Huntington, W.Va., Depot Dedicated as Business Unit Headquarters
The 82-year-old former C&O passenger station in Huntington, West Virginia, was dedicated May 23 as the headquarters for the C&O Business Unit. The depot and its annex also house a museum of railroad artifacts and memorabilia that trace the history of the C&O and CSXT, and the importance of coal to the area. CSXT invested $3.3-million in renovating the facility.
Coal Now Being Moved Over CSXT's Cabin Creek Subdivision
Coal traffic, most of it bound for the Huntington river market, is now moving off CSXT's Cabin Creek Subdivision. Involved is 12.5 miles of branch line that had not been used in 10 years.
New Trash Train Serves Montgomery County, Md.
New trash train service on behalf of Montgomery County, Maryland, began early last month on CSXT's Metropolitan Subdivision between Derwood and Dickerson. The train is symboled D765.
CSXT Assigns Numbering Block for Pumpkin Engines
CSXT's dedicated maintenance-of-way (Pumpkin) locomotives have been assigned the numbering block 9500 through 9999 inclusive. They are restricted to work train service only, and to a maximum speed of 30 MPH. If necessary to move these units in other than work train service, they must be in the trailing position and taken off line or shut down. When moving in this manner, they may be towed at normal freight train speed.
Richmond Approves Proposal to Reopen Main Street Station
The Richmond, Virginia, city council has approved the proposal to reopen Main Street station for passenger service. The project should be completed by early 1997, and would permit trains bound for Newport News to serve the facility, as well as buses and airport shuttles.
Nine New Train Dispatchers Complete CSXT Training
Nine new CSXT train dispatchers, the first to be hired from outside the company, have graduated from training school following a six-month course in both the classroom and the field.
CSXT Installs Color-Light Signal at Derwood, Maryland
[Reported by Matt Atkinson] . . . A new dwarf signal was placed into service several weeks ago to govern movements from the Montgomery County reclamation facility at Derwood, Maryland, onto CSXT's Metropolitan Subdivision. What is particularly interesting about this signal is that it conveys a C&O-style aspect, thus breaking tradition from the use of B&O-style color-position-light signals on the former B&O. The new signal conveys three indications: Slow-Clear (green over red), Slow-Approach (yellow over red), and Stop (red).
Tower 55 Out of Service
[Trinity Valley Railroad Club "Bulletin Board," May 1995] . . . At 8AM, Monday, May 15, control of the interlocker at Tower 55 in Fort Worth, Texas, was transferred to Supervisor Train Operations-Fort Worth, located at Centennial Yard. A microwave tower has been erected in the northeast quadrant of the diamonds to provide a link to STO. This tower has two video cameras mounted about halfway up to be the eyes of the terminal dispatchers working from Centennial. Reports are that the cameras give a much wider view of the downtown area, and even work well at night. The big change for the operators who transferred from Tower 55 is that they now control the Union Pacific mainline into Dallas. This control now extends to Belt Junction south of downtown Dallas. The STO panel allows the operator to handle signals and switches individually by hand or automatically by entering a beginning and ending for a route and letting the computer set the switches and signals in between. The Tower 55 building itself will survive at least until October. The lower and middle levels are being used by the signal department, and the upper office level will be used by clerks for the Advanced Transportation Control System. ATCS is a computerized freight car routing and tracing system developed by the Missouri Pacific in the 1970s. [Trinity Valley Railroad Club, P.O. Box 6743, Fort Worth, Texas 76115-0743.]
CSXT Launches Premium Grain Service
[CSXT Employee News Service] In a show of commitment to grain markets and to improve service to grain shippers and customers, CSXT has launched a program of new services known as the "Grain Express." Improved efficiency and equipment utilization, improved rail car reliability, and better information for customers are the principal improvements under Grain Express. "This package, combined with CSXT's strategically located network and the inherent advantages of rail, gives our customers a real competitive advantage," said Chris Jenkins, assistant vice president-agriculture. "No other transportation provider is positioned to serve this market the way CSXT can," he said. The major elements of the program include: "Express Train," a dedicated unit train and 15-car block grain network that provides superior service reliability; "Express Load," accurate arrival times and incentives for faster loading of unit trains; "Express Pool," car fleet management to save time for customers with private cars; and "Heavy Loading," up to 268,000 pounds weight per car.
CSXT Implements Locomotive Cycling Plan
CSXT has implemented a plan that involves cycled locomotive connections protecting 122 merchandise trains from 21 terminals extending from Chicago and Detroit in the north, through Nashville, to New Orleans and Jacksonville in the south. There are 545 locomotives included in this service representing approximately 52 percent of the company's scheduled merchandise train network and requiring 76 daily train-to-train locomotive connections.
City of Bowie to Take B&P Tower for Park
The city of Bowie, Maryland, has agreed to acquire Baltimore's historic B&P Junction Tower. The 1910 structure, named for the old Baltimore and Potomac Railway, served as the interlocking office south of Pennsylvania Station until it closed in July, 1988. The agreement to acquire the tower was reached shortly before it had been slated to be demolished to make room for the planned extension to Penn Station of Baltimore's light-rail line. According to Kelly Poole, Bowie's assistant director of public services and facilities, the city decided to acquire the building for its "historical and esthetic value," but "not necessarily to use it as a railroad-related museum." Preliminary plans are to relocate the building to one of the city's parks, possibly for use as a boat house. Only the second floor and roof would be moved; the concrete-walled first floor will be demolished and perhaps be duplicated with new construction. The city of Bowie already has one tower - the one that served Bowie itself until 1988. Bowie Tower was moved in 1992, along with a freight building and waiting shelter, to a nearby site along the Amtrak mainline now known as the Huntington Railroad Museum. There is not enough room at that complex for yet another tower, consequently the decision to locate the B&P structure elsewhere within the city's park system. Much credit for B&P's salvation is given to historian Robert Williams of Lutherville, Maryland, a former Amtrak operator and staunch supporter of the tower being saved. He engaged the support of William Aleshire, a Bowie city councilman, and the idea was approved by the city. The tower will be disassembled in sections early this month and moved to Bowie's public works yard pending a decision on eventual use and placement.
Reliving the Heritage
[A selection from the Journal of Tom Kraemer] . . . The following selection was written into the writer's personal journal while he was employed by Amtrak as a food specialist on the Capitol Limited. The on-board train crew works the entire trip between Washington and Chicago and return. Usually, the crew's quarters are located within the transitional dorm car at the head of the train... but the trip of April 19-20, 1995, provided the writer with another option. Tom Kraemer is now employed by the Chicago & North Western Railway and lives in the Chicago area.
[Chicago, Ill - Amtrak Coach Yards] ... After signing in at the crew base, I walked through the yards to find the eastbound Capitol Limited being readied for departure. As I walked past the mail cars, I noticed what appeared to be another baggage car coupled between our transition car and regular baggage car. Wait a minute! That was no extra baggage car - it was a Heritage 10-6 sleeper! Yes, indeed, it was #2463, the "Silver Dale." I asked no questions why it was there, but valued the opportunity to ride a Heritage sleeper on the Capitol Limited in 1995 - a train that had operated exclusively Superliner equipment since October of the previous year. A quick inspection of the car's interior found it to be in fine condition for service - the beds were made up, the linen closet was stocked, and the seats offered route guides from Amtrak's New York to Chicago train, "The Cardinal." The route guides at least explained where the car had come from. It would be deadheading to Washington on the Capitol. We departed Chicago on time at 6:25 PM and I assumed my normal duties down in the kitchen. As usual, I was not finished cleaning up and securing the diner until 11:30 PM. At Toledo, I set off the trash, locked up the kitchen, and walked up to the Silver Dale. I pulled down the bed in roomette #5 and made up the room for night service. I chose that room because #5 had always been assigned to the food specialist when the Capitol was running with Heritage equipment. I certainly could have chosen a double bedroom, but this was not a visit with luxury - this was a visit with history! My memories all came back to me in an instant. It was not so much the look of the old car that did it for me; it was the entire "feeling." The smells, the sounds, the ride! I went to the vestibule before departing Toledo and opened the top half of the Dutch door for a moment. The night air entered as the engine whistled to depart. 11:55 PM. Time for bed. Back in roomette #5, I turned out the lights and raised the blind. My soft, large bed was level with the window. (This is not the case in Superliners!) I propped up my pillows and watched a Conrail stack train breeze westward through the night. When he cleared, our Capitol pulled on to the main and crossed the Maumee River drawbridge. The soft bouncing of the bedsprings was a welcome sensation, and soon the sound of the flattened wheel increased its tempo. I was looking out the window of 50 years! I wished I could have stayed awake longer, but I quickly drifted off to sleep under the metallic whir of the small electric fan which kept the air in #5 moving all night. All too soon, my alarm clock was telling me it was 4:40 AM - time to cook breakfast in the diner! I was still half-asleep as I pulled myself out of 1945 and back into 1995. From the dining car, I watched the sleeper follow the baggage car around curves throughout the morning as we twisted through the Youghiogheny River valley. Breakfast was busy, as usual. I returned to the Silver Dale at Martinsburg, West Virginia, where we came to a stop directly in front of NA Tower. The operator asked me through the open vestibule door, "Is that a special sleeper you're running today?" Well, to me it certainly was! "No," I replied, "Just a deadhead off the Cardinal." I made up the bed at Harpers Ferry and left the room as I had found it. What was routine only seven months ago was now a permanent part of history that paid me a visit. I enjoyed my brush with the days of old.