Old Towers Demolished in Cumberland and Washington
A contractor demolished the unused Viaduct Junction interlocking tower in Cumberland on July 24, and the same contractor demolished QN Tower in Washington on August 2. Viaduct Junction had closed in January 1997, and QN Tower had closed in September 1992.
CSXT Reaffirms On-Time Commitment for Amtrak
Keeping Amtrak on time is a CSXT priority, according to the company's midweek report to employees on August 20. Quoting Dick Young, assistant vice president-passenger services, "Passengers arrive on time, Amtrak customer satisfaction improves and CSXT earns incentive bonuses for good performance. CSXT can receive up to $16 million annually in incentive payments. These payments represent the only opportunity for CSXT to earn money from Amtrak over and above incremental cost reimbursements. Our first priority is ensuring the safety of Amtrak trains on our system. That's followed by seeing that those trains remain on schedule. When our Amtrak performance is poor, we're leaving money on the table."
Amtrak Having Problems with Express Boxcars
Amtrak has reportedly run into problems with its new express boxcars. Norfolk Southern has issued instructions that Amtrak trains carrying these cars be considered "intermodal" trains restricted to 60 miles per hour. UP and BNSF have reportedly expressed dissatisfaction with the cars as well.
UPS Strike a Windfall for Amtrak
The recent United Parcel Service strike resulted in a windfall for Amtrak. A number of trains which carry mail were reported operating with several additional mail cars in their consist.
Rockville Bridge Damaged by Freight Derailment
A portion of Conrail's Rockville Bridge in Pennsylvania was damaged on August 19 as a freight train derailed sending five CSX coal hoppers into the Susquehanna River. The accident also caused a fuel pipeline on the bridge to break. According to press reports, the facia of the bridge was damaged, but the superstructure is sound.
Union Pacific to Replace and Upgrade its Computer Dispatching System
Union Pacific has announced plans for a complete replacement and upgrading of its computer-aided dispatching system at its Harriman Dispatching Center in Omaha. Called CAD III, the system will integrate mainline and terminal planning in order to improve utilization of locomotives, cars, terminals and crews, according to a company news release.
Triple Crown to Expand into Dallas and Fort Worth
Triple Crown Services Company has announced expansion of its intermodal service territory to include the Dallas and Fort Worth area with dedicated RoadRailer trains from the East connecting with BNSF trains at Kansas City, Kansas. Triple Crown has invested $13 million for 400 additional RoadRailer trailers and related equipment to support the service.
Conrail's Second Quarter Operating Ratio its Lowest Ever
Conrail reported net income of $117 million for the second quarter, up from $109 million for the same quarter in 1996. At the same time, it lowered its operating ratio to 77.8 percent, its lowest ever.