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March 1995


Conrail's AC Tower Closes

Conrail's AC Tower in Marion, Ohio, closed January 18.


CSXT Introduces "Dixie Flyer"

CSXT has introduced "Dixie Flyer" service to improve transit of Chicago-bound traffic from the Southeast by at least one day. The schedule of R646 has been changed to originate at Hamlet and bypass Nashville, and the schedule of Q648 has been adjusted to affect service from Waycross and connections from Florida. The service is designed to attract new paper business, but other commodities can benefit.


CSXT Places Rebuilt Hoppers into Service

The first batch of coal hoppers rebuilt at the Raceland Car Shop in 1995 were loaded last month. Approximately 350 employees have been recalled at Raceland in anticipation of increased demand for coal with the total workforce now at about 450. Raceland is projected to rebuild about 4000 cars this year.


Yellow Nose Applied to CSXT Redblock Engine

CSXT GP38-2 unit 2704 now has a one-of-a-kind paint scheme. It is the Redblock engine for the former Tampa Division. According to Bob Michaels of Howell, Michigan, it now has a yellow nose 1 (YN1) paint application. This make it the only Redblock unit with a yellow nose.


CSXT Sells Mount Pleasant Subdivision

CSXT has sold its Mount Pleasant Subdivision in Pennsylvania. The 4-mile portion between Broadford and Everson was bought by the Fayette County Transportation Company, and the 5-mile portion between Everson and Mount Pleasant was bought by the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation.


Yardmaster Positions at Potomac Yard Abolished

Yardmaster positions at Potomac Yard, Virginia, have been abolished.


Gertrude Thomas Dies

Gertrude Thomas, veteran B&O/CSXT agent and operator in Brunswick, Maryland, died on February 1.


VRE Considering Washington-Richmond Train

Virginia Railway Express officials are considering plans to run an afternoon train from Washington to Richmond and return.


Amtrak to Boost Agent Commissions for Promotional Fares

Amtrak has announced it will increase commissions to travel agents on short-term promotional fares from 10 percent to between 12 and 15 percent.


Gerald Nichols Replacing Jerry Davis in CSXT Post

Gerald L. Nichols, 59, has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer for CSXT. He succeeds Jerry Davis who has been named president of Southern Pacific.


CSXT Realigns Some Dispatching Territories

CSXT train dispatching territories on the Cumberland Division are being realigned as follows: The "AT" dispatcher will have jurisdiction on the New Castle, Newton Falls and W&P subdivisions; and the "CN" dispatcher will have jurisdiction on the Pittsburgh, Mon and P&W subdivisions. Meanwhile, on the Louisville Division, jurisdiction of the Midland, C&N, Lake Erie and Central Ohio subdivisions is being transferred from the "CN" dispatcher to the "AT" dispatcher.


CSXT Yardmasters at Loyall and Knoxville Relocated

CSXT yardmaster functions at Loyall, Kentucky, and Knoxville, Tennessee, have been relocated to the division centralized yardmaster center at Corbin, Kentucky.


CSXT Equips Locomotives for Fuel Tender Operation

Some CSXT CW44AC locomotives are equipped with fuel transfer systems by which they can be fueled automatically from a fuel tender when the locomotive fuel tank reaches a predetermined level. Fuel tender 993368 has been designed and built to operate with these locomotives. The tender is 77 feet long, equipped with bottom shelf "F" couplers, and has a capacity of 26,600 gallons. It is an auxiliary tank on conventional freight car trucks with walkway platforms only on the ends. This arrangement will not allow access between locomotives coupled to both ends of the fuel tender. The combination of locomotives and fuel tender will decrease delays by reducing the need for stops to refuel.


For Engineering Employees, Work is a "Real Zoo"

[From CSXT Employee News Service] . . . Work has been a real zoo lately for about three dozen CSXT Engineering Department employees. These track, bridge and signal workers are building a new railroad at the Jacksonville, Florida, zoo. The project is part of a $700,000 corporate donation by CSXT. In addition to the new track structure, CSXT is contributing two custom-designed trains to carry visitors around the perimeter of the facility. Tom Schmidt, vice president-engineering, said this project, begun about a year ago, has been fun for his employees, but has presented some unique challenges as well. "Because we're building a narrow-gauge railroad, our workers can't use the same machinery they would normally use," he said. "The lion's share of the finishing work on this track will have to be done manually, the way it was done years ago." The new track is 3-foot gauge, narrower than the 4-foot-8-and-one-half-inch standard gauge. Dale Tuttle, the zoo's executive director, said the new transportation system will accommodate the large crowds expected as the zoo continues its $50-million transformation into a world-class facility. "We're grateful for CSX Transportation's generosity, which makes this new transportation system possible," he said.

CSXT Runs First Heavy-Loading Grain Train for Cargill

[From CSXT Employee News Service] . . . On January 13, Cargill loaded its first 286,000 pounds-per-car grain train on CSXT at Linden, Indiana, to its poultry feed mill at Oglethorpe, Georgia. The train consisted of 65 privately-owned 5150 cubic foot capacity covered hopper cars. Cargill is one of CSXT's largest agricultural customers. "Loading cars heavier represents a productivity gain of nine percent over the standard limit," said Matt Tobin, CSXT national account manager.


Vermont Train Service to Continue

[Reported by Tom Kraemer] . . . In a meeting held February 21, Vermont Governor Howard Dean (D) made a deal with Amtrak to continue rail service in the state of Vermont through April 1996. The deal says that Vermont will give $581,000 to continue service, and Amtrak will increase all ticket fares on the train by $5. The train itself, however, will become a "day" service, terminating in St. Albans. Currently Amtrak's Montrealer serves this route, and it runs at night. The day train will likely have no sleeper, and dining service will probably be downgraded to lounge service. The change is tentatively slated to take effect April 1.


Vintage Depots Being Built at Riverdale, Md.

Construction has begun for turn-of-the-century-looking depots to serve MARC passengers at Riverdale, Maryland. A 10' x 30' structure will be constructed along the westbound side of the CSXT Capital Subdivision (MARC Camden Line) with completion expected this spring. The building will be brick with painted wood trim, and stone or concrete will decorate its corners. The roof will be constructed of shingles that look like slate, and skylights will be added to the front and rear sides of the building. Double doors will open to the platform and will operate on a time-lock system to coincide with the schedule of the trains. The building will be heated in colder weather, and it is estimated that up to 30 commuters will be able to wait inside. In case of train delays, passengers will be able to hear broadcasts of schedule information both inside and outside the building. Along the eastbound side of the tracks will be an open 8' x 15' brick waiting shelter. Its roof will be designed to match that of the station building, but it will have a cupola instead of skylights. Each building will display signs identifying the stop, and will include either the seal of the town of Riverdale or the winning drawing from a town center design competition. Riverdale, the final stop for Camden Line trains before they arrive in Washington, is one-half mile east of the former site of JD Tower, which closed in 1992.

[Contributing information on the stations was provided in an article by Chris Davis, a daily MARC commuter, appearing in the Riverdale Town Crier, official newsletter of the Town of Riverdale, Maryland.]