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9/18/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Eastern railroads, USDOT get ready for Hurricane Isabel's wrath


With Hurricane Isabel poised to come ashore today and storm damage to transportation infrastructure imminent, the U.S. Department of Transportation activated its Crisis Management Center (CMC).

Culling information from state, rail, transit, aviation, marine and pipeline authorities, the center tries to help affected regions deal with the hurricane's effects. CMC will pre-position and dispatch repair crews to critical aviation and rail sites to restore service if needed.

Also, Federal Railroad Administration inspectors are closely monitoring bridges and low areas for high water, washouts or track debris that could affect service, and railroads are pre-positioning work crews and materials to be ready for any needed emergency repairs.

On Sept. 17, Norfolk Southern Railway began moving equipment and trains out of flood-prone coastal and low lying areas. The Class I also is holding trains normally scheduled to move into eastern Virginia and North Carolina, and positioning personnel, equipment and supplies, such as ballast, to clear and repair track, and restore operations as quickly as possible after the storm.

CSX Transportation is in storm-preparation mode, too. The railroad removed all locomotives east of its Richmond, Va.-to-Jacksonville, Fla., mainline in North Carolina and Virginia. CSXT also is inspecting culverts, ditches and bridges to minimize water damage from flooding, and staging portable generators, post-storm cleanup equipment and ballast trains.

Meanwhile, CSX Intermodal closed its Portsmouth, Va., terminal yesterday and is holding traffic destined for Portsmouth in Collier, Va., Chicago and Jacksonville. CSXI is telling customers to expect shipment delays up to 24 hours.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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