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MAY 22, 1998 Last Updated 13:45 ET EASTERN RAILROAD NEWS

Please Note!

News Editor Kevin Burkholder will be on vacation through Monday, May 25. Alex Lang will be editing and posting Eastern Railroad News pages daily through Monday. If you have news, interesting sightings, or other pertinent information, please send it to Alex at Thank you.

Canadian Pacific OCS May 20-29 NS Geometry Train June 9-July 16


B&O Railroad Artifacts Display

Through early June, visitors to the Garrett State Bank will have the rare opportunity to experience the great traditions of the nation's first railroad through a display of 19th century artifacts and photographs from the Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad.

Items ranging from antique lanterns to conductors' caps, on loan from the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, will be on display until June 5, courtesy of CSX Transportation Inc. (CSXT).  The display will continue its tour throughout Ohio and Indiana, along the historic rail route that stretches from Baltimore to Chicago, through La Porte, DeKalb, Kosciusko, Elkhart, Marshall Porter, Lake and Noble Counties in Indiana. 

"This display presents communities along this historic rail line with a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with their lineage as railroad towns," said Stephen L. Watson, CSX regional vice president-state relations.  "It also serves as a reminder of just how vital freight rail transportation remains today throughout the country and the state of Indiana."

CSXT traces its roots back to the B&O Railroad, the nation's first freight railroad, which was chartered in 1827.  CSXT is sponsoring the display in part to showcase the importance of this critical rail route.  Last year, CSX and Norfolk Southern filed an application with the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) to jointly acquire Conrail.

"The historic Baltimore to Chicago line is a prime example of CSXT's commitment to the future of freight rail transportation," Watson said, noting that the railroad is investing approximately $220 million to modernize and transform its existing rail line into a high capacity, double-track railroad.

"This will provide the region with a direct freight link to key consumer markets in the Northeast and the port centers of Boston, New York and Philadelphia," said Watson. "This is an opportunity to celebrate our long and proud rail history. CSXT's new double-track line soon will be creating exciting opportunities for economic growth throughout Indiana," Watson said.  "Businesses can expect to reap tremendous benefits resulting from greater access to one of the nation's premier rail routes, providing links to critical markets throughout the United States."

The display, which is located in the Garrett State Bank, 120 West King St., is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday,and 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday. CSXT and its 28,000 employees provide rail transportation and distribution services over an 18,300 route-mile network in 20 states, the District of Columbia and Ontario, Canada.  CSXT is a business unit of CSX Corporation, headquartered in Richmond, Va.


Yesterday at approximately 02:20 ET, TV-13 hit a crumbling stone retaining wall and  derailed at Palmer, MA. Reports indicate that there is damage to the Route 32 overpass and the Boston Line was shut down for several hours. All three of TV-13's units,  Conrail C40-8W 6176, SD40-2 6516, and SD60I 5650, were derailed with no injuries to the crew. The three units came to rest just east of the New England Central diamond. Train had forty-four loads, 3,688 tons and 6,427 feet in length. Several of the head-end stack wells were also derailed. Wreck train WRE-300 was dispatched from Westboro, MA and arrived at the site by12:00 ET.  Additional services from Winters Rigging of Noth Collins, NY continues rerailing the remaining platforms. Winters has 4 Cat sidewinders and many support trucks on scene. The wreck is blamed on an elderly stone retaining wall that collapsed on the shouth side of the line.  Steel beams were being placed on the damaged wall to shore up the Route 32 bridge. Traffic is again moving through the site, as Conrail temporarily had cut the yard lead over to the New England Central interchange track and back to the Boston Line. This track normally curves north and runs beside the NEC . Trains are running the length of the Palmer yard and rejoin the passing track east of CP-83. Tracks 1 and 2 are destroyed between CP-83 and the bridge, a total distance of approximately 400 feet. Three platforms have been unloaded and placed next the depot. The Palmer depot has nine lives and has missed another mess by a hair. ML-433 spent the day at CP-79, TV-10B was held at Westfield and several other trains were held on either side of the wreck.  Amtrak's 449 and 448 trains were some of the first trains past the site. -Railnuts, R.O. Moore


Conrail through freight trains will not depart origin terminals from 23:00 on Sunday, May 24th, 1998 through 23:00 on Monday, May 25th, 1998, except for westbound trains out of Elkhart, IN. All trains that are enroute prior to 23:00 on Sunday, May 24th, 1998 will continue on to their destination. All major classification yards, except for Elkhart, IN will be shut down from 07:00 on Monday, May 25th, 1998 through 07:00 on Tuesday, May 26th, 1998. Elkhart Yard will work throughout the holiday weekend. As a general rule, local switching service will operate at reduced levels on Saturday, May 23rd, 1998 and Sunday, May 24th, 1998, and will be curtailed on Monday, May 25th, 1998, except where customer requirements dictate service be provided. -John Krattinger


Here is where they line up:


4130 Oak, PA 5/20/98 22:43 ET URN-460
4131 Buffalo-Frontier, NY 5/21/98 04:45 ET SEEL-0B
4132 Oak, PA 5/20/98 22:43ET URN-460
4133 Buffalo-Frontier, NY 5/21/98 04:45 ET SEEL-0B
4134 Buffalo-Frontier, NY 5/21/98 03:00 ET NFSE-1
4135 Buffalo-Frontier, NY 5/21/98 03:00 ET NFSE-1
4136 Buffalo-Frontier, NY 5/20/98 15:30 ET NFSE-0
4137 Buffalo-Frontier, NY 5/20/98 15:30 ET NFSE-0
4138 Elkhart, IN 5/20/98 22:30 CT  ELIN-0A
4139 Elkhart, IN 5/20/98 22:30 CT  ELIN-0A
4140 Shire Oaks, PA 5/21/98 03:30 ET WICE-24
4141 Shire Oaks, PA 5/21/98 03:30 ET WICE-24



CPR will be operating several passenger trains in honor of the D&H Railroad's 175th Anniversary, CPR  Beaver Logo SD40-2 5647 will be leading D&H-painted 7309 on todays northbound trip out of Philadelphia.  CPR will also be using the train to host Norfolk Southern officials next week for a trip to Albany, NY.  The train consist will include four CPR Business Cars, two Green Mountain Railway passenger cars, and four NYS&W business cars.  Todays northbound run will carry Conrail symbol OCS-702 and heads for Scranton where the train will be tied down at Steamtown all day on May 23. You can see the full schedule by clicking on the link at the top of the page.

An additional note about the moves at Philadelphia: GP38-2 7309 was not cab signal equipped and Amtrak dispatched locomotives to retrieve the train at CP-Grey.  Todays moves are planned as follows:
CPR 5647 and D&H 7309 were held at Ameriport for servicing overnight. The power will return to CP-Field, where Amtrak will deliver the train at 07:00 ET.  CPR 5647 will lead from Philly back to Allentown, then 7309 will do the honors north to Scranton.-Mike Collins, Kevin Burkholder, Charles Anderson


CPR SD40-2 5698 emerged from Calgary last week in the new CPR scheme.  5698 is assigned to the St. Lawrence & Hudson and was reported at Bensenville, IL yesterday.  Unit should be on its way east for service on the STL&H. -Various Sources


CPR's fleet of MLW's has dwindled to 11! Five RS18u's and five C424's are still in service, accompanied by the only six axle MLW-looking Caterpillar-powered M636 4711.  The following units were in service: RS18u 1822, 1837 and 1839 on train 551-21; 1838 on train 555-19; and 1828 on train 924-21; C424 4240 burnt out a traction motor last weekend and was officially retired. The C424's that remain are: 4204 in local service at Toronto; 4210 on train 924-21; 4126 at St. Luc; 4230 on train 926-20; and 4237 also at St. Luc. The 4711 has been residing out of St. Luc for about a week. The last MLW "HAS" to be retired in less than two months. The units will not live past their current inspection cards, and the last card expires in July! Cat-powered M636 4711 may trundle on for some time. -Various Sources, Gary Zuters

STEAMTOWN WEEKEND NOTE: There will be a night photo session at Steamtown National Historic Site on Sunday evening, May 24, 1998, at 8:00 p.m. In honor of Memorial Day weekend, the theme will be Railroads and the Military. Scenes will include BLW 0-6-0 26 switching two PRR boxcars that are being unloaded into military vehicles and soldiers boarding a troop train. There will also be a set-up featuring the Big Boy in a scene based on a 1940s photo of two soldiers giving the "V" victory sign to the engineer.

Tickets are $15 and will be available at the gate. Lumedyne lighting will be provided by Steve Barry, Fred Jones, Frank Etzel, Kermit Geary and Joe Calisi. 

We are readying the new site and preparing for our "magazine" format for a June 1 debut.  We are currently still looking for a few individuals to round out the debut.  We are in need of columnists from Indiana, Illinois, Florida and a few others.  We are also beginning to accept more photos/slides of news events and feature material.  If you are interested in joining the ERN staff or contributing feature material on a gratis basis (for now!), please contact Kevin Burkholder at  or (NOTE NEW E-MAIL ADDRESS) for more details.   

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




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