CSXT Merges Cumberland Division into Baltimore Division
CSXT's Cumberland Division has been merged into the Baltimore Division. The expanded Baltimore Division, and the Albany Division, are part of the Northeast Region.
U.S. Awards Contract for Positive Train Control System
The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced the award of a $34-million contract to a team led by Lockheed Martin Corporation for the development and deployment of a Positive Train Control system on a 120-mile segment of the Chicago/St. Louis high-speed passenger corridor. The contract award is being made through the North American Joint Positive Train Control Program, a partnership between the Federal Railroad Administration, Illinois Department of Transportation, and the Association of American Railroads. PTC systems utilize technologies including on board computers, digital radio links, global satellite positioning systems, computer route databases, and wayside computer control systems, and will allow Amtrak trains to operate in excess of 79 miles per hour.
First Track in Service on Kansas City Flyover Bridge
The first track on the nation's longest rail "flyover" has been placed into service in Kansas City, Missouri. The "Sheffield Flyover" consists of three large bridges, including the 10,000-foot flyover bridge, which elevates east-west Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Kansas City Terminal Railway tracks from north-south Union Pacific and Kansas City Southern tracks.
Washouts Cause Rerouting of Empire Builder in North Dakota
Heavy rains the night of June 12 caused large washouts along Burlington Northern Santa Fe's Devils Lake Subdivision in North Dakota, resulting in the rerouting of Amtrak's Empire Builder between Fargo and Minot for several days. Bus service was substituted to serve Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Rugby.
Union Pacific Completes Wyoming/Nebraska Maintenance Blitz
Union Pacific has completed its fifth annual "coal route maintenance blitz" project in Southeastern Wyoming and Central Nebraska. The 10-day, $16.1-million project was centered at South Morrill, Nebraska, and ran north to Shawnee Junction, Wyoming, east to North Platte, Nebraska, and west to Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Amtrak Opens Shipping Facility in Detroit
Amtrak has opened a new joint shipping facility located at the former Michigan Central Railroad terminal site in Detroit, Michigan. It was built in partnership with CP Rail and the Michigan Department of Transportation. The facility will connect Amtrak's shipping operations in Detroit to its national rail network with daily departures and second or third morning delivery of time-sensitive goods nationwide, according to an Amtrak report.
Thomas Carper Named to Chair Amtrak's Mayor's Advisory Council
Thomas Carper, mayor of Macomb, Illinois, has been appointed chair of Amtrak's National Mayor's Advisory Council. For the past year he has been the council's vice-chair, with that position being taken by Marc Morial, mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Acela Express Restricted to 75 MPH Between New York & New Haven
Amtrak's Acela Express trains will be limited to 75 miles per hour when operating between New York and New Haven. According to press reports, the train's tilting mechanism will not be activated over this portion of the line out of concern that a tilting train could come in contact with another train in the event of a malfunction.
CSXT Unveils New Boxcars for Paper Service
Jacksonville, Florida, June 22: Today, CSX Transportation unveiled the first of 220 new 60' high-cube boxcars specifically designed to meet the increased demands of the newsprint industry. The redesigned boxcars provide superior protection, additional loading capacity and better ride quality.
"These cars are truly the best in the industry and will set the standard for the future," said Mike Liantonio, director of paper marketing. "The initial results have been phenomenal, with rolls of newsprint arriving in superior condition. CSXT realized that if we wanted to continue being a key transportation provider in the newsprint industry, we would have to invest in improved technology. The new cars will ensure the delivered product consistently produces quality newspapers on the new high-speed presses."
Unlike older models, the smooth-wall interior of the new boxcars is specially designed to prevent damage to paper products. Additionally, a new premium suspension system, called the "swing-motion truck," was added to facilitate a smoother ride.
CSXT, along with several key partners, today held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Washington Post's printing facility in College Park, Maryland, to welcome the new cars into the boxcar fleet.
CSX Replies to Caboose Man's Letter
Don Stewart, the Caboose Man of Hyndman, Pennsylvania, wrote a letter to CSX vice chairman Pete Carpenter which was published in last month's issue entitled "CSXT Crew Rescues Child From Track." The following is his reply...
Dear Mr. Stewart:
Thank you so much for your recent letter advising of the actions of the crew of train # 297 in Hyndman, Pennsylvania, on the afternoon of May 11. Our crew certainly deserves to be recognized for their actions, and I will be sure that they are rewarded both personally and through a human interest story in our CSX News publication.
As you mentioned, our personnel are under a lot of pressure during these trying times, and there hasn't been a lot of good news. I very much appreciate your bringing this incident to my attention.
- PETE CARPENTER
Work Proceeds Toward Cumberland Sub Signal Project
The month of June saw a great deal of activity in the vicinity of Cherry Run, West Virginia, as track and signal crews worked six and seven days a week in their effort to install an electro-code signaling system through that area, and to construct a new control point,with the end result that the Miller Tower interlocking station will be closed.
A Seaboard-style color-light signal, still turned sideways, is the first to be installed in the immediate area, and sits alongside number 2 track several hundred feet west of the road crossing at Cherry Run. Eventually it will serve as the new eastward absolute signal.
The work is part of a 60-mile project from Harpers Ferry to Orleans Road, and will include bidirectional signaling on the portion east of Miller and an upgraded system from that point west.
Four interlocking towers will be closed as part of the overall project. They include Miller, West Cumbo, Martinsburg and Hancock.
Miller is slated to be the first tower to close, and this will reportedly take place this coming September, provided the project is completed on schedule.
"Safety Engines," Not Yet, CSXT Says
[By Allen Brougham] . . .
Those of you who have followed this publication closely for a number of years will recall the idea that I, your friendly Bull Sheet editor, presented to the then-Chessie System way back in 1984 to promote safety through the medium of its locomotives. I formally suggested that the company paint about five of its road locomotives with indigenous designs and safety slogans to travel the system with messages for all to see. The designs would be totally different from the standard fleet paint scheme with colors that would stand out from all of the rest. Each of the selected engines would have a different color - such as green, red, purple, brown, chartreuse, lavender, and (why not?) pink - anything that would get it noticed...
The idea was not a new one. Chessie System already had a selected fleet of safety cabooses that were painted similarly. Moreover, it already had a commemorative locomotive painted gold wearing the number GM50 (not a safety engine).
My logic was that if the company wanted to preach Safety First, then the message should be on the front (e.g., engines), not on the rear (e.g., cabooses).
The idea was presented as part of a Chessie System employee suggestion program with cash prizes to those whose ideas were adopted. I even included some designs offered by three of my railfan friends for the company to consider.
My idea was approved (in the first round, I might add), and I was given $100. They also put my photo in the company newspaper, Chessie News. In fact, the division manager told me that my suggestion was the only one to be approved from the then-Maryland Division in the first round. It was my understanding that a budget was approved for the project, and it was being forwarded to a designer.
But the idea was never adopted. Not too long afterwards, Chessie was consolidated with Seaboard, and the idea sort of fell through the cracks.
Well, not entirely... One engine actually DID get painted into a safety scheme. The Cumberland Locomotive Shop painted yard engine 5065 with a green livery and "Safety First" lettered in white along its sides. This effort may or may not have been the result of my idea, but the import of my safety engine suggestion was directed at ROAD locomotives, for EVERYONE to see, not captive yard engines to be seen by just a few...
As time went on, I continued my efforts to follow through on my original suggestion. If the idea was a good one for Chessie, I felt, then it ought to be just as good a one for CSX. I periodically submitted it through the safety committee and other channels of communication.
Then, late last year, CSX introduced its "Idea Power" program. So I resubmitted the idea. Twice, in fact.
Late last month I got a call from Ted Snider, CSXT's director of safety. He agreed that the idea had merit. Indeed, slogans on engines had been tried before (Redblock, Operation Lifesaver, etc., and more recently, Diversity in Motion). But custom-painting an entire engine with a unique color is quite expensive, "several thousands of dollars each," he wrote in a letter afterwards.
For now, his department plans to concentrate on increased exposure through posters and video productions. But he added that my safety engine idea is not exactly dead. "It will be re-evaluated as part of next year's planning process." Stay tuned!
A Report from Mark Sublette
[Mark Sublette is an Amtrak on-board service employee currently working on the Capitol Limited]...
- Rail news compiled 8 June 2000...
- Virginia Railway Express has received new power in the form of two Amtrak F40PH locomotives and a former NC DOT GP40H-2. First to arrive was the AMF-Montreal rebuild North Carolina DOT 1768 named the City of Charlotte (c.n. BO4008, October 1992) which arrived in early January 2000. It was stripped of its name and given VRE road number V24 although the NC DOT scheme was initially unchanged.
- In late May 2000 two former Amtrak F40's returned to Washington, D.C., clad in a modified VRE paint scheme that drops white from the red, blue and silver color combination. V30 is the former Amtrak 403 (frame number 87008- 3!!) while V31 is the former Amtrak 392 (frame number 847048- 2!!). The MAP-16 form in the cab of V31 reveals that it was out of service from 5-2-00 to 5-19-00 while receiving work and paint at VMV, Paducah, Kentucky, so I reckon it is safe to assume that V30 was done by VMV as well. Meanwhile, V24 has also turned up in the new scheme so it may have been to the Bluegrass State..
- VRE has begun naming some of their units. The first to receive a name was RP39-2C V03 which became the City of Manassas Park at the first of May, the name displacing the cabside road number which was moved towards the rear of the underframe. When I saw V24 on 1 June it was unnamed but when I saw it on 6 June it had been christened the City of Manassas.
- A few Amtrak F40PH's are beginning to receive the new broad blue band color scheme which all P32's and P40's have received. The first unit redone was 374 with companion NPCU (a depowered F40 control cab) 90229, ex-229, for the Oklahoma City - Fort Worth trains 821-822, the Heartland Flyer, with both also receiving the flag of the State of Oklahoma on the sides of their noses. The first unit without the flags in the new scheme was 401, observed on 12 April in Chicago.
- The next F40's in the new scheme appeared in late may. I observed F40PH 393 (frame number 847048- 3!) taking train 391, the Illini, south out of Chicago to Carbondale on 24 May. On 30 May former Florida Fun Train F40PH 354 wore the new scheme as it took the Illini out of Chicago.
- Also recently outshopped in the new scheme is NPCU 90213 seen in Chicago 24 May. The MAP-16 form states that the unit was out of service from 1-1-99 to 3-14-00.
- F40PH 355 has received nose lights; unlike previous Beech Grove modifications these are not countersunk, but are merely welded onto the front of the unit. Noted in Chicago 24 May.
- P42DC units are getting the makeover. In the order of my spotting them, here are the engines thus redone: 52 (6-16-99); 93 (11-20-99); 77 (12-8-99); 18 (3-2-00); 7 (3-26-00); 10 (3-30-00); 8 (4-12-00); 3 (5-12-00); 13 (5-13-00); 75 (5-18-00); 2 (5-19-00); 9 and 15 (5/24/00); 3, 11 and 93 (5-30-00).
- P42DC 75 which rear-ended a CSX freight at Cumberland, Maryland, last September, was noted in Chicago on train 850, the Kentucky Cardinal, on 31 March, with the nose folded back down and plenty of body filler in evidence all along the length of the frame and with the frame and nose unpainted.
- P42DC 34 spent the latter half of May with its nose and starboard side back to the cab door also unpainted after an apparent "nose job." I am told that this is also the unit that caught fire near Denver on 4 June. A fuel leak was suspected.
- AEM-7's that have received the new Acela brushed aluminum look include the following, as seen on the listed dates: 904 (11-26-99), 907 (11-7-99), 912 (12-21-99), 914 (11-7-99), 916 (3-25-00), 924 (5-13-00), and 934 (11-21-99).
- GP40TC 198 has seen pretty regular assignments to the Kentucky Cardinal, trains 850-851, this spring.
- Certain Amtrak express cars were renumbered in April and designated specifically for use carrying mail. These include the following: 1750, ex-1713, ex-coach; 1751, ex-1722, ex-coach; 1752, ex-1723, ex-coach 4004; 1754, ex-1725, ex-coach 4008; 1755, ex-1727, ex-coach 4020; 1756, ex-1728, ex-coach 4627; 1757, ex-1729, ex-coach 4628; 1759, ex-1739, ex-coach 4643; 1760, ex-1740, ex-coach; and 1761, ex-1719, ex-coach 4737. (I expect that 1753 and 1758 are out there as well, but I have not yet seen them to check their identities.)
- 28000-series dinette Amfleets continue to be modified into Club-series smoking lounges. Currently in the 14th Street shops in Chicago are 28006 to be named Richmond Club and 28013 to become Boston Club. Others already redone include: 28000 Miami Club, 28001 Atlanta Club, 28005 Chicago Club, 28007 New York Club, 28008 Pittsburgh Club, 28009 (name?), 28012 Meridian Club, 28018 Jacksonville Club, 28019 Charlotte Club, 28021 Tampa Club, 28022 South Bend Club, and 28024 Philadelphia Club.
- The TDIX SW9 1201 that has been used for switching Amtrak express business at Toledo Union Station has been dubbed "Gina" when I noted it on 13 January, but it must have been a short romance, for the name had been painted over by mid-April. The unit was also ailing, so former Conrail SW1500 LTEX 9566 (frame number 73622- 7!!) has been brought in to cover the duty. This unit is blue with white lettering with a red border, a black and white diagonally striped frame and handrails that are a combination of red and white. TDIX 1201 was back up and running on 12 May, but an engineer told me that it is "worn out."
- Former MARC RDC 9800 was at Washington Union Station on 25 April with its number boards restenciled NH 162. I presume it is slated for preservation.
- LTEX GP7 #16 (ex-GTI) was in Cumberland, Maryland, on 17 May but had been moved to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, by 25 May where it still sat on 6 June. Unit is dark green with a wide red stripe on the hood.
- Chattahoochie Locomotive acquired one of the defunct Southeast Coal Company Alco S2's from Kentucky last summer and has been slowly rebuilding the unit at the Pickens RR shop in Pickens, South Carolina, throughout the winter. This unit was "about 75 percent wired" when I last visited the shop on 9 February.
- While in Vicksburg, Mississippi, on 2 May, I noted that the Bunge Corporation elevator next to the Yazoo River operates GE 44-tonner, Ex-U.S. Army 7410 (c.n. 12912, September 1940) in its military black with black and yellow striped frame.
- In Clarksville, Tennessee, on 28 April, I saw that the R.J. Corman operation has GP30 #3501 displayed in front of the former L&N depot in a red and silver scheme, but with no numbers in the number boards. The frame number is 8072-1!!
- And an operation that I know nothing about, the Central of Tennessee Railroad (CTRN) has a tiny engine facility in Nashville with a red EMD SW or NW-type switcher numbered 5 stored outside but inside a barb-wire topped fenced enclosure, with another mystery unit locked inside the engine shed. Located at the corner of Herman Street and 11th Avenue North in Nashville. Observed on 28 April.
- Former Cadiz Railroad Alco S1 number 8 (ex-Tennessee Central 51, c.n. 69515, November 1941) is displayed on a short section of track in Montgomery, Kentucky. After the Cadiz was abandoned in 1988, the unit was donated to the Trigg County Historical Society for preservation.
- Norfolk Southern razed two long-closed towers in Chicago in May. The 55th Street Tower in the former EL/CR piggyback yard, and a tower that had stood next to the former PRR/CR line at about 47th Street, were both removed as NS cleans up its new properties.
A Brougham Family Manuscript
In 1952, my grandfather's brother, the late Charles Francis Brougham, authored this article for the family records...