The Bull Sheet
In a move aimed at streamlining its efficiency, Amtrak intends to reduce its non-union work force 10 percent by June 1. According to Amtrak's 'Newsbreak' of February 4, voluntary early retirement incentives are being offered to management personnel age 55 and older. If the company's 10 percent goal is not met through those retirements, a voluntary severance program will then be implemented. If the goal is still not met, forced reductions will result.
Amtrak's 'Empire Connection' is now slated to open on April 7. Beginning that date, Amtrak trains now using New York's Grand Central Terminal will use Pennsylvania Station instead. This will allow passengers using trains of the Northeast corridor to make connections with trains of the Empire corridor without having to transfer to another station.
Preliminary work has begun on the CTC project for CSXT's Capital Subdivision. The project, which is substantially funded by the U.S. and the state of Maryland on behalf of MARC commuter service, is expected to be completed in about a year. The elimination of JD Tower in Hyattsville is included in the plans.
Maryland Midland's GP9 unit 812 has been rebuilt, repainted and renumbered as 202. Unit 794 (eventually also to be repainted and renumbered 201) is being sent to Conrail's Enola Yard for truck and generator work. It will be repainted sometime after it returns.
A 15-minute promotional video to be shown to customers is being producted for the Maryland Midland to highlight its operations. Included will be switching moves and runbys.
Norfolk Southern intends later this year to remove its number 2 track between Springfield and Fairfax, Va., and between Clifton and Manassas, Va.
Operation Train Pacing
Beginning the first week of last month, the maximum authorized speed of CSXT freight trains, except intermodals, was reduced to 40 miles per hour. The reason for the reduction was to conserve fuel.
According to a company pamphlet distributed to employees explaining the reason, computer tests had been conducted to determine that reduced speeds could result in significant fuel savings to the company.
Examples of savings were given for routes between selected locations showing average speeds for typical runs both before and after implementation of speed restrictions, as well as the amount of fuel that would be used. Figures were represented for runs between Waycross and Corbin, Jacksonville and Richmond, and Waycross and Birmingham. Resulting percentage savings in fuel were shown to be in the range of from eight to 21 percent.
Dubbed 'Operation Train Pacing,' the potential savings of the program to the company, according to the pamphlet, would be $19-million per year for every five percent decrease in fuel consumption based on a presumptive fuel cost of 88 cents per gallon.
Some increase in road time will result by reducing maximum speeds, but the pamphlet asserts that the advantages of fuel savings will offset the disadvantages of more time-consuming runs for the trains involved.
News From the B&O Railroad Museum [Reported by Owen Stedding]
The B&O Museum has taken delivery of retired Family Lines locomotive 3416 (formerly L&N-1616), a General Electric U25B.
The Tom Thumb and Lafayette replicas are currently undergoing retoration to operating condition in the museum's car shop. If the work is completed in time, the locomotives will be sent to the California Rail Fair in May.
The Pangborn wood model of the York is now on a two-year loan to the York, Pa., Agricultural and Industrial Museum.
The museum has announced the appointment of Alejandra Gray as volunteer coordinator.
A docent program is being organized for guided tours of the museum and for car host interpreters on board the upcoming Mount Clare excursions. The Mount Clare excursions will operate Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, pulled by Pere Marquette 11, and will operate from the Mount Clare station approximately 1.3 miles to the site of the First Stone, with a stop at the Mount Clare Mansion.
Renovations for the Hays T. Watkins Archives are on sechedule for a possible opening in April. Initially the archives will only be open a limited number of hours.
The gift shop is now a department of the museum - not a franchise - and it has a number of new and interesting items for sale.
Repairs Slated for Pullman Car Dover Harbor
The vintage heavyweight Pullman car Dover Harbor is in need of repair. According to the Washington chapter NRHS, owner of the car, a one-time inspection must be done within the next year or the car will no longer be permitted to operate on Amtrak. This involves a complete tear-down, sandblasting, inspection of all truck components, and repair or replacement of any defective parts. The entire underbody must also be inspected. Moreover, the chapter's board has decided to replace the car's bolted pedestal trucks with cast pedestal trucks to eliminate a 90 MPH speed restriction on Amtrak's corridor trains. Increasing the car's permissible speed will expand options for its use.
The Dover Harbor is a six-double-bedroom-lounge car and is used for charters. It was built in 1923 as the Maple Shade.
The Union Pacific's new state of the art centralized dispatching center in Omaha is often referred to as the 'Bunker,' owing to is massive construction intended to withstand various cataclysmic occurrences. But an occurrence of another sort took place recently that reportedly brought operations to a halt.
According to an item in the January issue of 'Pacific Rail News,' an employee decided to cook up some popcorn in the microwave. But the popcorn began to smoke. This set off the center's smoke alarms, the center had to be evacuated, and much of the Union Pacific came to a halt.
It was later decided that the cooking of popcorn in the center would no longer be permitted.
Morrisville Line Being Single-Tracked [Reported by Scott Hertel]
Conrail's Morrisville line, onc known as the PRR Trenton Cutoff, is being single-tracked with the former westbound track being removed. All main line signals have been taken out with color-light (Reading type) signals being used at the two passing sidings at Langhorne and Plymouth Meeting. The line from MP 30.3 to MP 55.7, now known as the Dale Secondary track, has about two locals a day, while the balance of the line sees on average between six and eight trains a day.
Bill Bartosh, president of the Chesapeake Railroad, reports 'great progress' toward reopening the Clayton-Easton line. The right-of-way has been cleared of brush, and he is hopeful that five miles of the line can be opened by the end of the summer with a full passenger operation by the spring of 1992.
Larry Williams Dies [Reported by Allen Brougham]
Lawrence James Williams, a teacher, writer and railfan, died in an accident on February 7.
I first met Larry in 1971 when he was 11 years old. I was on duty at the former Calvert Road crossing in College Park, Md., to advise construction personnel of the movement of trains, and Larry stopped by to share with me his interest in trains. He then returned to the site when I was on duty on an almost daily basis. Later that year he attended an Oakleigh Tours train excursion.
He subsequently assisted Oakleigh Tours as a car host, and in 1975 and 1976 he served on the organization's trip committee.
Larry's interest in trains waned as he reached college age. But in November 1978, then a student at the University of Maryland and on the staff of the student newspaper 'Diamondback,' he visited HX Tower at Halethorpe, Md., when I was on duty, to write a feature article which appeared several days later under the title 'He's Been Working on the Railroad.'
Larry was living in Baltimore at the time of his death. He was 31.
Staffed Interlocking Stations on CSX - (as of February 4, 1991)
|Altamont MD (AM)|
|Argo Junction (McCook)||IHB|
|Brunswick MD (WB)|
|Chicago IL (75th Street)||NS|
|Chicago Ridge IL||NS|
|Cincinnati Terminal (DY, KC, NA, GK, MD)|
|Connellsville PA (VI)|
|Cumberland MD (Mexico)|
|Cumberland MD (Viaduct Junction)|
|Danville (North Yard)||NS|
|East Saint Louis (HN)||CR|
|East Saint Louis (Willows)||CR|
|Flomaton AL (Palafax Street)|
|Grafton WV (D)|
|Grand Rapids (Plaster Creek)||CR|
|Hancock WV (HO)|
|Haselton (Center Street)||CR|
|Huntington WV (HO, DK)|
|Hyattsville MD (JD)|
|Jacksonville FL (Beaver Street)||FEC|
|Keyser WV (Z)|
|Martinsburg WV (NA)|
|Miller WV (R)|
|Mobile (State Docks)||TASD|
|New Castle (OA)|
|New Castle (UN)|
|Newton Falls (RS)|
|Ohio Junction (OW)|
|Patterson Creek WV (FN)|
|Peach Creek (FD)|
|Philadelphia PA (RG)|
|Presque Isle (Ironville)||NS|
|Rowlesburg WV (MK)|
|Sand Patch PA (SA)|
|Seymour IN (JO)||CR|
|Terre Haute IN (Haley)||CR|
|Toledo (Manhattan Boulevard)||AA|
|Toledo (Millard Avenue)|
|Versailles PA (MK)|
|Washington DC (QN)|
|West Cumbo WV|