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December 1999


CSX Renames its Sea-Land Subsidiary

CSX Corporation has announced it is renaming its Sea-Land Service subsidiary with the name "CSX Lines." Earlier this year, CSX announced the sale of its international Sea-Land unit to A.P. Moller-Maersk Line, but to retain its domestic unit, now being given the new name. CSX Lines, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, will operate a fleet of 16 vessels and 27,000 containers.


CSXT and GE Negotiate Maintenance Proposal for Locomotives

CSXT and GE Transportation Systems have negotiated a five-year management services proposal for the maintenance of CSXT's fleet of GE locomotives. Under the proposal, GETS will provide on-site managers for supervision and technical direction at the CSXT locomotive shops in Corbin, Selkirk and Waycross. CSXT employees will continue to perform the work on the locomotives.


CSXT Expands Conductor-Training Program

CSXT has added two additional community colleges for conductor-training programs. Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio, and Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, New York, will each offer a five-week conductor-training course to prepare students to work at CSXT. The company expects to add 1300 new train service employees in 2000.


CSX Intermodal Signs Contract with APL/Pacer

CSX Intermodal has signed a contract with APL/Pacer, Inc., to handle APL rail traffic east of the Mississippi River that had previously been handled by Norfolk Southern. The traffic is expected to add about a quarter of a million loads in the year 2000. The terminals in Buffalo and Charlotte are anticipated to see a doubling of intermodal volume, with other significant increases in Atlanta, Baltimore, Portsmouth and Philadelphia. Overall, intermodal traffic is expected to increase by over 20 percent in 2000, much of it due to the APL contract.


BNSF Breaks Ground on Stockton, California, Intermodal Facility

Burlington Northern Santa Fe has broken ground on a 470-acre intermodal facility near Stockton, California, designed to increase the railroad's intermodal lift capacity in the Stockton area from 120,000 to 300,000 units annually. It will replace the existing facility in Stockton, currently operating at maximum capacity.


Amtrak to Replace San Diegan Service with "Pacific Surfliner"

Amtrak will replace its San Diegan train service next spring with its "Pacific Surfliner." Eight new 5-car, double-deck trainsets, each with seating for 425 people, will be placed into service beginning with the first set in April 2000, and the final set one year later.


Amtrak to Add up to 350 Refrigerated Rail Cars

Amtrak has signed a long-term agreement with ExpressTrak, LLC, for the addition of up to 350 refrigerated rail cars capable of operating at passenger train speeds, the first to be delivered in April 2000.


Of Keystone Heritage

[By Rich Ballash] . . .

At a recent meeting, PRR T&HS Pittsburgh Chapter member John Couts supplied us with a 1965 PRR/B&O Columbus & Newark Division timetable, wished us a good trip, then casually told us about how he had ridden the Pennsy from Pittsburgh to Columbus many times. We were anxious for our just one chance! Well, on October 17th, 1999, nearly 20 years to date after Amtrak's last National Limited plied the route, we boarded our Ohio Central / Ohio Railway Museum train, in the cold morning darkness, at a grade crossing just west of the Port Columbus Airport! No Columbus Union Station for us to depart from out there now! This had been the takeoff point for Pennsy's ill-fated attempt to access its ultimate future passenger travel challenge, air travel. The railroad's "Airways Limited" (see Grif Teller's 1929 PRR calendar painting, "Harnessing the Plane to the Iron Horse") used PRR rails from New York to a fancy old air terminal building, which is still there, right next to the Ohio Central/CSX singled, de-signaled ex-PRR/B&O mainline! A few telltale signs of this line's uniqueness are still there, including concrete B&O whistleposts and one headless PRR position light ground mast and that unique double-signal westbound cantilever signal bridge at Newark. We got crankin' pretty good, faster on Ohio Central's pure PRR Panhandle Mainline trackage east of Newark. Without signals, though, rules only permit speeds approaching 40mph, as compared to 70 before Conrail's 1981 downgrading. One highlight of the run included seeing ex-PRR tower operator Paul Geiger pacing our steam-powered eastward leg to Coshocton, at numerous locations! Paul is the creator and narrator of Clear Block Video's superb video series, "The Panhandle." And as we departed west from Coshocton, I had the good fortune of sitting in front of two elderly gentlemen, one an ex-Big 4 (NYC) engineer from Columbus, who worked from 1945 until 1981. What fascinating conversation! "...Those Pennsy guys ran fast... They disconnected or jammed those speed recorders, and pushed 50 miles an hour through the 25-mph Dayton Union turnouts! Yeah, they did! And those T1's?... Nothing but junk! They just spun trying to pull trains up that 2% grade on Clement Hill east from Dayton. That Pennsy C&X Branch out of Cincinnati?... That was a joke! Up and down and around... If there was a hill, the Pennsy went over it, never through it, and way out around! Well, we could take a train up the Big 4 with one engine, where it would take four units to run over the Pennsy route!" Ah... so long ago, but for us, this was certainly another fantastic time trip, back to those wondrous years OF KEYSTONE HERITAGE!


Biking the BWI Trail

[By Allen Brougham] . . .

A recent addition to the trail network in the Baltimore/Washington area is an 11-mile paved trail that circles the Baltimore-Washington International Airport in Anne Arundel County. Often within sight, and always within sound, of the many planes that serve the facility, the trail passes through wetlands, parks, woods, even a farm, and across several streams. As for trains, a short segment is within sight of the Amtrak mainline near the BWI train station, and the trail crosses the airport extension of the light-rail line.

I've never kept a secret of my fondness for watching planes as they take off and land, and there is plenty of that activity here... It was a perfect fall day as I was joined by Gilbert Elmond on a leisurely biking adventure one Friday in late October. We met at the Thomas A. Dixon, Jr., Aircraft Observation Area along Dorsey Road (Maryland route 176) just south of the airport. It's an ideal starting point, but users are advised that on nice days the parking area often fills quickly. (But it was not filled on this particular day.)

One distinct advantage of the BWI Trail is that one can bike it in either direction and return to the starting point without ever having to reverse direction. This feature is mostly absent on railroad trails and canal towpaths which tend to go in one direction only. On this particular outing, we chose to bike the trail clockwise - first west, then north, then east, and then south and west back to the observation area.

Giving due justice to trains, we did make a short side trip along the way - about half a mile - to the BWI rail station, where we perched ourselves upon one of the platform benches to watch the passing activity. It was a great day for doing that, too!

The BWI Trail takes advantage of buffer land surrounding the airport, a rather neat idea because much of it has remained undeveloped. (Who would want to live that close to an airport, anyway?) There are a couple of spurs from the trail: one to the Maryland Department of Transportation headquarters, and one to the nearby Baltimore & Annapolis Rail Trail. Indeed, one could spend an entire day exploring this connected network without covering it all. For the most part, Gilbert and I stuck with the circular trail... Our journey took us about three hours.

According to the official Maryland Bicycle Map (which claims the trail's length is 14 miles, not 11), the BWI Trail was the first in the country to be approved for funding under the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA). There are eventual plans to link the trail with the nearby Patapsco State Park.