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Railfan Hot Rail NewsEdited by the Railfan & Railroad staff
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Amtrak Vermonter strikes rockslide, derails, no life-threatening injuries
October 5th, 2015

Amtrak Train 55, the southbound Vermonter traveling from St. Albans, Vt., to Washington, D.C., struck a rockslide betweeen Northfield and Roxbury, Vt., this morning. According to local news reports from WCAX-TV, the derailment occurred near Route 12A and Bull Run Road. The train had just made its station stop in Montpelier and was headed for Randolph when the train struck a landslide and all five cars left the tracks. Emergency crews have responded, with some injured transported by ATV because of the isolated location. Details are still developing at this time.

—Railfan & Railroad

Delaware & Hudson south end shut down in preparation for transfer to Norfolk Southern control
September 18th, 2015

Norfolk Southern operation of the former Delaware & Hudson tracks south of Schenectady, N.Y., to Sunbury, Pa., will commence on September 19. Considered to be one of America's oldest continually operating transportation companies, Canadian Pacific is retaining control of the D&H line that connects Montreal with connections at the Port of Albany, N.Y.

From the Norfolk Southern web site:

As previously announced, the Surface Transportation Board has granted approval for Norfolk Southern to purchase certain portions of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad.  As a result, NS will begin to operate these lines at 12:01am on Saturday, September 19, 2015.  In order to prepare for this, D&H will cease all operations on the impacted lines effective 5:00pm Friday, September 18th  through 12:00am Saturday, September 19th.  All train operations will experience a complete shutdown during this time until rail operations are systematically brought back on line.

—Railfan & Rairoad via Norfolk Southern

Claremont & Concord to become part of Genesee & Wyoming
August 10th, 2015

Genesee & Wyoming Industries adds a few more miles to its growing international short line empire with the announcement of the intention to purchase New Hampshire operation Claremont & Concord. A former Boston & Maine branch dating back to 1848 and known for its fleet of Alco switchers, the railroad will be acquired by GWI subsidiary New England Central, which connects at White River Junction, Vermont. Current operations are centered around White River Junction and West Lebanon. There has been no definite timetable announced regarding when the acquisition and integration would be completed.

—Railfan & Railroad

CP Chairman Resigns in Boardroom Gaffe
July 23rd, 2015

According to a report published in the Wall Street Journal, Chairman Gary Colter announced his resignation from Canadian Pacific’s board of directors on July 21 following “disagreements relating to corporate goverance matters” according to president Keith Creel. Company director Andrew F. Reardon has succeeded Colter as chairman.

According to to railroad officials, Colter “caused the company to issue a press release” announcing the departure of director Stepehen Tobias on June 29 though he had not notified the chairman of his plans until July 3. The release made the announcement even though the board took no official action on Tobias’ offer to resign.

The announced resignation date is important because it determines whether CP is considered an American or Canadian company in the eyes of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to a release, CP is no longer eligible for the SEC’s Foreign Private Issuer Exemption and will become a U.S. Issuer in 2016.

Colter had chaired the board for about a year following the 2012 boardroom coup spearheaded by activist investor William Ackerman, whose hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management is the railroad’s largest shareholder.

—Railfan & Railroad

D&H South End Sale Approved by STB
May 18th, 2015

On May 15, the Surface Transportation Board approved Norfolk Southern's petition to acquire 267 miles of the old Delaware & Hudson Freight Main Line between Sunbury, Pa., and Schenectady, N.Y., including the Voorheesville running Track from owner Canadian Pacfic. Trackage rights from Schenectady to Mechanicille would allow NS to reach the new intermodal yard located there, and the connection with Pan Am Southern and the Patriot Corridor route to Boston. According to the STB notice, the transaction will benefit shippers and increase operating efficiency since NS is now the principal user of this route.

One item of interest was the potential for NS to acquire the trackage rights formerly assigned to D&H down the Hudson Line to access the Long Island interchange at Fresh Pond, N.Y. The STB responded in its explanation that those trackage rights were granted as a result of the 1999 Conrail break-up, and are not related to this most recent acquisition by NS.

Also of note was short line Saratoga & North Creek's petition to have the contractual barrier struck down to allow interchange with Norfolk Southern as well as D&H (CP) at Saratoga Yard. Because the request was related to potential future traffic and not current carloads, SNC's request was denied. The STB decision also stressed that while the overall footprint of D&H will be reduced by this line sale, "Delaware & Hudson will continue to exist as a common carrier, separate from Norfolk Southern," and remain a subsidiary of Canaidan Pacific.

The D&H is one of America's oldest transportation companies, dating back to the 1823 creation of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Co. The decision will be made effective on June 14, 2015.

—Railfan & Railroad

Allentown & Auburn May 2 photo freight postponed
April 20th, 2015

The Auburn & Allentown photo freight originally scheduled for May 2 has been postponed.

—Railfan & Railroad

N&W 611 joins the 21st Century Steam Program
April 16th, 2015

One of the most anticipated events in steam restoration became a reality when Norfolk Southern Corp. announced that Norfolk & Western no. 611 would return for a series of steam excursions starting May 30. "Sixty-five years after the Class J 611 was built at N&W’s shops in Roanoke and placed into service for the first time May 29, 1950, the locomotive is scheduled to return under steam May 30, fulfilling the dreams of its Virginia Museum of Transportation owners and rail enthusiasts worldwide," according to a release.

The Virginia Museum of Transportation is joining the 21st Century Steam Program this year, along with Forth Worth Railway Historical Society (operators of the Nickel Plate 765) and the Tennesee Valley Railroad Museum (operators of Southern 4501). The 611 will debut on a private excursion on May 30, and then operate three public trips during the weekend of June 6, June 13, and July 4.

After a study launched in 2013 by VMT determined N&W 611 was an excellent candidate for restoration, more than $3 million in donations were raised to fund the project. Rebuilding work took place at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, N.C. Additional funds will be raised to establish a repair and storage facility on the VMT campus in Roanoke.

For the complete schedule of steam excursions, please visit nscorp.com.

—Railfan & Railroad via Norfolk Southern Corp.

House passes $8B Amtrak funding bill
March 4th, 2015

The House passed legislation Wednesday to authorize nearly $8 billion in funding for Amtrak. Record ridership in recent years was one of the reasons touted for increased funding, which passed a House vote 316-101, according to a report posted today to TheHill.com.

—Railfan & Railroad

Jim Squires to replace Wick Moorman as NS CEO this June
March 2nd, 2015

Norfolk Southern announced today their board's decision to name James A. Squires as chief executive officer, succeeding Charles W. "Wick" Moorman effective June 1, 2015, as part of the company's planned succession process. Squires and Moorman will be working together to effect a smooth transition of leadership. Squires joined the railroad's law department in 1992 serving in several positions before he was named vice president law in 2003 and later senior vice president law in 2004. In 2006 he was named senior vice president financial planning, executive vice president finance in 2007, and executive vice president administration in 2012. Squires was named president in 2013, an office he will continue to hold while working through the transition process.

—Railfan & Railroad via Norfolk Southern

Striking CP Rail employees could be ordered back to work
February 16th, 2015

The Canadian government is drafting legislation ordering more than 3,000 striking Canadian Pacific employees back to work according to CBC reports. The strike began as talks between CP and the Teamsters Canadian Rail Conference broke down leading up to Friday's negotiation deadline.  Agence Métropolitaine de Transport (AMT) commuter rail service in Montreal was cancelled monday due to a lack of operating crews, leaving thousands scrambling for alternatives. Last week, CP announced a plan to use "qualified management employees" to operate a reduced level of freight service across the network in the event of a strike, though there has been no word on how much of this plan has been implemented at this time.

—Railfan & Railroad


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