STB Sets 350-Day Review of Conrail Acquisition by CSXT/NS
[From a company letter to CSXT employees] ... As you may have heard, the Surface Transportation Board announced on May 29 that it has set a 350-day review period for the joint application for the acquisition of Conrail. Based on this schedule, we can anticipate the STB's decision on our application by June 1998. While we would have preferred the 255-day review we were seeking, we believe the 350-day process is workable, and far preferable to the 16-month process that a few opponents of this transaction were seeking. At the heart of the STB's decision is a desire to ensure adequate time for a full and complete environmental impact review. We are confident that the review will demonstrate the overwhelming public benefits, including environmental benefits, that will accrue from this transaction. We are still on track to file our joint application with Norfolk Southern on June 16. We believe we will present a compelling case to the STB for approval - a proposal that will restructure the rail freight system in the Eastern U.S. and restore competition to the Northeast. This transaction already has the support of governors and secretaries of transportation from nine states and more than 750 shippers and others. The more people learn about this acquisition and its benefits, the more people support it. Throughout this process, we must still remain committed to our aggressive safety, service and financial objectives. Let's all remain focused on achieving or exceeding these goals. /s/ A.R. "Pete" Carpenter, President/CEO ...
CSXT to Increase Capacity in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois
[From a CSX new release] JACKSONVILLE FL - MAY 19, 1997 ... CSX Corporation today announced plans to immediately begin spending approximately $220 million to improve and expand capacity on approximately 270 miles of its former B&O route between Greenwich, Ohio, and Chicago. "This is one of the most ambitious U.S. rail freight development ventures in modern times," said John W. Snow, chairman and chief executive officer of CSX. "This major construction project will create a truly world-class stretch of railroad with enormous economic potential not only for CSX, but also for the region," he said. In press conferences today in Willard, Ohio, and Indianapolis, Snow called the project "critical to realizing the growth objectives we have for our acquisition of Conrail lines." The section of railroad being upgraded and expanded links Conrail's 'Water Level Route,' which connects Cleveland and the key eastern markets of Boston, New York and Philadelphia, with the industrial heartland of America and its Chicago gateway to and from the West. Snow said the project will result in "dramatically improved service and vastly increased capacity across the entirety of this key line, which is the most direct route from New England and mid-Atlantic coast ports and industrial centers to the Midwest." A.R. "Pete" Carpenter, president and CEO of CSX Transportation, Inc., the company's rail unit, said work will begin immediately and will be completed in early 1998. "The 1997 phase," he said, "will include construction of more than 70 route miles of double and triple track railroad, with an additional 40 route miles completed in 1998." Ultimately, more than 100 route miles of new track will be constructed and another 250 route miles of existing track will be reconstructed and upgraded or surfaced.
Trains Begin Operating on Newly-Opened CSXT Line Between Deshler and Bates, Ohio
Trains began operating on May 12 over a newly-opened CSXT line between Deshler and Bates, Ohio, on the northern end of the Toledo Subdivision. The line had been out of service for seven years. Trains rerouted onto the Bates line include Q201, Q203, Q227, Q245, Q272, Q506, Q507, Q508, Q509 and Q514.
Tracks in Service on the East Side of Potomac Yard, Virginia
Numbers 1, 2 and 3 tracks are now in service on their new alignment on the east side of Potomac Yard between South RO and North Alexandria on CSXT's RF&P Subdivision in Virginia. Numbers 2 and 3 tracks have bidirectional signaling, but Number 1 track remains temporarily without signaling with direct traffic control rules in effect.
CSXT Re-implements Restricted Proceed Signal
Effective May 12, CSXT re-implemented its Restricted Proceed signal replacing the one known as Stop and Proceed. The signal now permits trains affected to pass it at restricted speed, if conditions permit, without stopping.
Jim White Dies, Retired B&O Operator
Retired B&O tower operator Jim White died on May 25. He was 68. He retired from WB Tower in Brunswick, Maryland, in 1987, having begun his career with the B&O in 1947. Earlier he had worked on the Norfolk & Western, as had his father.