The Bull Sheet
The Keystone Classic Club Car, an exclusive daytime luxury parlor service, begins August 1 on Amtrak's Pennsylvanian. The service will operate westbound Thursdays and Saturdays, and eastbound on Fridays and Sundays. According to the July 22 edition of Amtrak's 'Newsbreak,' the car will accommodate up to 10 passengers, and amenities will include multi-course meals, a sitting room-library, observation windows, and complimentary bar service. Cost is $195, which is in addition to the applicable rail fare. The service is described as being aimed at 'upscale discretionary and business travelers,' but it is likely that rail enthusiasts will represent a significant portion of the market.
Amtrak is now testing three prototype waste systems for evaluation, one to be selected for fleet conversion to be completed by 1996. A pump-pressure system is being tested on the Auto Train; a vacuum system is being tested on the Cardinal, Empire Builder and Desert Wind; and a filter system is being tested on the Broadway Limited.
Amtrak opens its new $600,000 mechanical facility in Tampa on August 3.
Amtrak and the U.S. Forest Service began offering summertime interpretive guide programs last month aboard route segments of the Empire Builder, Pioneer and Coast Starlight.
CSXT continues to take delivery of new CW40-8 locomotives. As of July 28, units up to and including 7721 were on the roster.
CSXT has purchased 61 miles of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie from New Castle to near McKeesport, Pa., and the P&LE will continue to use the line with CSXT under a lease agreement.
Veteran B&O tower operator and agent Jerome McCauley Ford Sr. retired on July 5 after 42 years of railroad service. For the past 22 years, he was a ticket agent at Camden Station in Baltimore.
CSXT and the Ohio State Highway Patrol teamed up on June 26 to conduct one of the most successful 'Trooper on the Train' operations in the history of the program. Seventeen highway patrol units, two of the their planes, 12 local enforecement agencies and three CSXT police officers combined to issue 51 traffic citations in connection with grade-crossing violations. The operation took place on three freight trains running between Lima and Toledo. Press reporters were also on hand to witness the event.
CSXT has announced that it will begin operating with two principal line departments: Operating, and Sales & Marketing. Jerry Davis will head Operations, and Pete Carpenter will head Sales & Marketing, both as executive vice-presidents, reporting to Bob Kirk, CSXT president and CEO. Also, Mechanical Operations will combine car and locomotive, reporting to Carl Taylor, vice-president of mechanical. A new Service Design organization will be headed by Bill Hart, vice-president. Bob Bernard has been named vice-president of safety, quality and environment, reporting to Jerry Davis.
Even though CSXT has followed the rail industry's profit pattern in the 1980's and "performed very well in ralative terms, we're not really in control of our destiny," said CSXT president and CEO Bob Kirk. "At best, we only followed industry trends; we've got to do better than that," he said. He noted that challenging times were ahead for U.S. railroads, and predicted further shakeouts in the industry. "And when the dust has settled, CSXT will be one of the several large, viable carriers out there," he said.
On Sunday, July 7, Amtrak's southbound Yankee Clipper missed making its scheduled stop at Kingstown, R.I., reportedly stranding about 100 passengers who were there waiting to get on. Those on the train who wanted to get off did not get to do that, either, and their friends and relatives became alarmed when Amtrak responded to inquiries that the stop had actually been made. A later train made a special stop to pick up those still waiting to be picked up.