And Again, Hurricanes Disrupt Rail Service in Fla., Throughout Southeast

Hurricanes Frances and Ivan dumped buckets of rain throughout the southeast and caused disruptions to railroads regionally.

“Although the Railway recorded very strong volumes in July and August, the Railway’s preliminary assessment of Hurricane Frances’ impact to operations indicates that in September the Railway will experience reduced traffic levels, as well as clean-up expenses,” said Robert W. Anestis, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Florida East Coast Industries.

Following Frances, a pair of special relief trains operated by CSX Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad made their way to Florida, providing fuel for emergency operations in the aftermath of the storm. The dedicated trains – one consisting of 20 cars and the other 24 cars – departed the Houston, Texas area recently and were expected to arrive in Florida at distribution points in Sanford and Tampa within days of Frances’ landfall.

A total of 40 cars of diesel fuel or about 1.1 million gallons make up most of the shipments, although four cars of gasoline, or about 114,000 gallons, are also included. The fuel shipments were requested by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the State of Florida to alleviate shortages created by Hurricane Frances and earlier, Hurricane Charley. The diesel fuel will be used for emergency generators at hospitals and in fire and rescue vehicles. The gasoline will be used in police cars.

“Throughout our history, Union Pacific has stepped up and assisted communities in times of need,” said Dick Davidson, Union Pacific chairman and CEO. “We are pleased to be able to provide assistance to FEMA as they help so many in Florida.”

In mid-September, Amtrak suspended all service to New Orleans and used The City of New Orleans to help evacuate residents.

Before Frances, CSX said it had placed ballast trains at strategic locations throughout Florida to help repair tracks damaged by the hurricane.

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Todd DeFeo
About Todd DeFeo 236 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and The Travel Trolley.