Posts Tagged ‘CSX in West Virginia’

Action on North and South Ohio Rail Lines

May 28, 2021

Most rail lines in Ohio are oriented east-west and are dispatched as such. But even some rail lines that physically operate on a north-south orientation are dispatched as east and west rather than north and south.

This can be seen in Marion where former Chesapeake & Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad routes come through town on a north-south orientation but are dispatched as east-west routes.

In western Ohio, a couple of rail lines are dispatched north and south. Shown above are some images made on the CSX Toledo Subdivision (former Baltimore & Ohio) and the Indiana & Ohio (former Detroit, Toledo & Ironton).

In the top image a southbound CSX auto rack train, the Q203, is approaching Hook-Watz Road north of Cairo, Ohio. It has just passed beneath a signal bridge visible in the distance that still holds a B&O color position light signal.

Next up is southbound steel train K596, which is moving from the north end of a lap siding at Cairo to the main.

Moving farther south, we find southbound manifest freight Q509 rolling along south of Wapakoneta. Note the B&O position signals in the distance. These are still several of them on the Toledo Sub.

Skipping even further south, we find the Q561 in Hamilton, Ohio, on the joint track used by CSX and Norfolk Southern.

Now let’s check out some I&O trains starting with a southbound that has just left the yard in Lima. It is crossing the former Pennsylvania Railroad’s Fort Wayne Line at Sugar Street.

We head back north to Ottawa where we find an I&O train getting off its own rails and onto the CSX Toledo Sub. The former DT&I is abandoned between here and Lima.

Not far down the road that same I&O train is passing the grain elevator complex in Columbus Grove. At one time, the Akron, Canton & Youngstown crossed the B&O here although the crossing was farther south from the grain elevator.

Finally, we end the series with an oldie. This southbound I&O train was captured on its own tracks south of Hamler on July 19, 2009, and was scanned from a slide.

You wouldn’t know this was the I&O from the motive power being used. In fact you might not think you were even in Ohio.

All the other images in this series were made this past April.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

CSX Train Hit Police Cruiser in West Virginia

June 4, 2019

A CSX train struck a police car in South Charleston, West Virginia, after the cruiser drove onto the tracks on Sunday.

The police officer, who had gotten out of his vehicle before it was struck, was chasing a vehicle that had failed stop during a traffic stop. The driver of the fleeing vehicle drove onto the tracks as well.

A front tire of the cruiser became stuck on a rail near a grade crossing. After the collision, the eastbound train drug the cruiser along the tracks and across a bridge over a road.

The suspect being chased was later apprehended by police.

CSX Hit With $2.2M in Fines for Oil Spill, Fire

July 27, 2018

CSX is expected to pay $2.2 million in penalties to settle an action stemming from a 2015 derailment and subsequent oil spill.

The railroad would pay $1.2 million to the federal government and $1 million to the State of West Virginia to settle water pollution violations.

In a state-negotiated agreement, CSX will pay $500,000 to a state-administered fund to upgrade a water treatment facility in Fayette County, West Virginia.

The federal agencies involved in the case were the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice.

The derailment occurred on Feb. 16, 2015, at Mount Carbon, West Virginia, when 27 cars of a CSX train with 109 rail cars carrying crude oil derailed. The train carried 29,000 gallons of Bakken crude and about half of the cars ignited.

Some of the oil flowed into the Kanawha River and Armstrong Creek.

The explosions and fires destroyed an adjacent home and garage. A local state of emergency was declared, nearby water intakes were shut down and area residents were evacuated.

The settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. CSX officials declined to comment on the settlement.

CSX Derailment Halts Traffic in W.Va.

June 28, 2018

No injuries were reported and nearby residents were evacuated after a CSX train derailed on Wednesday morning in St. Albans, West Virginia.

Police Chief Joe Crawford said the evacuations were a precaution.

The derailment occurred about 7:15 a.m. and involved a coal train that derailed 20 cars.

The incident occurred near a crossover switch at the east end of St. Albans on the Kanawha Subdivision.

First responders said a small amount of coal tumbled into a nearby creek. Officials said the train was not hauling hazardous materials and the environmental impact is minimal.

The evacuation plans were activated in the event that flooding occurred.

Workers were expected to have the tracks cleared and rebuilt within 24 to 48 hours.

Amtrak’s eastbound Cardinal was halted at Huntington, West Virginia, and its westbound counterpart was canceled.

The coal train was traveling to Hinton, West Virginia.

CSX Empty Coal Train Derails in West Virginia

April 17, 2018

No injuries have been reported in a CSX derailment in West Virginia that sent 10 empty coal hoppers and two locomotive off the tracks.

The accident occurred along the New River and CSX said a rockslide may have triggered the derailment.

The accident just south of the Thayer Post Office Road in Thurmond.

Officials said there is a risk of leaking diesel fuel because one of the locomotives landed on its side. The nose of a locomotive was reported to be in the river.

The train with two locomotives and 97 cars was bound for Hutchinson, West Virginia.

The rail line is a former Chesapeake & Ohio route. Heavy rains, wind and a sudden drop in temperatures had struck on Sunday the area where the derailment occurred.

CSX Using Distributed Power on Coal Trains

January 30, 2018

CSX is now routinely using distributed motive power on unit coal trains in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia.

The carrier has tested mid-train technology on the former Chesapeake & Ohio route in the past two years, running a few trains of more than 200 cars.

The norm has been unit trains of 110 or 150 cars, but with distributed power the trains can be up to 220 cars in length and need one crew. The longer trains sometimes exceed 30,000 tons.

The trains originate at mines in the Appalachian Mountains and operate to export facilities near Newport News, Virginia.

As part of its shift to the precision scheduled railroading model, CSX is running fewer and longer trains in an effort to cut labor and equipment costs. The railroad is operating with fewer locomotives than it has in the past.

Trains magazine reported that it not clear if the use of distributed power will continue, but cited unnamed sources said to be familiar with the operation as saying that crews are being trained in the use of distributed power.

CSX Moving Again in West Virginia

June 29, 2016

CSX has slowly begun restoring traffic to its lines in West Virginia that were closed after flooding washed out tracks and dumped debris on the right of way.

On Monday trains began using the Alleghany and New River subdivisions between Clifton Forge, Virginia, and Handley, West Virginia.

CSX logo 3Some traffic had been held in Clifton Forge since last week when a storm dumped up to 7 inches of rain on parts of the Mountain State.

The mix of traffic included intermodal, manifest freight, grain and unit coal trains.

The Sewell Valley Subdivision near Rainelle, West Virginia, was still closed.

Although Amtrak’s Cardinal is expected to return to service on Wednesday, it will operate only between Chicago and Huntington, West Virginia.

The equipment will turn back on Wednesday night and return to Chicago. No arrangements have been made for passengers traveling to points between Huntington and Washington.

Work trains have been busy the past few days trying to repair the damage and get the tracks back into operation.

The aftermath of the flooding came as the Florence Division took over responsibility for the routes most damaged by the flooding.

CSX last week closed its Huntington Division and transferred control of its rail lines to other divisions.

Storm Damage has CSX Still Recovering in W.Va.

June 28, 2016

The flooding from a severe storm that struck CSX hard in West Virginia late last week still had rail operations stymied on Monday.

CSX was particularly hit hard on its former Chesapeake & Ohio mainline between Hinton, West Virginia, and Clifton Forge, Virginia.

CSX logo 1Washouts and debris on the tracks of the Alleghany Subdivision have halted rail traffic in the wake of the storm, which dumped up to 7 inches of rain in some areas.

Trains magazine reported on Monday that much of the track infrastructure near Caldwell, West Virginia, had been washed out.

Similar, although less severe, damage was reported on the New River Subdivision.

A railroad spokesperson said CSX continues to assess the damage and make repairs. Where feasible, traffic has been re-routed around the hard-hit areas.

CSX expected to resume limited operations on Monday. Amtrak’s Chicago-New York Cardinal, which uses the affected tracks, will not resume running over its regular route until Wednesday.

The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad operated its weekend tourist trains and other all attractions.

It had canceled last Friday its Cheat Mountain Salamander train.

Last Trash Train Arrives at Kentucky Landfill

April 20, 2016

The last trash train bound for a Kentucky landfill was unloaded on Tuesday.

The Big Run landfill near Ashland, Kentucky, has announced that it would cease accepting garbage by rail, but the unloading of the CSX train occurred eight months ahead of the date the company had set to cease receiving trash by rail.

CSX logo 1EnviroSolutions, which operates the Big Run Landfill said that it was ending shipments by rail ahead of schedule due to ongoing litigation.

The trash trains have been the subject of complaints of odors. The company had invested millions of dollars in developing the landfill, including building a yard to handle the trash trains.

It is unclear what will happen to the yard and the spur that leads to it. The trash had originated in New York and New Jersey.

The loss of the trash trains will mean two fewer daily trains in the CSX terminal at Russell, Kentucky, which has already been hard hit by falling coal traffic.

CSX has indicated that it will no longer be serving its Ohio Lexington Subdivision, which had hosted the trash trains.

West Virginia and its Railroads Pondering Next Moves in a World of Declining Coal Production

March 16, 2016

The news over the past year for railroads that serve West Virginia has been bleak. Coal mines have closed and Norfolk Southern and CSX have mothballed routes that primarily serve as conduits to move coal to market.

CSX is in the process of closing its division headquarter in Huntington, West Virginia, and transferring its staff to other division offices.

In an analysis published by Trains magazine, railroaders based based in the Mountain State said they continue to brace for further cutbacks.

West VirginiaThe slippage of coal business has other worried in West Virginia, too, because so much of the state’s economy is built on black diamonds.

State officials are talking about the need to diversify the West Virginia economy. Railroads are expected to play a role in that process.

“While we diversity our state’s economy, we must take advantage of our location and existing infrastructure to recruit and develop businesses that rely on rail transportation to move their products,” West Virginia state Senator Bill Cole told Trains. “This includes a manufacturing strategy to revitalize our product output and making our state a warehouse hub for distribution.”

That means that during the current session of the state legislature lawmakers are considering adopting laws to make their state more attractive to businesses. The measures being considered include regulatory reform and right-to-work law changes.

NS and CSX each have taken steps to diversity their traffic bases in West Virginia.

NS recently opened an intermodal complex near Huntington as part of its Heartland Corridor route.

CSX has being routing intermodal trains over its former Chesapeake & Ohio main line between North Baltimore, Ohio, and Portsmouth, Virginia

However, Trains noted, these trains may be rerouted over the CSX New Castle Subdivision once the railroad finishes its National Gateway Project. Clearance restrictions in Washington are keeping double-stacked container trains from moving through the nation’s capital.

Justin Gaull is the vice president of economic development for the Charleston Area Alliance.

As he sees it, the new NS intermodal center at Prichard represents an opportunity for southern West Virginia to connect its manufacturing and distribution businesses  . . . and perhaps a few businesses could be linked to the facility exclusively via rail using existing rail infrastructure.”

Gaull told Trains that the decline of coal has opened an opportunity for West Virginia economic development officials to analyze the state’s inventory of available rail and land assets that can be offered to attract manufacturing and distribution locations.

But not all of West Virginia’s rail lines are suitable for such activities and some of the coal branches are likely to wind up becoming hiking and biking trails.

In some instances, the rails might remain in place and opened for use by foot-pedaled rail carts, which are quite popular in Austria and Germany.

However, few rail lines in America have been used for those carts. But that may soon change in West Virginia.

Christine Kindern is an extension agent in Raleigh County, which is seeking to convert 15.2 miles of an abandoned CSX route into recreational use.

The line in question is the Jarrolds Valley Subdivision from between Whitesville and Clear Creek.

The Raleigh County Commission and National Coal Heritage Area funded a study that found that converting the rail line to recreational use would boost tourism.

The New River Gorge Regional Development Authority might convert a former C&O coal branch to a museum that would celebrate the state’s coal heritage.

West Virginia has more than 500 miles of branch-line routes that are used exclusively to haul coal.

Many of those miles are facing abandonment although local officials have not given upon converting some of them into other uses to be served by rail.