TSA Teams With Railroads to Test Security Preparedness

December 13, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is partnering with Amtrak and three commuter railroads for a three-day pilot project to test the agency’s ability to assist State and local authorities by quickly deploying federal assets in response to a specific threat. The pilot will run from Dec. 14 through Dec. 16 and will involve Federal Air Marshals, surface transportation inspectors and TSA canine teams. Commuter railroads participating in the project are the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), SEPTA and Metrolink "In the event of an actual threat, relationships with partners like WMATA and Amtrak will be crucial for

Norfolk Southern’s ‘Best Friend’ Visits Stock Exchange for Opening Bell Ceremony

December 12, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEW YORK – A replica of the first American-built steam locomotive was on display outside the New York Stock Exchange Dec. 12 as part of the opening bell festivities commemorating the 175th anniversary of Norfolk Southern Corp. The locomotive symbolizes the beginning of what would become the nation’s leading freight railroad. Today’s Norfolk Southern has an unbroken 16-year record of industry leadership in safety and is FORTUNE magazine’s 2005 most admired railroad. "Many companies come to the New York Stock Exchange to commemorate special events by ringing the opening bell. But very few can celebrate with as long a history

Teamsters Support Rail Emergency Training Bill Introduced by Rep. Lynch

December 9, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – In response to a Teamsters’ report warning that the nation’s railways are still vulnerable to terrorist attacks and other emergencies, U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, D-Mass., on Dec. 6 introduced legislation that would establish a comprehensive emergency training program for all rail workers. The Teamster Rail Conference report, "High Alert," detailed an appalling lack of emergency training for workers in this post 9-11 era. Workers overwhelmingly reported that they had not received terrorism response and prevention training in the past year. "Rep. Lynch’s bill makes significant strides to correct a bad situation," said John F. Murphy, director of

Norfolk Southern Announces Planned 2006 Capital Spending

December 9, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk Southern Corporation plans to spend $1.146 billion in 2006 for capital improvements to its railroad operations and subsidiaries. "Continuing strong demand for rail transportation is driving the need for additional investment in Norfolk Southern’s rail network," said CEO Wick Moorman. "Our 2006 capital program ensures that our network and assets continue to be well maintained and also provides for increased capacity in terms of infrastructure, locomotives and cars, and new technology. These investments will enable Norfolk Southern to maintain its safe and reliable operations while providing for further improvements in customer service and capacity for continuing

Highlighting 175 Years of Railroading, Norfolk Southern Museum Will Open December 5

December 2, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NORFOLK, Va. – Early rail, clothing, tools, locomotive parts, signage, photographs and advertisements are a few of the artifacts that will be on display when the Norfolk Southern Museum opens Dec. 5. The opening marks Norfolk Southern Corporation’s 175th anniversary and reflects the company’s partnership with Norfolk and communities across the rail system. "Norfolk Southern has a great story to tell," said Chairman David R. Goode. "Our 175-year history parallels the economic and social growth of America, and now we are playing a growing role in the global movement of 21st century goods. We’ve been around a long time, but

The Saga Continues: A Looming Strike, No Leader, Mounting Loses for Amtrak

December 1, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Amtrak’s Board of Directors in early November voted to fire David Gunn, the railroad’s president. The action drew the criticism from the chairman of the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Railroads. “One of the board’s responsibilities is to hire Amtrak’s officers, including the President and CEO,” said Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio. “I happen to believe that Mr. Gunn was doing a reasonable job with the hand he was dealt. As matter of law, Mr. Gunn or any CEO ‘serves at the pleasure of the board.’ But there are deeper issues here, whether one is a supporter or opponent

Teamsters: Graniteville Report Highlights Vulnerability of Nation’s Railways

November 29, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Nov. 29 recommended that rail companies make important operational changes, including reducing speeds in populated areas, to avoid another catastrophic accident like the crash in Graniteville, South Carolina, in January that killed nine people. The deadly accident occurred when a Norfolk Southern train crashed into a parked freight train that was carrying tank cars of chlorine gas. One of the tank cars exploded, causing a cloud of toxic gas to blanket the area. Eight residents of Graniteville and the locomotive engineer operating the train died after inhaling the gas. "Rail companies

NCDA: Latest Construction Cost Estimates for Northstar in Line with Preliminary Budget

November 29, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ANOKA, Minn. – After completing 60 percent of the design of the Northstar Commuter Rail required by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Northstar Corridor Development Authority (NCDA) has found that updated capital cost estimates are consistent with preliminary cost estimates of $265 million, the group announced Nov. 29. The latest numbers are the result of an in-depth engineering of all project elements today compared to when estimates were developed during preliminary design. "We have always pursued a conservative and careful approach to ensure responsible financial management of this project," said Tim Yantos, executive director of the NCDA. "It’s gratifying

NTSB: NS Train Crew Failed to Reline Switch

November 29, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The crew of a Norfolk Southern train failed to return a main line switch to the normal position after the crew completed work at an industry track in Graniteville, S.C., the National Transportation Safety Board has found. On Jan. 6, 2005, a northbound Norfolk Southern Railway freight train (No. 192) encountered an improperly lined switch that diverted the train from the main line onto an industry track where it struck an unoccupied, parked train (P22). The collision derailed both locomotives and 16 of the 42 freight cars of train 192 as well as the locomotive and one of

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