Archive for the ‘Railroad News’ Category

LSL Boston Section Disrupted by Track Work

June 3, 2023

Track work on the former Boston & Albany line of CSX in Massachusetts will result in the cancellation of some trips of the Boston section of Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited between June 4 and 29.

On most weekdays during the maintenance of way window period the Boston section will not operate between Boston and Albany-Rensselaer, New York.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said Train 448 would not operate Sunday through Thursday, while Train 449 will not run Monday through Thursday.

No. 448 will run as normal on Fridays and Saturdays. No. 449 will operate normally on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Alternative transportation on the days when 448/449 are cancelled between Boston and Albany will be provided to Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester and Boston South Station. No alternate transportation will be provided to the missed stops of Framingham and Back Bay.

The New York section of the Lake Shore Limited, Nos. 48 and 49, will operate as scheduled on all days.

Track Work to Disrupt Wolverine Trains

June 3, 2023

Track work being planned by Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation will result in cancellations of some Wolverine Service trains between July 31 and Oct. 5.

During the period, Trains 350 and 353 will only operate on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Both trains also will operate on Labor Day, Sept. 4.

The Blue Water between Chicago and Port Huron, Michigan, will stop at all stations in southwestern Michigan served by Nos. 350 and 353 on days that those trains do not operate.

Amtrak said the track work will not affect the operation of Wolverine Service trains 351, 352, 354, and 355.

CSX Adds New Detectors to Toledo Sub

June 3, 2023

CSX has increased the number of defect detectors that it has in service on its Toledo Subdivision in western Ohio.

The detectors check passing trains for issues involving overheated bearings and stuck brakes.

The new detectors are located at milepost 39.2 near Middletown, MP 82.7 between Piqua and Troy, and at MP 105 at Anna.

W.Va. Short Line May be Shutting Down

May 31, 2023

A West Virginia coal mine served by the Beech Mountain Railroad may be closing later this year.

The Carter Roag Coal Company has said it plans to close its Morgan Camp mine, which will put 230 people out of work.

The mining company owns the rail line serving the mine and is expected to shut it down.

A report on the website of Railfan & Railroad said the 10-mile short line in Randolph County has a fleet of Alco and EMD switchers. The mine is the rail line’s only shipper.

Although the mine is expected to remain open through the end of the year, layoffs of workers there have already begun.

NS to Donate Depot to East Palestine

May 31, 2023

An artist rendering of the restored East Palestine depot.

Norfolk Southern said last week that it will renovate a former Pennsylvania Railroad passenger depot in East Palestine and donate it to the town.

In a news release, NS said it will provide a $100,000 grant for the renovation, which the Class 1 carrier said will restore and upgrade the exterior of the building.

The depot’s interior will be turned into a “blank space” that the community can use in whatever manner it desires.

The depot is thought to have been built in the 1890s and has sat unused for the past few decades.

In an unrelated development, NS also said last week it has signed a two-year lease to continue operating a family assistance center in East Palestine that it established shortly after a Feb. 3 derailment forced the evacuation of hundreds for several days.

The FAC opened at its new location at noon on Tuesday. The center was moved from the Abundant Life Fellowship Church in New Waterford to Rebecca Place, located at 191 East Rebecca Street in East Palestine.

The center will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The center is closed on Sundays.

Consultant to Review NS Safety Culture

May 31, 2023

Norfolk Southern has hired a consulting firm to evaluate the company’s safety culture.

In a news release, NS said it has retained Atkins Nuclear Secured to conduct an independent review of safety practices.

The consultant will report to NS President and CEO Alan Shaw. Among the items that ANS will review are the railroad’s safety training programs, employee engagement, oversight and monitoring, and communications protocols and practices.

NS said it will implement in stages changes to improve safety.

In an unrelated development, Shaw and the leaders of 12 labor unions representing NS worker have written a letter pledging to work together to improve safety practices.

The letter was sent to all NS craft employees represented by the unions and to NS management.

“We won’t agree on everything. That’s OK,” the letter said in part. “Our belief in the importance of safety unites us. We want our people to show up to work every day knowing their employer and their union are working diligently to help them do their jobs safely.

CSX Reaches 10th Pact on Sick Leave

May 23, 2023

CSX said this week it has reached a tentative agreement with another labor union on paid sick leave benefits.

The latest pact is with the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Transportation Division CSRA, which represents trainmen, conductors and yardmen on territories of the former A&WP, WSSP, L&N, NC&STL and SCL railroads, to provide paid sick leave benefits.

The Class 1 railroad said the agreement is the 10th sick leave agreement it has reached with its labor unions.

The SMART-TD CSRA pact is subject to ratification by members of that union.

In a statement, CSX said most of its unionized workers now have paid sick leave benefits.

UP Big Boy to Operate to Omaha Next Month

May 23, 2023

The Union Pacific Big Boy steam locomotive will return to operation on June 7 during a trip to Omaha, Nebraska.

The famed 4-8-8-4 locomotive is making the trip, which has been billed as the Home Run Express Tour, in conjunction with the NCAA baseball College World Series, which will be held in Omaha for 11 days between June 15-25.

During the baseball tournament the 4014 will be on display near the ball park hosting the games. UP said the locomotive will make several whistle stops en route from Cheyenne, Wyoming, where the Big Boy is based, to Omaha.

The locomotive will return to Cheyenne on July 3. The planned en route stops include: June 7: Albin and LaGrange, Wyoming, overnight in Gering, Nebraska; June 8: Broadwater and Lemoyne, overnight in North Platte; June 10: Cozad, Kearney and Grand Island; and June 1: Columbus and Fremont.

During the return trip stops are planned as follows: June 29: Fremont, Columbus and Grand Island; June 30: Overton and Gothenburg, overnight in North Platte; July 2: Ogallala and Chappell, overnight in Sidney; July 3: Kimball, Nebraska, and Pine Bluffs, Wyoming.

Alco PA Arrives in Scranton

May 21, 2023

An Alco PA painted in a Nickel Plate Road “bluebird” livery arrived at its new home in Pennsylvania last Friday.

The former Santa Fe and Delaware & Hudson unit was ferried across the country from Oregon to Pennsylvania by BNSF, Montana Rail Link, and Norfolk Southern.

A report on the website of Railfan & Railroad magazine said No. 190 was delivered to an NS yard in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and was then picked up by its new owner, Genesee Valley Transportation’s Delaware-Lackawanna.

The PA is to be displayed through June at Steamtown National Historic Site.

NS Reaches Sick Leave Pact With BLET

May 21, 2023

Norfolk Southern and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen last week reached agreement on paid leave for union members.

The pact provides for up to seven paid sick days a year. Locomotive engineers will receive five new days of paid sick leave per year while having the option to use up to two additional days of existing paid time off as sick leave.

In a news release, NS and union officials said the agreement will affect 3,300 locomotive engineers, representing almost 25 percent of NS craft workers.

NS now has agreements in place granting paid sick leave to 98 percent of its craft employees.

The paid sick leave agreement is accompanied by a second quality-of-life agreement that needs to be ratified by BLET members.

That agreement offers additional preservation of earnings unique to NS engineers when they use paid sick leave, as well as greater protection for vacation time, officials said.

The paid sick leave agreement will be effective upon ratification of the second agreement.