Isabel Slows Trains

WASHINGTON — Rail service along the eastern coast was slowed in September because of Hurricane Isabel.

Amtrak, CSX, Norfolk Southern and other railroads between North Carolina and New York reported interruptions to their service due to the hurricane.

Norfolk Southern implemented its contingency plan, taking extra safety precautions to assure the safety of employees and prevent damage to facilities, equipment, and shipments, the railroad said in a news release. This included moving equipment and shipments that have not yet placed within customer facilities, out of coastal and low lying areas prone to flooding.

Likewise, CSX ceased some operations between Virginia and Florida, opting to wait out the storm.

Passenger railroads — including Amtrak, MARC and Virginia Railway Express — canceled trains.

While most Amtrak trains began running shortly after Isabel, some routes remained closed or heavily delayed for says after the storm.

Amtrak’s ervice between Washington and points south and east via Richmond were postponed because of power outages. The lack of electricity disabled trackside signals needed to properly dispatch rail traffic and has disabled grade crossing warning lights and gates.

When trains began operating again, delays were reported.

Demands on the Northeast Corridor returned to normal within days.