VRE Converting Budd Coaches into Cafe Cars
Virginia Railway Express is converting four of its former Massachusetts Bay Budd car coaches into self-service cafe cars at a cost of $97,000 each. The cafe cars, which will accommodate up to 80 people, are scheduled for operation later this month.
Amtrak to Purchase New Trains for San Diegan
Amtrak has announced a $100-million investment to purchase new passenger trains for the San Diegan corridor, which serves more than 1.6 million passengers annually. The acquisition represents the single largest investment Amtrak has ever made in California.
CSXT Begins Extension of Track at Jacksonville Zoo
CSXT has begun a seven-tenths of a mile long track segment to link with the existing six-tenths of a mile segment it built in 1995 to complete a transportation system for the Jacksonville, Florida, Zoo. The new addition moves the zoo's railroad "from simply a ride to a true people-mover within the zoo grounds," according to a CSXT report.
CSXT Reports Crossing Closings in Excess of Goal
CSXT reports it closed 651 grade crossings in 1997, exceeding its goal for the year by about nine percent. Ninety-five of the closed crossings were on the Florence Service Lane. The goal for crossings to be closed in 1998 is 700.
CSXT Explains Locomotive Consist Arrangement
CSXT explained in a recent issue of its Midweek Report that locomotive consists of two or more units are often arranged so that older models are in the lead position, in front of more modern alternating current units, due to the potential for damage by crews who may unintentionally apply too much power at too low speeds. "We studied a representative sample of locomotive consisting and found that AC units properly trailed certain models that require the older engines to be in the lead because of the potential for damage. But we also found that some of the consists (about 25 percent of the mixed consists) had AC units as trailing units when they could be the lead units," according to Mike Cantrell, vice president-mechanical. He added that the company is studying traction motor protection panels to try to find a way to protect against power overloads on older models when they trail the AC units. "Tests are currently under way, but the technology is still relatively unproven."
CSXT Upgrading Signals on Coal River Subdivision
Upgrading of signals is occurring on CSXT's Coal River Subdivision on the C&O Business Unit where Electro-code is being installed along with new signals.
New Track Alignment in Charlottesville, Virginia, Completed
Cutover of a new track alignment in Charlottesville, Virginia, occurred on February 12. It is part of a project to build an underpass for hospital access and to close a crossing near the Norfolk Southern/CSXT diamond.
Jack Stith Dies, Rail Proponent
Jack Stith, of Richmond, Virginia, an avid rail proponent and one of the forefront leaders in the Old Dominion Chapter NRHS, has died. A school principal by profession, his experience in organizing and coordinating rail excursions can be traced back to the 1960's. He was 59.
Eckhart Branch Bridge in Cumberland, Maryland, Demolished
[Reported for the Bull Sheet by Mike Welsh]... One of Cumberland, Maryland's, oldest railroad structures has been demolished. The Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad's Eckhart Branch bridge over Will's Creek at the west end of the Cumberland Narrows was removed by contractors during a three-day period beginning January 19, 1998. It was nearly 153 years old...