Amtrak Posts Strong Gains in July

August 16, 2003 News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – Amtrak reported carrying 2,223,358 passengers in July, making it the best month for ridership in the railroad’s 32-year history. The record-setting month comes on the heels of Amtrak’s strongest April, May and June ridership totals ever. The railroad carried 2,098,901 passengers in April, 2,104,916 passengers in May, and 2,129,697 passengers in June. “Slowly but surely we are making improvements, and we are beginning to see results,” Amtrak president David L. Gunn said. “With public support to bring our infrastructure, trains and stations to a state of good repair, Amtrak will continue to build on this success.” Fifteen Amtrak

101st Bringing Trains Back on Track in Iraq

August 15, 2003 News Wire 0

Army News Service and The Cross-Tie MOSUL, Iraq – With a bit of Iraqi industriousness and some help from the 101st Airborne Division, the trains are again rolling northern Iraq. The first train, from Syria, rolled into Iraq July 30. Despite a slight delay, residents of Rabiyah, an Iraqi border town of 25,000 residents, were delighted with the service. “It brings us to the future, this train,” Mohsin al Naif, a leader of the Schamar tribe that has strong ties with Rabiyah, told The Associated Press. “We are bound by blood on both sides of the border.” Only days before,

TDOT Reorganizes State’s Railroad Crossing Task Force

August 1, 2003 News Wire 0

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Transportation is reorganizing its Railroad Crossing Task Force. “At the direction of TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely, members of the Railroad Crossing Task Force will now communicate more frequently, on a monthly basis, rather than quarterly, as in the past,” TDOT Public Information Officer Kim Keelor said. “Perhaps the most interesting new feature of the Task Force, that will help define its function, is the addition of four community representatives, some of whom are survivors of people killed in train crossing accidents.” The first meeting of the new Railroad Crossing Task Force was held

CSX Transportation Launches Track Maintenance Blitz

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – During a nine-day blitz, CSX suspended operations on a key rail line from Elkhorn City, Ky., to Laurens, S.C., while hundreds of railroad employees performed track upgrades, highway-rail crossing improvements and bridge and tunnel repairs. The engineering “Jamboree,” which ran from June 30 through July 8, enabled CSX to complete in nine days what would take two months if train operations were not rerouted. This year’s Jamboree was the largest of several such events the railroad has held across its 23,000-mile rail network since 1999, and materials have been pre-staged during the past six months. “Jamborees have

Amtrak No. 40: Time for a Paintjob?

July 1, 2003 Todd DeFeo 0

ATLANTA — On a recent jaunt to Washington, D.C., on Amtrak’s Crescent, I noticed something on the train’s lead Genesis unit. It needs a paint job. I’m not sure why it struck me. Perhaps, it was the most detailed examination of a Genesis unit I had ever given. So, on my way down the stairs leading to the plat- form, I snapped a picture and captured the moment on film. In the scheme of railfanning, it’s not an Earth shattering development. But, nonetheless, I found the picture compelling and be worthy of publication here. The picture isn’t typical of what

Railfanning is Fun, But Safety is Key

June 14, 2003 Todd DeFeo 0

I always play it safe when I take to a trackside location to railfan. Safety is my — and should be all railfans’ — No. 1 priority. For example, if you’re watching trains from a railroad crossing, abide by the law and stay behind the gates.

Fatalities Reported in Train Derailment

June 1, 2003 The Cross-Tie 0

HINESVILLE, Ga. — Two people were killed following a May 8 grade crossing wreck here. Amtrak’s southbound Silver Star struck a lumber truck at 7:20 a.m. May 6 and derailed, officials said. The truck’s driver — Boyd James Van Horn of Richmond Hill, Ga. — was fatally injured in the crash. “It felt like a really hard bump,” passenger Darren Hinzman told The Associated Press. “Then I felt a crash. Chairs were falling forward, objects were falling.” The train’s engineer — Larry Wayne Edenfield of Macclenny, Fla. — died May 9 from injuries he sustained in the wreck. He was

U.S., Canadian Customs Agencies, Railroads Reach Agreement To Strengthen Security

OTTAWA, Ontario – United States and Canadian customs agencies, along with Canada’s two major railways, have announced a declaration of principles to further enhance security at the Canada-U.S. border and to ensure secure rail access to the U.S. The joint government-industry initiative was completed after several months of discussion about ways to increase security of U.S.-bound rail shipments, while ensuring trade continues to flow between the two countries. These discussions were part of a larger process of implementing the Smart Border Declaration adopted by Canada and the United States in December 2001. “The signing of the declaration of principles shows

High Speed Rail in America

April 15, 2003 News Wire 0

At the new year of 2003, only one high-speed rail corridor was in operation in the United States – The Northeast Corridor. “Our goal with this first Acela Express train was to establish a strong initial presence between Boston and New York and based on these initial results, we are succeeding,” said former Amtrak President George D. Warrington in January 2001. “Acela Express marks the introduction of premium, limited stop Amtrak service in New England and this first roundtrip was scheduled to serve that market.” However, high-speed rail as a viable option is being considered in communities nationwide. And in

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