CSXT Begins Service on Henderson Subdivision
CSXT began service October 3 on the Henderson Subdivision which was recently acquired from Indiana High Rail (IHRC).
Loose Barges Damage CSXT's Little Rigolets Bridge
A tow of coal barges broke loose from their mooring October 6 damaging CSXT's Little Rigolets bridge on the line between New Orleans and Mobile. There were no injuries. The bridge was out of service for about a week.
Wisconsin Central Ore Trains Now Running on CSXT
Wisconsin Central ore trains, with Wisconsin Central power, which formerly ran on Conrail, are now operating over CSXT's former B&O line between Chicago and Middletown, Ohio. The train's symbol is K188.
Wisconsin Central to Purchase UP Lines in Wisconsin and Michigan
Wisconsin Central has signed a letter of intent to purchase 220 route miles of Union Pacific's Green Bay North lines in Wisconsin and Michigan. The lines principally carry iron ore and shipments for the paper industry. Upon approval, the purchase is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Norfolk Southern to Close Chattanooga Locomotive Shop
Norfolk Southern has announced the closing of its system locomotive assembly shop at Chattanooga, Tennessee, effective January 6, 1997. Approximately 60 employees will be affected, and work will be transferred to the shop in Roanoke, Virginia. The Chattanooga facility has specialized in overhaul of EMD locomotives, and the Roanoke shop has overhauled GE locomotives. With the consolidation, the Roanoke shop will do both.
Norfolk Southern to Implement Hub-and-Spoke Distribution for Ford
Norfolk Southern has reached a long-term agreement with Ford Motor Company to distribute new vehicles to dealers through a network of four hub-and-spoke mixing centers located near Fostoria, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; Shelbyville, Kentucky; and Kansas City, Missouri. The system is expected to reduce transit time by as much as 33 percent, according to a Norfolk Southern press report.
CSX and Conrail Agree to Merge
[From a CSXT letter to its employees dated October 15, 1996] . . . . I am pleased to inform you today that CSX Corporation and Conrail Inc. have agreed to a strategic merger valued at approximately $8.4 billion. Together, we will become one of the largest transportation and logistics companies in the world, offering customers expanded rail service and container shipping, barge, intermodal and contract logistics services. Together, we will offer much more extensive single-line rail service opportunities to shippers and receivers in 22 states over our 29,645 mile system stretching from Chicago, Boston and New York to Miami and New Orleans. We will also serve the general public as well. The new company we are creating will be more competitive with trucks and other modes of transportation, providing a greatly improved alternative to truck movements over heavily congested north-south and east-west corridors. This transaction also offers an opportunity to improve passenger safety and service and to begin to address the need to separate freight and passenger service in high density commuter and Amtrak corridors, including Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Finally, the merger allows us to build on Conrail's strength in coal transportation, CSX's experience in merchandise traffic, and the strong intermodal and logistics operations of both companies. Importantly, our companies share an uncompromising commitment to safety, operating excellence and superior service, and have compatible cultures.
While the process of combining our two companies will take some time and there is much that has not yet been determined, I know that you will have many questions about how this will affect you. We believe there will be some jobs lost at both companies as a result of consolidations. However, we believe that these losses will be substantially offset by new jobs that will result from the significant business growth that we expect will result from the merger. A press release announcing the merger was issued this morning which should answer many of your questions. Additional information will be provided to you later today. We will file an application seeking Surface Transportation Board approval of the merger early in 1997, and we expect to complete the transaction in late 1997. In the meantime, the most important thing you can do is to keep focused on your work as we prepare for an exciting future. We are committed to keeping you informed of important developments as they occur.
I know you will be as enthusiastic about this merger as I am. This is a tremendous opportunity before us. You should be especially proud of all that you have done to bring us to this point, to make this a strong company today, and - in the near future - part of our nation's finest rail/transportation system. I thank you for your continued hard work and support. /s/ A.R. "Pete" Carpenter
Norfolk Southern Makes Tender Offer for Conrail
[From a CSXT letter to its employees dated October 25, 1996] . . . . The CSX-Conrail merger remains on track. Nothing has changed the strength of the current agreement between our two companies and the benefits that would accrue to our shareholders, our customers and employees. Despite the unsolicited tender offer for Conrail from Norfolk Southern, we are fully confident that we will prevail and consummate the proposed CSX-Conrail merger.
As noted in our response, Norfolk Southern's hostile offer simply does not provide the same long-term value as the strategic CSX-Conrail partnership. The fact is that the merger of CSX and Conrail will result in service, efficiency and competitive benefits that cannot be achieved by an adversarial attempt to link the Norfolk Southern and Conrail systems. By every measure, the CSX-Conrail merger is superior in economic, operational and public policy terms.
Norfolk Southern is a respected railroad and competitor. Where our managers and employees deal with Norfolk Southern to interchange traffic, conduct intercarrier billing or otherwise provide safe, reliable service to customers, we should continue to cooperate fully and maintain business as usual.
Winning endorsement and approval of the CSX-Conrail merger is in the hands of a very capable team. You can support that team by continuing to "Be the Best" and focusing on our 1996 goals in safety, reliability and customer service. Doing that, we can reach our financial objectives and keep our company strong. /s/ A.R. "Pete" Carpenter
Bernie Martin Dies
Bernard F. Martin, 66, retired B&O trainmaster, died September 2. He had retired at the end of 1989 after 40 years of service. He began his career as a brakeman.
He recalled a time in 1954, four years after joining the railroad, when a double-headed steam engine train he was on stalled in the Mount Airy tunnel on B&O's Old Main Line. The darkness, the cold and the smoky ordeal that followed caused him to swear that he would quit the railroad just as soon as he got back to Baltimore. He didn't. He worked his way through the ranks and eventually took the record for serving as Baltimore terminal trainmaster longer than anyone else.
"It was always a different day," said he of his record tenure, and he considered his promotion to nighttime terminal trainmaster in 1974 as the highlight to his career. He took the daylight slot four years later, the position he held at the time of his retirement.
A 1947 graduate of Calvert Hall College High School in Baltimore, he served as a military policeman during the Nuremberg war crimes trials following the second World War. After his retirement from the railroad, he volunteered at the B&O Railroad Museum. He also owned a great deal of railroad memorabilia.
He is survived by his wife, two daughters, two stepsons, two stepdaughters, and eight grandchildren. One of his daughters, Colleen, is a former B&O tower operator.
An Update on Amtrak Sleepers
[By Mark Sublette] . . . . With 38 Viewliner sleepers now on Amtrak property, the days of the 10-6 Heritage sleeper are numbered. Amtrak expects to withdraw all survivors by January 1997. The last Slumbercoaches disappeared from the Silver Star and Silver Meteor, their last assignments, in September. The Lake Shore Limited had Viewliners displace its Slumbercoaches in late spring. Most recent arrival, no. 62037, Southern View, was outshopped by Amerail at Hornell, New York, on 26 September. In addition, more Superliner II coaches and transition sleepers have arrived from Bombardier at Barre, Vermont.
Amtrak and Spartanburg Seek Plan to Restore Fire-Damaged Depot
[By Mark Sublette] . . . . In the wake of a fire that heavily damaged the former Southern Railway depot, Amtrak and the city of Spartanburg, South Carolina, are seeking to work out a plan to restore the 1905-vintage structure rather than raze it. The unmanned station burned on the afternoon of 27 July when a blaze of either electrical or arson origin began in an interior office and spread through the attic to the roof. Amtrak subsequently suspended stops by trains 19-20, the Crescent, on 9 August, forcing patrons to use the Greenville, South Carolina, stop 30 miles to the south. Amtrak restored the Spartanburg stop about 2 October.
New Scheme Appears on AEM7 Electrics
[By Mark Sublette] . . . . NortheastDirect has begun repainting AEM7 electrics into the new blue and white scheme. No. 905 was the first to receive the treatment in early September, and was joined in mid-October by 934. The only red in the scheme are the two "cheat lines." Amtrak had a film crew out in the Ivy City yard under a gray overcast sky on 24 September filming a matched set of AEM7 905 and restyled Amfleet cars for documentary/promotional purposes.