Date: Sun, 19 Sep 1999 12:15:07 EDT
Subject: Status of eastern NC Rail conditions

Sunday, Sep 19, 1999

Here's an update (first report is a mix of Saturday & Sunday currency) on the 
status on CSX's mainline tracks in eastern North Carolina. The principal 
information comes from Doug Riddell  an Amtrak engineer who often 
contributes to the popular railroad press  in emails to his friend William 
Billy. Several notes are from other sources. Most of the information covers 
Amtrak lines (which in eastern NC are mostly CSX lines). Anybody know 
anything about NS conditions in eastern Carolina?

In short, as Riddell says, the severity of the damage to CSX and NS in 
eastern VA and NC is going to surprise everyone. Hurricane Floyd has done 
extensive damage to the former ACL main line in Virginia and North Carolina, 
to the former SAL in tidewater Virginia and to the former ACL secondary lines 
in eastern North Carolina.

NOTE: The most current Amtrak info is the last report below.

CSX in North Carolina, south from VA border (most info here was current 
1. Much of the main line at Halifax, NC was washed out.
2. The Tar River bridge in north Rocky Mount has been totally destroyed 
(perhaps even missing, but not simply covered with water).
3.  It is believed that a temporary replacement span is being brought up from 
Georgia to put in place over the Tar River.
4. The street tunnel beneath the yard at south Rocky Mount is submerged and 
water is nearly up to track level.
5. The area around the Rocky Mount station, being on high ground, should be 
okay, but everyting else on all four approaches is under as much as 37 feet 
of water.
6. Rocky Mount probably was the worst hit sizeable population center in North 
7. The Rocky Mount Tarboro line, which is the gateway to the east end of the 
old ACL in eastern NC, was devastated at Tarboro (so was Tarboro).
8. Two miles south of Wilson, the CSX north-south mainline bridge at 
Contentnea (if it hasn't washed away by the time you read this) is nearing 
9. There are low-lying areas that are so deep in water that it is not 
possible to determine just how severe damage may be.
10. The high waters are expected to crest at differing times yesterday and 
Sunday (today).
11. An Associated Press story said, "While the Tar River crested Saturday in 
Tarboro at 43 feet  24 feet above flood stage  the Neuse and Cape Fear 
rivers weren't expected to crest until Tuesday, also well above flood stage." 
The Neuse and Cape Fear rivers both cross the CSX mainline a good bit farther 
south of Wilson.

CSX in Virginia, south and east of Petersburg (as of Saturday)
12. Everything from Petersburg south is under water.
13.  Stony Creek, VA  or what used to be Stony Creek  is under at least 12 
to15 feet of water. Water is up to the second floor of most businesses there.
14. Franklin, VA, on the old SAL Portsouth sub is under 15 feet of water. 
Boykins and Branchville are inundated.
15. An Associated Press story said, "In Franklin, Va., 9 to 12 feet of water 
from the Blackwater River filled more than 180 downtown businesses on 
Saturday, and authorities said the river might not crest until sometime 
16. The Meherrin River flooded west of Emporia, VA, so, the downtown and 
newly restored station are probably a mess.

Engineer Ridell wrote, "My job's due out tonight [Saturday], but we've been 
told that the track at Rocky Mount won't be open until Monday at earliest  
they didn't say WHICH Monday."

Info compiled and forwarded by Bob Loehne.

Later Saturday (Sep 18), the NC DOT issued the following temporary Amtrak 

NOTE: See the Sep 19 "Amtrak Detours" report below.

The Carolinian (trains 79, 80) will not operate today, Friday, September 17, 
Saturday, September 18 nor Sunday, September 19. The Carolinian operates 
daily from Charlotte to Raleigh with service continuing to Richmond, 
Washington, D.C. and New York. State Transportation and Amtrak officials 
expect the Carolinian will resume its normal schedule on Monday or Tuesday. 

The Piedmont, which provides daily round-trip service from Raleigh to 
Charlotte with stops in between, is operating on its normal schedule. 

The Crescent (trains 19, 20) will continue to operate as scheduled. The 
Crescent operates between New York and New Orleans making stops in 
Greensboro, High Point, Salisbury, Charlotte and Gastonia.

The Silver Meteor (trains 97, 98) Silver Star (trains 91, 92) and Silver Palm 
(trains 89, 90) also have been cancelled through Sunday. All three services 
operate between New York and southern Florida. Alternate transportation for 
canceled trains will not be offered.

A statement issued on Friday (Sep 17) by Norfolk Southern said:

Two days of heavy rain and powerful wind caused flooding, track washouts and 
downed trees and power lines from southeastern North Carolina to upstate New 
York. Damage in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina was minimal, and train 
service quickly resumed to the ports at Jacksonville, Fla., Brunswick, Ga., 
Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C., which all shut down in preparation for 
the hurricane. Trains also resumed operations today between Crewe and 
Norfolk, Va., and preparations were made to resume coal dumping today at 
Lamberts Point in Norfolk. 


Subj:    CSXT / Amtrak Detours -The Official Word
Date:   9/19/99 2:42:19 AM Eastern Daylight Time

The official word!!  Three Norfolk Southern Piedmont Division operating 
bullitens concerning detouring Amtrak & CSXT trains. Bulletins are
listed oldest first.
09-17-99 14:11

All Concerned:

The following Amtrak/CSXT trains will be detoured over Piedmont 
Division Trackage Due to Hurricane Floyd Damage:

CSXT Tropicana OJ Train -- Train scheduled to arrived Charlotte from 
Hamlet, NC in late PM Friday, Sept 17th.  Train will operate Charlotte - 
Alexandria for delivery back to CSXT.  Chief Dispatcher arrange to have 
necessary crew called for train enroute Alexandria.  A Southbound 
intermodal train will arrive Alexandria PM of 09-17-99 to be called with 
NS crews Alexandria to Charlotte for delivery back to CSXT at Charlotte.  
Please use train symbols 070 (OJ train) and 071 (intermodal train).

Amtrak train 52 (Auto Train) will operate on deadhead movement (no 
passengers) Columbia, SC to Alexandria, VA.  Amtrak will have qualified 
crews Charlotte to Alexandria.  A Road Foreman of Engines will need to 
pilot train Columbia to Charlotte.  Train is due to depart Columbia at 
01:30am 09-18-99 and will stop in Charlotte to fuel engines.  Train must 
occupy main two track to fuel.

Amtrak train 091 will be detoured from Alexandria to Columbia PM of 09-
18-99 and 09-19-99 Departing Alexandria to 16:55 arriving Charlotte 
22:30 both days.  Engines will be fueled at Charlotte and a road foreman of 
engines will pilot train Charlotte to Columbia.  Use symbol 021 for train.  
Use main two Charlotte to fuel.

Amtrak train 092 will be detoured from Columbia to Alexandria on Sunday 
and Monday the 19th and 20th and will also fuel at Charlotte, NC.  A Road 
Foreman of Engines will pilot train Columbia to Charlotte with qualified 
Amtrak crews available to operate train Charlotte to Alexandria.  Use 
symbol 022 for this train.  Train must occupy No. two track at Charlotte.

Amtrak trains 079 & 080 operating between Selma, NC & Charlotte, NC 
are annulled for Saturday the 18th.

09-17-99 14:39

As a result of damage to CSX tracks between Rocky Mount, NC and 
Alexandria, VA., Amtrak has requested detours of the following trains over 
NS between Columbia, SC and Charlotte, NC and between Charlotte, NC 
and Alexandria, VA.

Trains & anticipated schedule Times for NS are:

Train 52(17th) Deadhead Auto Train
Dep Columbia 01:30 09/18/99

Train 91(18th) Silver Star
Dep Alexandria 16:54 09/18/99
Dep Charlotte 23:54 09/18/99
Arv Columbia 03:54 09/19/99

Train 91(19th) Silver Star
Dep Alexandria 16:54 09/18/99
Dep Charlotte 23:54 09/18/99
Arv Columbia 03:54 09/19/99

Train 92(18th) Silver Star
Dep Columbia 01:10 09/19/99
Dep Charlotte 05:10 09/19/99
Arv Alexandria 12:10 09/19/99

Train 92(19th) Silver Star
Dep Columbia 01:10 09/19/99
Dep Charlotte 05:10 09/19/99
Arv Alexandria 12:10 09/19/99

Amtrak crews will operate the trains.  NS road foreman/piolt will be 
needed between Charlotte & Columbia, SC.

All Amtrak trains will need to use main track #2 at Charlotte so Amtrak's 
vendor can fuel engines.  Dispatcher Bullitens for trains will need to be 
issued to crews at Columbia, Charlotte, Charlottesville, & Washington.

Use train symbols R52, R91, R92 for reporting purposes.

09-18-99 11:42

All Concerned:

CSXT will deliver another Tropicana OJ Train to Charlotte to be forward 
to Alexandria, VA.  Train scheduled to arrive Charlotte 2am Sunday, Sept 
19th.  CSXT control center to call Piedmont Chief Dispatcher 4 hours in 
advance of train arrival.

Chief dispatcher please ensure proper crews called to protect train.  Please 
use symbol 070.

Further, Amtrak trains 079 & 080 will not operate on Sunday, Sept. 19th 
between Selma and Charlotte.  All other Amtrak movements will operate.

Stay tuned... more information as it becomes available.