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July 2004


Amtrak Updates its Five-Year Strategic Plan

Amtrak has updated its five-year strategic plan. The plan, published on June 29, has three components dealing with the existing national system, state-initiated intercity corridors and the national freight network. It states that Amtrak is making steady progress on the existing system to achieve its "state-of-good-repair objectives" and is continuing to control operating expenses. The corridor strategy includes state proposals supported by Amtrak for specific passenger rail corridor development. The freight strategy contains recommendations to protect and upgrade key facilities owned by freight railroads. The corridor and freight recommendations require federal matching investment programs to meet these goals. Planned infrastructure improvements over five years include reconstruction of 32 control points, installation of 885,000 concrete ties, 423 miles of track undercutting, 352 miles of new rail, rebuilding of five major bridges, 136 miles of signal cable replacement and renewal of 300 miles of catenary hardware. To support the existing system, the five-year strategic plan calls for federal funding averaging about $1.6-billion.


CSXT's Palmer Yard in Atlanta Dedicated

[CSXT Atlanta Division]... On June 2, 2004, Clarence Gooden, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for CSX Corporation, dedicated a new rail yard to the memory of Harold Palmer (1944-2000). Harold Palmer, born on May 10, 1944, was a native of Atlanta and joined the Seaboard Air Line Railroad on May 1,1965, as a fireman. He was promoted to locomotive engineer on December 4,1967, and served honorably and faithfully in the area. Mr. Palmer represented the best of the people on the front lines of CSX Transportation - dedicated to safety and customer service, and friend and mentor to co-workers. His wife, Betty Jo Palmer of Loganville, was in attendance along with their daughters, Laurie (Chuck) Bingham of Mountain City and Angie (Richie) Taylor of Monroe. Mr. Palmer is also survived by his sister Diane, and his brother Franklin, both of Loganville. Palmer Yard lies on 10 acres that straddle the Apalachee River in Barrow and Gwinnett counties near Auburn, Ga., on CSXT's Abbeville Subdivision. The five-track yard has capacity for 240 rail cars and also features a passing siding 10,000-feet long. A single-story yard office contains 3200 square feet of space for transportation managers, local train crews and maintenance of way personnel. Engineering features include environmental safeguards to prevent any contamination of the Apalachee River. Construction began in late 2002 and the yard went into service in early 2004, giving CSXT additional capacity with which to serve area customers.


MARC Opens Layover Facility in Martinsburg, W.Va.

MARC has opened a layover facility in Martinsburg, West Virginia, eliminating the need to deadhead trains to and from Brunswick, Maryland.


James Hertwig Named President of CSXI

James R. Hertwig has been named president of CSX Intermodal. He joins CSXI from Landstar Logistics Inc, a transportation services company, where he had served as president.


Union Pacific Breaks Ground for Intermodal Terminal in Texas

Union Pacific has broken ground for a new intermodal terminal to be located in the cities of Hutchins and Wilmer, about 15 miles southeast of downtown Dallas, on UP's main line between Dallas and Houston. Completion is expected in June 2005.


Amtrak Over-the-Road Train Performance

How the host carriers compare - June 2004

[By Allen Brougham] . . .

The survey was conducted using randomly selected examples from each of the host carriers between June 1 and June 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 June were as follows:


FRA Proposes Rule to Reduce Noise Exposure in Locomotive Cabs

The Federal Railroad Administration has proposed a rule aimed at reducing train crews' exposure to unnecessary noise and preventing engineers' hearing loss in locomotive cabs.


FRA Proposes Rule to Improve Locomotive Data Recorders

The Federal Railroad Administration has proposed a rule to improve the quality of locomotive data recorders to provide more complete information to investigators following an accident. The upgrades could cost the railroad industry about $22-million, according to a news report.


Mike Peterson Named VP of CSXT's Southern Region

Mike Peterson has been named vice president of CSXT's Southern Region, replacing Doug Greer, who has retired.