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December 1997


Lawson Clark Dies

G. Lawson Clark, noted railfan and NRHS member, died on October 18. He was 80. A long time resident of Washington, D.C., he was very active in Washington and Potomac NRHS activities. According to Potomac Chapter president Rick Davidson, "His booming voice belied his short stature. His friendship and enthusiasm for this hobby were legendary. I personally went on many trips with him, including a weekend trip to Chicago where we rode many METRA commuter trains and some of the EL trains. We also did trips to Pittsburgh, Parkersburg and Huntington, going to conventions and train excursions. He was strong and forceful in his convictions, but he was a great friend to us all. We will surely miss him at our meetings and on the many trips he would have taken." According to his November 22 obituary in the Washington Afro-American, he graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Washington, and then went on to attend West Virginia State, and graduated from the Terrell Law School. He was a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps during the second World War. After practicing law for a number of years, he went into business as a tax consultant and later as a taxi driver. Other jobs he held during his lifetime included a stint with the Government Printing Office and as a real estate and insurance salesman. He was a Mason, and he was always an activist in District of Columbia affairs pertaining to civil rights. He was preceded in death by his wife of many years, Dorothy Field Clark. There were no children.


Union Pacific Seeks Offers for F7 Locomotives

Union Pacific is seeking offers for the sale of six surplus CNW F7 locomotives. They are numbered 315, 400, 402, 403, 410 and 411 respectively. Minimum asking prices, depending upon the unit, range from $45,000 to $65,000 apiece. UP is also seeking offers for surplus business cars. They include SP business car Oregon, SP instrument car 252, SP 10/6 sleeper Sunset Limited, and CNW 10/6 sleeper Lake Michigan.


MARC to Consider Extension of Service to Hancock, West Virginia

Town officials from Hancock, Maryland, and Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, have arranged a meeting this month with the Maryland Rail Commuter Service concerning a proposal to extend MARC service to Hancock, West Virginia. Currently the western end point of service is Martinsburg, West Virginia, and the proposal would extend it an additional 23 miles.


Integration of Conrail to be in a Methodical and Careful Manner, CSXT Official Says

"I am here to pledge to you that we will approach the integration of Conrail in a methodical and careful manner, with prime emphasis on safety and service," said Paul Reistrup, CSXT's vice president for passenger integration at a Railway Age conference in Washington on November 10. He gave an overview of CSXT intentions for passenger rail in specific service areas, including MARC, VRE, Amtrak, and South Florida's Tri-Rail operations.


Amtrak's Fourth Quarter Ridership Increases 5.5 Percent

Amtrak's 4th quarter (July through September) ridership increased 5.5 percent compared to the same period last year, with an overall increase of 2.6 percent for the entire fiscal year. The Coast Starlight, Amtrak's Los Angeles-Seattle train, showed a fiscal year increase of 23.7 percent, according to an Amtrak press report.


BNSF Approves New Amtrak Express Cars for 90 MPH

Burlington Northern Santa Fe has given approval for Amtrak to operate its new fleet of 60-foot express cars on the Southwest Chief at speeds up to 90 miles per hour. The approval follows joint BNSF/Amtrak tests involving two trains in an "empty car" condition to monitor a variety of performance and safety characteristics, including lateral stability.


BNSF to Sell 23-Mile Line Segment in North Dakota

Burlington Northern Santa Fe has announced the sale of a 23-mile line segment from Geneseo Junction to Havana, North Dakota, to the Rutland Line, a subsidiary of Red River Valley & Western Railroad Company. In addition, Rutland has been granted trackage rights from Geneseo Junction over 42 miles of the joint BNSF/CP line to BN Junction, Minnesota.