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The Bull Sheet

November 1991

Current News

The American-European Express has suspended service, at least until early next year, for financial reasons. According to CSXT's employee news service, AEE experienced cash problems linked to the grade crossing accident on June 21 in Indiana, which damaged six of the company's cars, and this resulted in reduced space availability during the summer months. AEE had been operating twice-weekly luxury train service between New York and Chicago by way of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, and was planning to convert to a wintertime New York-Florida service beginning later this month. These plans are now on hold.

CSXT dedicated its new car repair facility at Ravenna, Kentucky, last month. The site covers three repair tracks.

Amtrak has begun giving passengers of selected long-distance trains revised route guides using a new format that combines it with the Welcome Aboard brochure.

The president of an Amtrak food vendor has been charged with two counts of mail fraud. He had allegedly paid kickbacks to a former Amtrak buyer in exchange for the buyer's help to create $400,000 in double payments from Amtrak. The buyer allegedly involved in the scheme has since died.

The 70-year-old Union Station in Little Rock, Arkansas, has been sold to John and Patricia Bailey of Chicago for $500,000. According to the September issue of Arkansas Railroader, published by the Arknsas Railroad Club, the nw owners plan to move to Little Rock to oversee restoration of the building. Amtrak's Texas Eagle stops in Little Rock once daily in each direction, and Amtrak's lease with the facility will continue.

Amtrak's revenue-to-expense ratio for August was 78.6 percent, a 1.9 percent improvement from the same period last year.

Amtrak has dropped its local Philadelphia-Atlantic City runs, but trains from north, south and west of Philadelphia to Atlantic City will continue to operate.

Five Virginia Rail Express locomotives were sighted at Ivy City, Washington, D.C., last week.

A B&O 'sunburst' paint scheme has been applied to CSXT locomotive 4253. The painting, which was agreed to by CSXT, took place at Parkersburg, West Virginia, on September 22. It came about through the efforts of members of the Affiliation for Baltimore & Ohio System Historical Research, as a finale to their 1991 convention. Previous requests in 1984 and 1988 to apply sunburst designs to an engine had been denied, and temporary cardboard mockups were used on those occasions for photo sessions. The 1991 effort, however, is genuine.

Veteran B&O yardmaster Bill Callis retired on October 31 after over 35 years of railroad service. For the past 17 years he had been a yardmaster at Jessup, Maryland.

It has been about three decades since the 1905 depot at Perryville, Maryland, has been used for its intended purpose. Several weeks ago, following an extensive restoration effort, the building's doors were once again opened. Some finishing touches remain to be completed. A vintage telephone booth for the outside is one of them, according to MARC officials, and a number of items for the interior will be added later. Perryville is the northern end of MARC commuter service to Baltimore and Washington. The building is slated to be dedicated at ceremonies scheduled for November 18.

A new signal is in service at Westport, Md., on CSXT's Hanover Subdivision governing westward movements on redesignated number 1 track. Previously that track had been known as number 2 track. Track designations between this point and Mount Winans had been numbered from south to north, which was an exception to the normal procedure, but now the tracks are numbered north to south.

Snack-packs (called 'Trak-Paks'), which Amtrak had been distributing to sleeping car passengers as a bedtime feature, were discontinued early last month. The packs contained crackers, cheese, nuts, and a mint. Reportedly the company had been having some difficulty keeping the packs properly stocked for all of the trains that needed them, so evidently this problem got solved by discontinuing them altogether.