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Rail News: Passenger Rail

CSXT extends freight heat restriction to all passenger services

CSX Transportation advised Amtrak and those commuter railroads that operate on its tracks that, beginning July 31, all trains operating on its rails will be subject to heat restrictions. Formerly, the restrictions applied only to freight trains.

"We have duty to protect the people that ride on passenger trains on all our rail lines," said Alan Crown, CSXT executive vice president-transportation, in a prepared statement. "Until we know more facts about the recent derailment [in Maryland] and are able to determine if there is a better solution, we’re taking the most conservative course."

Restrictions typically are applied when air temperatures exceed 90 degrees for several consecutive days, or when they’ve fluctuated 40 degrees or more. When restrictions are issued, trains speeds must be reduced between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m.

This operational modification will be in effect at least until the end of September.

In an email newsletter, Virginia Railway Express cautioned passengers that train speeds July 31 were reduced to 45 mph on its Fredericksburg Line. (The commuter road’s Manassas Line runs on tracks owned by Norfolk Southern Railway; its passengers could experience delays up to about 5 minutes.)

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Metro-North, New Jersey Transit, Maryland Transit Administration’s MARC service and South Florida’s Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority also operate on CSXT-owned lines, although none were reporting delays as of 1:15 p.m. Eastern.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/31/2002