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September 1993


CSXT's Baltimore Terminal Dispatchers' Office to Close

It was a state of the art facility when the then-B&O Baltimore dispatchers moved into their new home in 1983. They had previously held fort at Camden Station. The old station (and one time railroad corporate headquarters) was about to be vacated, and the positions were moved to the Canco Building at Halethorpe, just outside of Baltimore.

They were joined in the beginning by a Western Maryland position that moved there from Hagerstown, and later by other B&O positions moving in from Cumberland and Pittsburgh.

All of the modern amenities were in place, including the latest computer technology, and the contrast between the old and the new was about as striking as between night and day.

But technology and the quest for consolidation were soon to catch up with the new, and an even newer, more modern dispatching center was born just four years after the Canco facility opened, and most of its positions got shipped off to Jacksonville, Florida.

All except for one... the dispatching slot that had control of the Baltimore Terminal. It remained.

For the past four and one-half years, that lone position has kept vigil in an office designed for five times that number. There were recurring reports that the position would soon be moved to Jacksonville - or that it might not be moved at all.

Now it appears that the move is certain - and the latest report has the position taking off for Jacksonville on September 13. When that happens, it will be the end of an era.

History might not recognize the significance of this event. You see, train dispatching is a mostly hidden entity. It lacks the glamor of the more visible parts of railroading. The last run of a noted train makes news... the closing of a dispatchers' office does not.

But the event should not go unnoticed. After all, the B&O (the first railroad in the land) had been dispatching trains from offices in Baltimore since its year one. Now, with the demise of the Canco office, no major railroad will have any dispatching functions within the State of Maryland. Norfolk Southern, Conrail and Amtrak all do their thing from other states. So, too, will CSXT. Only shortlines, and the Baltimore MTA, will have any dispatching functions locally.

But if the event gets little notice, there is at least one coincidental twist to history. In 1927, the B&O staged its highly touted and well-remembered Fair of the Iron Horse. It was there that history came face to face with the present and future. Thousands upon thousands of folks witnessed a pageant presented as a part of that fair from a grandstand.

The site of the fair's staging area, just east of that grandstand, is now occupied by... the Canco Building.



CSXT, UTU Implement 2-Member Crew Agreement on Former C&O

CSXT and the United Transportation Union have implemented a two-member-crew agreement to eliminate brakeman positions on the former C&O portion of the system. This comes on the heels of a similar agreement on the former B&O implemented several weeks earlier. Virtually all of CSXT now operates with a two-member-crew agreement.


CSXT Donates Equipment to B&O Museum

The following equipment from the CSXT track department at Laurel, Maryland, has been donated and moved to the B&O Museum in Baltimore: B&O-376321, an M15PD wagontop boxcar; B&O-471244, an M69B double-door auto parts boxcar; B&O-679, a B21M baggage car; and CSXT-X1346, a camp car which was formerly a C&O express car and blackout troop diner. The camp car will be moved to Sykesville, Maryland, on loan for the display of Lionel train equipment.


MARC to Purchase 19 Rebuilt Locomotives

The Maryland Rail Commuter Service has funding for the purchase of 19 rebuilt GP40-2 units from Morrison Knudsen, with delivery early next year at the rate of two a month. The likelihood is that these units will replace MARC's fleet of E and F units.


CSXT Converts BQ23-7's into B Units

CSXT class BQ23-7 units are being converted into B units with their windows plated over.


CSXT Abandons Portion of Bridgeport Subdivision

CSXT has abandoned the westernmost five miles of the Bridgeport Subdivision between Short Line Junction and Wilsonburg, West Virginia. This was once part of the B&O Cumberland to Cincinnati mainline through Clarksburg and Parkersburg.


Norfolk Southern Offering Retirement Program

Norfolk Southern has announced the offering of a voluntary retirement program for 13 percent of non-contract employees of its railroad.


Paul Kisling Retires

Veteran B&O conductor Paul Kisling has retired. His last trip was August 25-26 after 41 years and eight months of service.