Archive for the ‘Railroad News’ Category

NS Police Officer Hurt in Scuffle

August 30, 2014


A Norfolk Southern police officer in Cleveland was knocked unconscious on Wednesday afternoon after he and a burglary suspect fell from a bridge.

The officer, whose name was not given in media accounts, found a man trying to break into a rail car near Broadway and Harvard avenues at about 4 p.m. The men struggled and both fell about 14 feet off the bridge.

Paramedics took both men to MetroHealth Medical Center. The officer, 27, suffered head injuries and lost consciousness. The burglary suspect, 54, was in stable condition with multiple abrasions.

An NS spokesman confirmed that one of its police officers was involved in the incident, but said more details should come from Cleveland police. However, Cleveland police did not provide details of the incident.




Columbus Gets Amtrak Thruway Service

August 30, 2014

Amtrak has reinstated Thruway bus service between Pittsburgh and Columbus. The bus departs Columbus at 1:10 a.m. and connects with the eastbound Capitol Limited and Pennsylvanian. The bus is scheduled to arrive in Pittsburgh at 4:35 a.m.

The westbound bus departs Pittsburgh at 2 a.m. and offers connections from both the Pennsylvanian and the Capitol Limited. However, the connection from the Pennsylvanian is a long one of six hours.

Tickets can be purchased at, but the online timetables and maps do not yet include the new service.

Greyhound operates the bus, which will use the Columbus Greyhound Station. In Pittsburgh, passengers must walk across Liberty Avenue between the Pittsburgh Amtrak and Greyhound stations to make connections to their trains.

Amtrak Summer Skeds to Stay Until October

August 27, 2014

The modified schedule for Amtrak’s Michigan trains that was imposed for summer track will continue through late September.

The track work is being conducted in western Michigan and affects the Chicago-Detroit (Pontiac) Wolverine Service and the Chicago-Port Huron, Mich., Blue Water.

Primarily affected is westbound No. 365, the Blue Water. Wolverine passengers traveling from western Michigan points to Chicago will continue to have an additional eastbound trip on Sundays and an additional westbound trip on Mondays through Sept. 30. Regular Wolverine Service and Blue Water schedules will resume on Oct. 1. The schedule of the Chicago-Grand Rapids, Mich., Pere Marquette is not affected.

CN to Relocate Tracks for Runway Expansion

August 27, 2014

Canadian National has agreed to relocate its tracks in Northwest Indiana to allow for expansion of a runway at the Gary/Chicago International Airport.

Once an agreement is reached, CN will begin work on a connector segment to the CSX Gary branch line. The airport and CN are expected to finalize the agreements by mid October.

CSX plans to abandon its Fort Wayne branch line and will relocate to the Gary branch line to avoid crossing CN tracks.

Last week the Surface Transportation Board approved a regulatory document resolving common carrier rights issues on the Fort Wayne branch line.

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District South Shore Line includes a stop at Gary Airport/Clark Road Station.


Pennsylvania Awards $35M in Rail Grants

August 25, 2014


The Pennsylvania State Transportation Commission has approved $35.9 million for 39 freight-rail projects, including 26 through the Rail Freight Assistance Program and 13 through the Rail Transportation Assistance Program. The allocations through RTAP include:

• $5 million to the Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad Co. to construct a bridge across the Lehigh River and 1,200 feet of new connecting track.
• $4.3 million to R. J. Corman Railroad Group to install cross and switch ties, renew several grade crossings, install bridge ties and perform other trackwork.
• $3.2 million to Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co. to install 14.5 miles of continuous-welded rail in the Pittsburgh Subdivision.
• $2 million to Buffalo Pittsburgh Railroad Inc. to complete trackwork between Kittanning and New Castle to restore the Chewton and Mosgrove West sidings, and provide 11,400 feet of additional siding capacity.
• $1.9 million to the Allegheny Valley Railroad Co. to rehabilitate the 36th Street bridge to increase its weight capacity and reduce a curve.
• $713,020 to Pittsburgh Ohio Central Railroad to realign track, construct 4,460 feet of new track, build a turnout and create a second long track in Scully Yard.

• $701,960 to Union Railroad to repair the approaches on the north and south portals to the railroad’s North Bessemer Tunnel.
• $700,000 to Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway to install 60,800 feet of continuous-welded rail, 10,000 new ties and four turnouts.
• $634,106 to Conrail Corp. to install ties and timbers, and surface 27,081 feet of track in three Philadelphia-area locations.
• $489,636 to  the Pittsburgh and Ohio Central Railroad to replace a turnout, ties and 8,960 feet of rail, and complete other track improvements.
• $448,078 to the Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad L.L.C. to repair a railroad bridge, including timber repairs and replacements, and track approach work.
• $353,500 to Lehigh Railway L.L.C. to rehabilitate, raise, line and surface sidings at the Wyalusing Terminal.
• $295,942 to the Hollidaysburg & Roaring Spring Railroad to repair two bridges and improve public crossings.



Amtrak Changes Viewliner Order

August 25, 2014

Amtrak has altered its new car order, deciding to cut the number of Viewliner II baggage-dormitory cars from 25 to 10 while increasing by 15 the number of baggage cars that it wants. The cars are being built by CAF USA at Elmira Heights, N.Y. The original order for 25 dining cars and 25 sleeping cars is unchanged.

Amtrak declined to explain why the Viewliner order had changed other than to specifiy that it was done “to address business needs.” The current single-level fleet requires about 17 train sets to operate the Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Crescent, and Lake Shore Limited daily and the Cardinal tri-weekly.

The change in the Viewliner order means that baggage-dormitory cars will not operate consistently on every train. Crew members will therefore need to be accommodated in space in regular Viewliner sleepers.

Increasing the number of baggage cars being built will mean that checked baggage and bicycle carriage will be able to be extended to additional trains in the Northeast Corridor and on state-supported routes.

Viewliner II baggage cars will replace cars that are more than 50 years old.

In a related development, California and three Midwest states plan to acquire an additional 45 bi-level cars from Nippon Sharyo.

The states had ordered 130 cars that are being assembled in Rochelle, Ill. That contract provided an add-on options at a slightly increased cost, depending upon car type.

The order will now include 122 cars to be used in Midwest corridor service and 175 cars to be used in California. The first of these cars are expected to enter service by 2016.

Reading & Northern Gets Grant for Bridge

August 25, 2014


The Reading & Northern Railroad has landed a $10 million state grant to build a new railroad bridge over the Lehigh River near Nesquehoning in Carbon County, Pa. The R&N will contribute $4 million to the project.

The bridge will provide a route connecting the Philadelphia region to New England and eastern Canada. Reading & Northern will offer the use of this route to Norfolk Southern and Canadian Pacific railroads, both of which already use part of the short line’s network.

Andrew Muller, Jr., owner and CEO of the railroad, said that the bridge will enable Reading & Northern to provide improved service to dozens of its existing customers. It will be the fastest and route into the Marcellus Shale territory in northeast Pennsylvania and it will carry double-stack intermodal containers to flow in and out of the Port of Philadelphia to points in the northeastern U.S. and Canada.

“I have been working for almost two decades to bring this bridge and resulting new route to fruition,” Muller said in a news release. “This bridge will enable us to better serve our customers and it will bring economic development and jobs to northeastern Pennsylvania.”

It will take 18 months to construct the bridge. Under the terms of the grant, the state funds will be made available over two fiscal years with half of the funds released each year.



Great Lakes Central Names new GM

August 24, 2014

Great Lakes Central Railroad has named Chris Bagwell as its general manager. Bagwell has managed maintenance-of-way, transportation, passenger and mechanical operations since joining the railroad as transportation manager in 2007.

He later served as project manager.  Bagwell served in the U.S. Army as a squad leader and staff sergeant.

GLC  operates 400 miles of track from the northern lower peninsula of Michigan to Ann Arbor. The railroad interchanges with CN, CSX, Norfolk Southern (through the Ann Arbor Railroad) and the Huron & Eastern Railway.

Indiana Rail Road Backs Dugger School

August 23, 2014

The Indiana Rail Road has agreed to donate $50,000 in matching funds to support the residents of Dugger, Ind., who are trying to establish and sustain the Dugger-Union Community School.

The money will be used to pay for operational expenses and extracurricular activities, and is contingent upon the school raising a sum-total in matching grants or finding a donor willing to  match the railroad’s pledge. The Northeast School Corp. board voted last winter to close Dugger Union High School.

“As a native of a small town in Illinois and a long-time proponent of the southwest Indiana economy, I’ve seen what can happen to communities that lose their schools: they simply dry up,” said Tom Hoback, founder, president, and CEO of the railroad.

“Dugger is an important anchor for [the Indiana Rail Road] and our nearby customers, such as Peabody Energy. Many of our employees and families live there; many generations have attended Union High School. I know it hasn’t been an easy year for Dugger parents and volunteers, but I’m proud and happy to see their efforts come through.”

The railroad is also exploring options, along with Peabody Energy’s nearby Bear Run Mine, the local carpenters union, and other local employers, to provide in-class training for Dugger-Union students who wish to pursue a career in vocational trade industries.

NS Airs TV Commercial During Election Season

August 23, 2014


Norfolk Southern has released a television commercial that will air through the mid-term elections on CNN and Fox News.

The 30-second commercial is aimed at business decision makers and the public. Titled “Just Another Day,” it highlights how NS moves a “nearly inconceivable” amount of freight every day, but to their folks it’s “just another day.”

NS said that the commercial’s message is about “getting it done” every day, and positions NS as part of the fabric of American life.

The commercial was produced by the RP3 Agency under director Ray Dillman, an Emmy winner who has created commercials for AllState, the U.S. Army, American Airlines, PGA, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Home Depot, Zales Jewelers, and others. The commercial was filmed in Atlanta’s Inman Yard.




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