Hurricane Katrina Causes Rail Disruptions in La., Miss.

NEW ORLEANS — Due to Hurricane Katrina and severe damage across the Southeast, Amtrak had little choice but to implement a revised service plan for three trains that pass through New Orleans.

The City of New Orleans trains, which operates between New Orleans and Chicago; the Crescent, which operates between New Orleans and New York; and the Sunset Limited, which operates between Orlando and Los Angeles via New Orleans, all offered revised routes.

The City of New Orleans ran between Memphis and Chicago. The Crescent operated between Atlanta and New York. The Sunset Limited ran between San Antonio, Texas, and Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, within days of Hurricane Katrina’s Aug. 29 landfall, Norfolk Southern said its rail operations in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi are returning to normal. Some operations in the immediate New Orleans area remained closed into September.

“Lines are open, trains are moving, and we are ready to do our part in the overall recovery,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David R. Goode said Aug. 31. “Communities, customers and recovery organizations can depend on rail transportation. Our thoughts are with them, and our resources are at their call.”

Norfolk Southern said freight that regularly travels through New Orleans for connection to other carriers is being rerouted through the railroad’s other gateways.

Since the hurricane struck, Norfolk Southern crews have inspected some 1,400 miles of railroad and removed 3,680 trees on lines in the Gulf States.