News Briefs - January, 2003
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(TV 5) Flint---A propane tanker truck has crashed and exploded near downtown Flint early Thursday morning. Flint police tell TV 5 the truck went off of I-69 near the Dort Highway exit ramp and fell onto CSX railroad tracks shortly after midnight. Witnesses say the explosion created a huge fireball which lit up the nighttime sky. The crash and explosion also brought down power lines in the area, including a 46,000 volt line which fell onto I-69. Power is temporarily out in that area for at least 1,100 Consumers Energy customers, according to utility spokesman Kevin Keane. A crash investigator from the Michigan State Police Motor Carrier Division has been summoned to the scene. Structural engineers from the Michigan Department of Transportation are also being called in to investigate the structural integrity of the I-69 bridge over the railroad tracks. Police say they are concerned the explosion and resulting fire caused steel supports to melt and buckle, making the bridge unsafe for traffic. The truck driver is unaccounted for and is believed to have died in the crash. From Dave Williamson, BWC.
News from MSTRP's- Steam Railroading Institute...
Cliffs released their 2002
financial report today. Of interest is the anticipated production
quantities for 2003 (full production for most mines):
2002 2003 Estimate (in
millions of tons)
Central Michigan Sells the 9210...
Patrick on the Michigan Shortline board reports that Central Michigan has sold the 9210 locomotive to a bean elevator somewhere in Indiana. The unit is still in Wenona Yard at North Bay City with its stacks capped. He is not sure when it will depart. Sister engine 9209 is on lease to the Huron & Eastern Railroad for the grain shipping season, which is substantial this year.
Anthony J. Rzucidlo reports that a CSX train derailed in Wayne at the Van Born Road crossing. Police were called and the roadway was to be cleared by 5:00 p.m. today (1/24). No other information available at this time. Further information from AP:
WAYNE, Mich. -- A van hit a CSX Transportation freight train before dawn Friday, killing one person, injuring another and derailing several empty propane tank cars, authorities say. The accident happened about 3 a.m. on the Wayne-Romulus city line, about 15 miles west of Detroit. Both victims were in the van. The train had two engines, 31 loaded and 34 empty cars, said CSX spokesman David Hall. He told radio station WWJ-AM that seven cars derailed and five overturned. No one aboard the train was hurt, no leaks were reported, and no one had been evacuated, Hall said. He said he did not immediately know what the train was carrying, but firefighters were concerned about flammable material in a rail car next to the cars that jumped the track, the station said. Several roads and businesses in the area were closed Friday morning as crews worked to clear the derailed cars.
A derailment last evening has impacted Norfolk Southern's mainline operations at Rocky Ridge, OH (Rocky Ridge, OH is on the Norfolk Southern mainline east of Toledo, OH). Both mainlines at this location are out of service. Tracks have been cleared and efforts are currently underway to repair tracks as quickly as possible. Operations are expected to be restored to one of the mainlines 9:00 AM Monday, January 20, 2003. Customers with traffic normally moving through this area should expect up to a 24-hour delay. From Norfolk Southern at 8:23 a.m., January 20th.
Amtrak resurrects baggage cars...
Amtrak appears to have resurrected checked baggage service on select trains between Chicago and Detroit. Recently, Baggage car 1736 has been seen on the Wolverine. Yesterday, the westbound Twilight Limited hosted a most unsuaul consist, running through Dearborn. Leading the train was P42 Genisis unit #31. Following were three Superliner cars. On the Rear was Baggage 1802. This car is lettered for "The Vermonter." It was also recently seen on the Lake Shore Limited in Elkhart, IN. We haven't had Superliners on this line for 3 or 4 years now. From Nathan Nietering.
Amtrak gets $1.2 billion restored in U. S. Senate...
I am happy to report that the U.S. Senate has just voted to pass an amendment to a $390 billion spending bill that would restore $1.2 billion for Amtrak. I quote from the Associated Press: "In one crack in their solidarity with Bush, Republicans joined Democrats in a voice vote to push subsidies for Amtrak to $1.2 billion, $374 million more than the bill had included. " According to long time Friends of Amtrak supporter and National Corridors Initiative Editor Leo King, "Even Amtrak foe Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) reluctantly agreed to the measure." From Craig O'Connell.
omnibus FY03 appropriations bill is on the Senate floor today.
Associated Press confirms that it includes $763 million for Amtrak,
about the same as the "shutdown" level as the House committee approved
last year. Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the
Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, plans to offer an
amendment to restore Amtrak funding to the $1.2 billion which David Gunn
says is the minimum Amtrak needs, and which the full committee approved
last year. The Amtrak amendment is expected to be the third
amendment considered and could come up some time this afternoon or this
evening. Starting at noon, the Senate is expected to consider a Byrd
(D-WV) amendment restoring $5 billion to homeland security funding, and
then move to an amendment that would restore education funding.
From Ross B. Capon, NARP Executive
CN 2428 and train experienced some troubles tonight (1/15/03) as a coupler broke away during its south bound pull on the Mt. Clemens Sub around milepost 40. CN train 145, the Triple Crown Road Railer was held up at Port Huron due to the problem. There was talk of it being routed through Flint and the Holly Sub to get to Milwaukee Jct. The Port Huron yard switcher, the 504, was dispatched to pull the troubled CN train and broken equipment from its better half. CN 6401 was chosen for this task and given a track warrant to work between Tappen and MP 40. The 6401 pulled the remainder of the train and bad car back north though Smiths Creek. It then pushed the bad car into the siding at Smiths Creek to clear the line. As of this posting I do not know if the rest of the train was hooked up and returned to its trip south. This was all heard on the CN/GTW frequencies this evening from about 930 PM. From Dan Meinhard. Dan later adds: CN 6401 just returned to the Port Huron Yard, so it must have re-attached the good part of the train and received clearance back in.
Soo Locks set to close on the 15th...
The river channel locks at Sault Ste. Marie will be closing on January 15th due to cold weather and icing. They will remain closed for about two months. There has been a flurry of railroad activity in the Marquette and various Minnesota Iron Ranges to get boats loaded and beyond the Soo by the closing date. Most boats to be loaded are at their docks and finishing the task. Once shipping finishes, crews will then begin their winter maintenance work on the various ore docks and track. Taconite pellets continue to be shipped through the all-weather port in Escanaba, and all-rail ore moves will still be made to Sault Ste. Marie Ontario and other steel mills around Chicago and in Ohio.
Changes in area railroad police departments...
Antrhony Rzucidlo reports that Conrail's police department in Metro Detroit was closed in the 4th quarter of 2002. Officers that were still active with Conrail were split-up between the CSX and NS Railroad Police Departments. Anthony is unsure about the fate of other CSAA divisions near New Jersey. Also, the CN/IC police officers have been pulled from Flat Rock Yard. If needed, officers/special agents work the entire area from Ferndale.
Former AA Carferry Viking to move...
According to U.S.
Coast Guard Station Erie, an ice advisory has been issued for the Erie,
PA. harbor for two tugs arriving on Friday to tow the Viking to
Menominee, Michigan for conversion to a barge. A representative with the
Coast Guard confirmed the move Thursday evening, but the exact time
frame for a move was not known. This type of move can easily be delayed
by weather. Lake effect snow and strong winds are forecast for the
weekend. The Viking is a former Ann Arbor Railroad car ferry.
New ore shut for Marquette dock...
Signs of the end of the
season are nearing as I saw the LS&I Hill job pass by Forestville about
7:30pm with something never seen by me... a flatcar with a new ore dock
chute going to Marquette. I hope to catch some of these in daylight as
I never caught the flatcars running before, or the gons for that matter
with the old dock scrap. Dockwork starting soon, as the 15th is soon
approaching. From Tom Carello.
Ore cars derail at Esky...
4 hoppers off the Minorca
derailed in the ore yard at Escanaba last night, about midnight. They
were coming out of the dump-house onto 7-track. Apparently one car was
half on it's side. This doesn't tie up the yard, though. SORE 2
came in southbound about 12:30 with WC 7520 & another SD45, 108 loads.
From OreRail list.
The D&M Railway Historical Society is holding its first Model Railroad Flea Market on March 23, 2002 at the Freeland Convention Center, between Saginaw and Midland. The Center is located at 8390 Midland Road (M-47) at Carter Road in Freeland. Tables are $18 or $20 if reserved at the door. For more information, go to the D&M Railway Historical Society web page.