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November 1997


FRA Identifies Safety Shortfalls on CSXT

JACKSONVILLE, FL, OCT 16, 1997 [excerpted from a U.S. Dept. of Transportation news release] Following an intensive inspection, the Federal Railroad Administration released a comprehensive report on CSX Transportation detailing safety shortfalls in all areas of the railroad's operation. The report reviews the findings of a comprehensive safety audit FRA conducted between July and September 1997. The audit is based on the FRA's Safety Assurance and Compliance Program (SACP) model which focuses on identifying and remedying root causes of safety concern across an entire railroad system. The program process identified specific safety concerns in each of the five functional areas of railroad operations: signal and train control, hazardous materials, operating practices, motive power and equipment, and track. In addition, inspectors uncovered an atmosphere on CSXT where "safety first" is not universally observed. The FRA's key findings include: a need for more comprehensive employee training in railroad operations; a review of safety culture to eliminate harassment and intimidation; a need to improve dispatcher communications; deficient implementation of the railroad's operational testing program; inaccurate records in accident/incident reporting and locomotive engineer certification; deficiencies in track program management such as track inspections; and a need for stricter management oversight for cars and locomotives.


CSXT Names Locomotive "Spirit of Cumberland"

CSXT locomotive 700 has been named "Spirit of Cumberland." It was christened on CSX Day at Cumberland by Maryland's lieutenant governor, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D), at a ceremony to honor the railroad's contribution to the city's economy. Unit 700 is a newly-built SD70AC, and all units of that class have been assigned to service on trains of the Cumberland Coal Business Unit.


Signal Enhancements Begin on New Alignment Along RF&P

Signal enhancements have gone into effect in Arlington and Alexandria, Va., along CSXT's RF&P Subdivision's new three-track alignment. Changes include replacement of the southbound dwarf signals at South RO with high signals, and new signals at Slaters Lane along with a power switch from No. 1 track to the Pepco Lead.


CSXT and NS Conclude Access Pact With CP/D&H

CSXT and Norfolk Southern have concluded an agreement providing joint-line commercial access for Canadian Pacific/Delaware & Hudson to customers in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and the Buffalo/Niagara Frontier area. Canadian Pacific now supports the CSX/NSC acquisition of Conrail and will not seek protective conditions from the Surface Transportation Board.


NS to Donate Roanoke Depot for Use as Visitor Center

Norfolk Southern has announced it will donate its Roanoke, Va., passenger depot to the Roanoke Foundation for Downtown for use as a visitor center. Also to be donated are two former office buildings for use as an education center and mixed use/residential project respectively.


Amtrak Takes Steps to Cut Food Service Deficit

Amtrak has announced an action plan to reduce its food service deficit by $6.2-million in FY-1998. In a memo to employees, Amtrak quoted figures from FY-1996 of $39.2-million in revenues and $113.4-million in expenses, or a deficit of $74.2-million. Actions identified include reduction in the amount of preparatory work required of the crew, the use of different products, the substitution of plastic ware for china, the development of more consistent menus among long-distance trains, and the testing of family-style meals. A test of the use of plastic dinnerware was to begin October 26 on the California Zephyr, and family-style meals are to be tested on Silver-Service trains. Customer response surveys will be made, with the results presented to Amtrak's board of directors in December or January.


William Hollifield Dies, Amtrak Agent at Charlottesville

William Hart Hollifield, 44, Amtrak ticket agent for nearly two decades at Charlottesville, Va., died of a massive heart attack on September 18. A graduate of Old Dominion University, he began his career in 1976, and worked various extra-board positions, including those in Charleston, S.C., and Greensboro, Lynchburg and Charlottesville, Va. He also worked at several stations whose trains were later eliminated completely, or positions abolished, such as in Roanoke, Va., and White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. He received many letters of commendation, including several from Graham Claytor during his tenure as president of Amtrak.