Hurricanes Force Railroads to Change Service

As Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Charley moved towards Florida, railroads were altering their services to avoid the storm.

“If Bonnie remains on its current track, it is expected to move northeast through the Florida Panhandle toward Atlanta, Ga., and then proceed toward the Carolinas and the Atlantic Coast,” CSX said in a statement.

“CSX has no plans in place at this time to curtail operations at any location other than the area directly affected by the storm,” the statement continued. “Once the storm passes, tracks will be inspected and necessary repairs made before restarting rail traffic.”

Bonnie was expected to reach Florida between Panama City, Fla., and Tallahassee, Fla., this afternoon (Aug. 12).

“All precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of our employees, our customers and the public with minimum delay to shipments as we continue to monitor the progress of this storm,” CSX said.

Likewise, Amtrak was making service changes. The railroad announced the following changes:

Effective Aug. 12, for one day only, the following northbound trains are cancelled:

  • Silver Meteor, train #98, departing Miami at 7 a.m. for New York
  • Silver Star, train #92, departing Miami at 10:35 a.m. for New York
  • Palmetto, train #90, departing Miami at 3 p.m. and Tampa at 8:25 p.m. for New York
  • Auto Train, train #52, departing Sanford, FL, at 4 p.m. for Lorton, VA

Effective Aug. 12, for one day only, the following southbound trains are cancelled:

  • Palmetto, train #89, departing New York at 7:15 a.m. for Miami/Tampa
  • Silver Star, train #91, departing New York at 11:30 a.m. for Miami
  • Auto Train, train #53, departing Lorton, VA, at 4 p.m. for Sanford
  • Silver Meteor, train #97, departing New York at 7:01 p.m. for Miami

There will be no changes to the Carolinian (trains #79/#80), Crescent (trains #19/#20) or Piedmont (trains #73/#74.)

Meanwhile, Progress Energy Florida has begun mobilizing line and tree crews as Tropical Storm Bonnie threatens the Florida Panhandle and Tropical Storm Charley threatens the west coast of Florida. Progress Energy expects to have line and service workers and tree contractors prepared to jump into action to restore power if Bonnie or Charley affects Progress Energy’s service area.

“We are ready to respond if the storm affects our service area,” said Alan Sowell, Progress Energy’s system storm coordinator. “Once it’s safe to do so, our crews will immediately go to work to repair the electrical system and restore power as quickly and safely as possible.”

— Todd DeFeo; PRNewswire-FirstCall contributed to this report.