Power Brake and Drawbars regulations, 49 CFR 232.21 (a) and (f), which describes the design and performance standards for two-way end-of-train devices.
Section 232.21(a) requires
that ``an emergency brake application command from the front unit of the
device shall activate the emergency air valve at the rear of the train
within one second.'' According to NS, their front unit sends an emergency
brake command in 1.675 seconds of which a significant portion of this time
is involved in coding the unique signal that provides a security barrier
against an attempted malicious emergency command from an outside source,
or an accidental transmission from another front unit that may have an
number inputted. NS's system is designed to code a unique message between the individual devices. These messages are separate from the rear unit number and are coded and initialized only during a five minute window at the initial terminal setup and testing of the system. NS believes this function provides a higher level of security than the two-way systems currently used by other Class I railroads.
Section 232.21(f) requires
``the availability of the front-to-rear communications link shall be checked
automatically at least every 10 minutes.'' The system used by NS does not
have front-to-rear communications checked automatically every 10 minutes.
NS claims their system communications failure warning is linked to the
rear-to-front portion of the messaging. If five minutes elapse since a
good message was received by the front unit, a ``STAND BY'' message is
displayed on the front unit. This message informs the engineer that communication
Section 232.23(d) permits NS to use these devices because ``each two-way end-of-train device purchased by any person prior to promulgation of these regulations shall be deemed to meet the design and performance requirements contained in Sec. 232.21.''
In anticipation of NS's acquisition of the Consolidated Rail Corporation (CR) and NS's desire to redesign all of their devices to comply with Sec. 232.21, NS is designing a dual frequency two-way system which will operate in both the NS and CR mode. When these devices are operated in the CR mode, they will comply with current regulations. However, when they are operated in the NS mode, they will be compatible with existing NS devices as described above. NS is expecting immediate delivery of 116 new locomotives which will be equipped with front units designed to work with the existing NS devices. Additionally, NS has approximately 100 existing units which need to be replaced due to loss or damage.
Within three years, NS states they will redesign all of their two-way devices to comply with the design and performance standards of Sec. 232.21 (a) and (f). In order to facilitate a smooth transition from the existing NS mode to the mode that is currently being used by the rest of the Class I railroads, NS requests a temporary waiver for three years of Sec. 232.21 (a) and (f) for the dual mode devices, the 116 devices being delivered with the new locomotives, and the 100 units that will replace existing units.
Interested parties are invited to participate in these proceedings by submitting written views, data, or comments. FRA does not anticipate scheduling a public hearing in connection with these proceedings since the facts do not appear to warrant a hearing. If any interested party desires an opportunity for oral comment, they should notify FRA, in writing, before the end of the comment period and specify the basis for their request.
All communications concerning
these proceedings should identify the appropriate docket number (e.g.,
Waiver Petition Docket Number PB-98-1) and must be submitted in triplicate
to the Docket Clerk, Office of Chief Counsel, FRA, Nassif Building, 400
Seventh Street, SW., Mail Stop 10, Washington, DC 20590. Communications
received within 30 days of the date of this notice will be considered by
FRA before final action is taken. Comments received after that date will
be considered as far as practicable. All written communications concerning
are available for examination during regular business hours (9 a.m.--5 p.m.) at FRA's temporary docket room located at 1120 Vermont Avenue, NW., Room 7051, Washington, DC 20005.-via CRTS E-mail Update
The Amtrak F40PH fleet that Wisconsin Central was utilizing on a short-term lease are being returned. An updated status report as of 21:33 CT showed Amtrak 235 is now at Schiller Park. Amtk 359 is heading for Schiller Park on T040-22 and is scheduled to be setout at Schiller Park. At some point today a transfer crew from Schiller Park will return BOTH units to Amtrak at Chicago.
The 359 is dead in consist for unknown ailments. This leaves only the 311 in active service and as of April 22 was in New Brighton to come east on #6 to Stevens Point, WI.-Ray Weart
Canadian National today reported first-quarter 1998 net income of $104 million, compared with adjusted net income of $71 million for the com-parable period of 1997.
Basic earnings per share were $1.22 for the latest quarter, compared with adjusted earn-ings per share of 84 cents for the year-earlier period.
The Companyís first-quarter 1998 net income includes a foreign exchange gain of $6 million ($4 million after tax), or 4 cents per share, mainly related to conversion of its US$-denominated debt.
The adjusted earnings for the first quarter of 1997 exclude the cumulative effect of a change in accounting policy for track replacement costs.
CN President and Chief Executive Officer Paul M. Tellier said: "The Company turned in a good first-quarter performance despite a severe January ice storm in Quebec and eastern Ontario that disrupted the operations of the Company and its customers. Itís a real credit to our employees that the railway could do so in the face of such adversity."
As previously announced, CNís financial results, like those of most North American railways, are now prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting princi-ples (U.S. GAAP). CN will continue to provide financial statements prepared in accordance with Canadian GAAP to comply with Canadian regulatory requirements.
Operating income for the first quarter of 1998 rose 17 per cent to $184 million from $157 million for the comparable quarter of 1997. CNís first-quarter operating ratio was 82.6 per cent, an improvement of 2.1 percentage points over the year-earlier performance.
Productivity for the first quarter of 1998 continued to improve. The Companyís operat-ing expenses increased by only one per cent to $875 million, while revenue ton miles Ė one ton of freight carried one mile - rose by four per cent. CN carloads also rose by four per cent to 631 thousand.
CNís revenue for the most recent quarter grew by four per cent to $1,059 million. Five business units posted revenue gains: grain and grain products (12 per cent); forest prod-ucts (eight per cent); coal, sulphur and fertilizers (three per cent); industrial products (one per cent) and intermodal (one per cent). Automotive revenue declined by three per cent.
The latest quarterís results include equity in the earnings of Illinois Central Corpo-ration (IC) - equal to $6 million - for an 18-day period. Pursuant to a cash tender offer, CN, on March 14, acquired 46,051,761 shares of IC common stock, representing 75 per cent of ICís outstanding common stock, for US$1.8 billion, or US$39 per IC share. CN and IC are completing a second-step merger in which the remaining 25 per cent of the outstanding IC common shares will be exchanged for common shares of CN with a value equal to the same cash price paid in the tender offer, subject to certain collar arrangements. Pending regulatory approval of the merger, CN will account for its in-vestment in IC using the equity method.
"CNís merger with IC, if approved by the United States Surface Transportation Board (STB), will put the Company in a strong position to take advantage of growing traffic flows in key north-south markets, by combining its east-west, coast-to-coast Canadian market strength with ICís highly efficient north-south U.S. Midwest corridor from Chi-cago south to the Gulf of Mexico," Tellier said. "We are optimistic that the STB will recognize the strengths of this end-to-end merger. Itís the perfect fit at the perfect time."
Tellier said CNís new marketing alliance with IC and Kansas City Southern Railway (KCSR) will extend CNís reach further into the U.S. Midwest and U.S. South. The alli-ance, announced April 16, will offer shippers new competitive options in a rail freight transportation network linking key north-south continental freight markets. CN-IC-KCSR plan to launch the marketing alliance immediately; it does not require approval by the STB.
CN and KCSR have also signed a separate access agreement regarding certain haulage and trackage rights, which is contingent upon STB approval of CNís acquisition of control of IC. The affected tracks are owned by IC and KCSR.
Neither CN nor KCSR will acquire equity interests or other financial holdings in the other. -Canadian National
The second annual Depot Days of Green County, WI will begin this Friday with train rides via WSOR from Brodhead to Monroe and back on Friday evening.
On Saturday and Sunday train rides will begin at 9 am and continue on the hour all day Saturday and Sunday. The cost of the rides is $10 for adults and $5 for children. The train will be pulled by WSOR's E-9. WSOR will also have on display for the weekend #1848 a recently repainted skunk unit which will be carrying the Wisconsin Sesquicentennial seal. #1848 just made its public debut this past Monday.
At Monticello and Belleville speeder car rides will take place both days with all rides going through the 1260 foot Stewart Tunnel built in 1886-88.
In New Glarus and Monroe telegraphers will be working both days via radio. Railyard tours will also take place in New Glarus along with tours of the recently restored 1929 C&NW cupola caboose.
Available at several locations will be the book Railroads of Southern and Southwest Wisconsin by Dan Lanz. The book was recently reprinted by the New Glarus Depot Preservation Society as a fund-raiser for their depot restoration project. The New Glarus Historical Society museum will open for the season this weekend.
In Browntown the Mill Street General Store and Browntown Historical Museum will be open. Mill Street General Store is a step back in time. This is a must stop during your weekend.
For further Depot Days information please call 1-800-527-6838 through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday call 608-325-3634. -Kim Tschudy
|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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