Posts Tagged ‘CSX’

CSX, Amtrak Reach Pact on Pan Am Merger

January 14, 2022

Amtrak and CSX reportedly have reached an agreement that will remove the passenger carrier’s opposition to the freight carrier’s plans to acquire Pan Am Railways.

Although the two railroads have reached agreements on several items, Railfan and Railroad reported on its website that Amtrak said there are still some sticking points.

On Jan. 3 Amtrak had said it would oppose the CSX-Pan Am merger unless it received some specific concessions that deal with existing and potential new intercity rail passenger service in New England.

In the latest development, Amtrak said CSX has accepted six of the conditions Amtrak is seeking.

These include a CSX promise to give priority to Amtrak trains when dispatching; a CSX agreement to cooperate with potential service expansions on the former Boston & Albany line between Worcester, Massachusetts, and Albany, New York; upgrading the current Downeaster route in Maine with positive train control and allowing expanded service; and allowing operation of the new Berkshire Flyer to Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

The Flyer would use the B&A route, which also hosts the Boston section of Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited, as part of its trek between Pittsfield and New York City on weekends.

A 1,000-foot siding will be constructed in Pittsfield.  Planning for the Berkshire Flyer has been underway for years but been stymied by lack of an agreement between Amtrak and CSX.

Trains magazine reported that the Flyer could operate as a special service pending construction of the Pittsfield siding.

The Trains report also said CSX agreed to ensure that Norfolk Southern intermodal and automotive trains using the B&A route would not interfere with proposed or existing Amtrak service.

NS trains now use Pan Am Southern tracks between Mechanicville, New York, and Ayer, Massachusetts, but would shift to the B&A after the merger is completed.

In recent weeks CSX has reached agreement with other railroad systems that had initially opposed or raised concerns about the merger.

However, two carriers, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation/Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and Canadian Pacific, still have concerns about the merger that have yet to be addressed.

CSX Plans Busy Capital Projects Year

January 10, 2022

CSX does not have any major capital projects in Ohio or neighboring states set for 2022, but will be busy with projects elsewhere the railroad’s chief engineer of bridges, design and construction told the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association Conference last week.

Those include rebuilding the Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore; improving passenger rail routes in Virginia south of Washington; building the Forest Hill Flyover in Chicago; and building a new intermodal container yard in Chicago.

In the past year CSX completed expanding Avon Yard near Indianapolis by double-ending what had been a stub-end facility for intermodal operations.

CSX also completed a capital project at its intermodal facility near North Baltimore, Ohio, and completed work at other intermodal facilities across its network.

For more information about CSX capital plans for this year see https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/baltimore-virginia-chicago-projects-highlight-busy-csx-slate/

During a Transitional Era in Ashtabula

January 9, 2022

It is a late November day in 2008, a Sunday to be exact. A few days earlier a snowstorm had swept through Northeast Ohio but on the CSX Erie West Subdivision the passing trains have blown the snow off the tracks.

Peter Bowler and I got together on a photo outing that covered CSX between Perry and Ashtabula. We made a stop at North Bend Road, which crosses the CSX tracks west of the entrance to the yard.

I had photographed this signal bridge a year earlier when it had signal heads for Tracks 1 and 2. But now a track configuration within the past year has resulted in the removal of the Type G signal heads for Track 1 eastbound.

Shown is a westbound approaching North Bend Road that appears to be coming out of the yard.

A decade later on Jan. 14, 2018, Peter and I would visit this location again. By then modern signals had been installed and were in operation further to the east to control movements at the west end of the yard.

The signal bridge shown in the image above was still standing but sans all signal heads. I haven’t been back to this location since then but a check of Google Maps streetview showed the signal bridge has since been removed.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

STB CSX-Pan Am Merger Hearings to be Online

January 8, 2022

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board this week said that public hearings regarding CSX plans to acquire Pan Am Systems will be conducted online.

The hearings will be conducted via Zoom and will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 13. Additional time has been allotted on Jan. 14 to accommodate all speakers, the STB said in a news release.

CSX wants to acquire the 1,200-mile Pan Am system, thus extending the Class 1 carrier’s network into areas of Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

CSX 2nd in 2021 Traffic Growth

January 7, 2022

CSX ranked second among Class 1 railroad systems in traffic growth in 2021, Trains magazine reported on its website this week.

The Jacksonville-based carrier reported that its traffic was up 6.6 percent when compared with calendar year 2020.

Among the gains were double digit increases in intermodal and coal traffic.

Norfolk Southern posted a 5.6 percent traffic gain in 2021 fueled by a 3 percent rise in intermodal traffic and a 14 percent increase in coal traffic.

BNSF led all Class I systems in traffic growth at 7.4 percent.

The data is based on information kept by the Association of American Railroads, which said rail traffic increased overall by 5.7 percent.

The article can be viewed at https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/bnsf-railway-leads-industry-in-traffic-growth-during-2021/

Grinding Along at Pawnee

January 4, 2022

I am standing on the rickety wood bridge carrying River Corners Road over the CSX New Castle Subdivision west of Lodi.

A westbound CSX coke train rumbles along past the venerable Baltimore & Ohio color position light signals at a location the crews call Pawnee when calling the signal indication over the radio.

You will notice the mast for the signal on Track 2 has a letter plate “G” which denotes grade. If an eastbound gets a red signal here the crew may continue at restricted speed prepared to stop until the next signal. That is because the train is on a grade.

A number of things have changed at this location since this image was made on May 23, 2008.

The CPLs have been replaced by newer signals that can be seen standing shortly to the east. Interestingly, those “newer” signals have themselves since been replaced.

In 2008 the bridge on which I am standing was still a one-lane wood structure. It has been placed by a modern concrete two-lane bridge.

However, that bridge has a high chain link fence that makes getting photographs here a challenge.

The signal is likely named for Pawnee Road, which once crossed over the tracks on a wood bridge to the east of here. That bridge was removed in conjunction with the project that led to the replacement of the River Corners Road bridge.

The highway to the right is U.S. Route 224 and it is still the two-lane road it was when this image was made.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

Rail News Items From Ohio, Indiana

January 3, 2022

Various railroad related news items of note:

Cargill has taken over the switching of its grain plant in Sidney, Ohio. That work had been done by CSX.

Two switchers in Cargill’s green and white livery have been assigned to the Sidney facility which reportedly will see its yard expanded and realigned.

The Sidney facility is an integrated soybean crush and refined oils plant that is located along the CSX Indianapolis Line (former New York Central).

No injuries occurred on Dec. 23 when a CSX train derailed nine cars at Ansonia, Ohio, also on the Indianapolis Line. The cars were empty auto racks and one turned over.

The derailment occurred as the train was shoving cars around the connection to an R.J. Corman line to Ansonia from Greenville, Ohio.

A story on Dec. 10 damaged the former Pennsylvania Railroad passenger station in Effner, Indiana.

The structure was subsequently razed. Since the Conrail era the former PRR line that once extended from Logansport to Effner has been operated by the Toledo, Peoria & Western.

CSX Steel Train Derails in Michigan

January 3, 2022

No injuries were reported and no hazardous materials were involved in a New Year’s Day derailment of a CSX train in Romulus, Michigan, in the Detroit metropolitan area.

News reports indicated that the 15-car derailment occurred about 1:37 a.m. near Eureka Road and Interstate 275 and took down power lines in the area.

Most of the effects of the lost power were felt along Eureka Road, including traffic signals being knocked out of operation.

The train was reported to be carrying steel products.

Three-Way Meet in North East

January 2, 2022

It’s a three-way meet with history at the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania, on Sept., 29, 2012. The CSX westbound is on Track 1 of the Erie West Subdivision. Looking on are Norfolk Southern B32-8 No. 3562 and South Shore 2-D+D-2 No. 802. The 3562 is the first Dash 8 to be preserved at the museum, which specializes in locomotives built by GE at its Erie locomotive assembly plant in Lawrence Park. The South Shore “Little Joe” is one of just two such locomotives of that carrier that have been preserved with the other located at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Photograph by Craig Sanders

Gotta Fix That Headlight

December 31, 2021

It is early in the CSX era on the former Baltimore & Ohio Chicago-Pittsburgh mainline at Warwick Yard in Clinton. The train has stopped and a crew member has gotten out to repair and/or clean the headlight.

No. 6164 is a GP40-2 that was built for the Chesapeake & Ohio in 1978 where it carried roster number 4265.

Photograph by Robert Farkas