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June 2004


CSX Intermodal to Implement Service Changes

CSX Intermodal will implement a number of service changes beginning the end of this month. Some trains and terminals will be designated for containers only and will emphasize expanded use of doublestack trains, while other trains and one terminal will handle trailers only. Terminals designated for containers only include Charlotte, Mobile, Nashville, New Orleans, Portsmouth, Buffalo, Philadelphia, South Kearny, Detroit, Evansville, and the Hulsey terminal in Atlanta. The terminal at North Bergen will specialize in handling trailer shipments only. The changes are designed to simplify operations and improve on-time train performance, according to a CSXI report. Service will be discontinued in some lanes, and key lanes will be designated to reduce the amount of sorting required at CSXI's hubs in Jacksonville and Syracuse. "We anticipate strong import and export activity in the second half of 2004, and this program positions CSXI to handle that growth through our East Coast and West Coast ports," said Jeff Provow, assistant vice president-international.


CSXT to Lease Line in Virginia to Buckingham Branch Railroad

CSXT will lease 200 miles of track between Richmond and Clifton Forge, Virginia, to the Buckingham Branch Railroad. The line involved runs through Doswell, Gordonsville, Charlottesville, Waynesboro and Staunton. The deal also includes the line from Orange to Gordonsville. CSXT will retain trackage rights. Amtrak's Cardinal uses the portion between Orange and Clifton Forge three times a week in each direction.


Tom Murphy Dies

[By Allen Brougham] . . .

Thomas J. Murphy Jr., retired CSXT train dispatcher, died on April 27 following a lengthy illness. Tom was a Baltimore Division tower operator when I began with the B&O in 1970. We worked together on numerous occasions, I in one tower and he in another. It was always a pleasure when Tom was around, as he had an easygoing disposition with a sharp wit and attention to duty. I can recall, too, being especially grateful for his assistance in my earliest days - I'll call it mentoring - from his post at CX Tower while I was working at HB Tower, the next tower to his east. I had the jitters over my then-new assignment, and he called me on several occasions to offer encouragement.

Towers in the Baltimore area began closing in the mid-1980's, and Tom took a position as extra train dispatcher. At the time, the division dispatching center was located at Halethorpe, but that center was slated to be closed with the number of positions being reduced and those remaining being reestablished in Jacksonville, Florida. At first, he did not have the seniority for a position in Jacksonville, but as time went on he did transfer to that location.

I last worked with Tom while I was at Miller Tower and he was the dispatcher, working the extra list for my territory, in the early 1990's. Shortly thereafter he retired from the railroad due to disability. He had Parkinson's disease.

Tom was a subscriber to the Bull Sheet, and remained so until his death.

He is survived by his wife Susan, daughter Melissa, son Daniel, two brothers and two sisters.

The photo above was taken about 1980 when he was working as an operator at HX Tower at Halethorpe.


Martinsburg Roundhouse Adopts Caboose for Office

Pictured above is B&O I5d caboose C-1913 which was recently refurbished and put into use as an office for the Berkeley County Roundhouse Authority in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The photo was graciously supplied by Jennifer Baker, office assistant for the authority. The caboose is located next to the former B&O roundhouse which is currently undergoing restoration. According to historian David Lubic of Martinsburg, the caboose dates from the 1920's. It is constructed of wood with steel framing and was originally classed as an I5. Following its retirement by the B&O in 1970, it was used by a restaurant in Hagerstown, Maryland. Later it was moved to Winchester, Virginia, where it was used by a McDonald's restaurant as a party room, but it became surplus as its site was needed for playground expansion. The caboose was donated to the roundhouse authority and was moved to its new location by BB&T Bank. The roundhouse complex is also the home of Miller Tower.


CSX Intermodal Launches 'Transborder' Service

CSX Intermodal has launched "Transborder," a new service product from CSXI core locations to and from Mexico with 53-foot STAX equipment. Transborder offers an all-rail service, with shipments traveling in-bond and customs clearance at interior Mexican points.


Coal Traffic is Surging, CSXT Says

CSXT says that coal traffic is surging due to a combination of dwindling domestic stockpiles and high natural gas prices, combined with surprising overseas demand. "That means coal unit trains - loads and empties - need to move as quickly as possible to leverage the heavy demand," says Chris Jenkins, vice president coal and automotive.


Amtrak Over-the-Road Train Performance

How the host carriers compare - May 2004

[By Allen Brougham] . . .

The survey was conducted using randomly selected examples from each of the host carriers between May 1 and May 28. It is offered as a guide to how the host carriers compare with the others.

The figures (minutes of delay per 1,000 train miles) for the seven major host carriers in May were as follows:



Remembering the Parkton Local

[By Frank A. Wrabel] . . .

Some background: This month marks the 45th anniversary of the discontinuance of the Parkton Local. The Parkton Local had a very special place in my heart. Its very existence was a catalyst to my family in 1946 in moving from Baltimore to Monkton where my father, just back from the Navy, could use the train to commute to work. Then, in 1957, I became a regular commuter myself to attend my junior and senior years of high school in Baltimore. I rode the last trip of the Parkton Local, and my father and I were the very last passengers to detrain at Monkton. Today, I am a regular user of the Northern Central Railroad Trail, biking a portion of the now-former rail line I knew and loved. Frank Wrabel is a distinguished historian, and the following article has been published in serial format in 'News and Notes,' the quarterly publication of the Retired Administrators of the B&O Railroad. Special thanks to the author and to Ray Lichty, editor of 'News and Notes,' for their permission to reprint this article in this issue of the Bull Sheet.. A.B.