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#1 KevinKorell


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Posted 11 October 2005 - 05:33 PM

From Texas Association of Railroad Passengers (TXARP), newsletter for Autumn 2005:

TXARP doubts that any valuable lessons were learned by officials when Amtrak's offer after Hurricane Katrina to help evacuate New Orleans residents from the flooded city to western Louisiana and Texas were rejected. Then despite the operation of Amtrak and Trinity Railway Express trains out of Houston to San Antonio and Dallas respectively, there were still 100-mile-long traffic jams, some taking 24 hours to clear up, in the evacuation phase ahead of Hurricane Rita.

The SUNSET LIMITED, CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, and TEXAS EAGLE are running without dedicated baggage cars, and will continue to do so for the forseeable future. The coach cars that have luggage areas will be utilized for that purpose instead.

Texas has updated its rail system plan. It can be seen here. Details will be discussed at TXDOT's next meeting on October 27, 2005.

A derailment occurred in the San Antonio yard on September 15th when through cars bound for Los Angeles were being switched from the TEXAS EAGLE to the SUNSET LIMITED. This was caused by human error; a handbrake on one of the occupied coaches had not been applied. The derailment was limited to one truck of the coach, which rolled slightly and sideswiped a locomotive from the SUNSET. Five passengers reported minor injuries. The yard crew was taken out of service to get mandatory drug testing. There was some damage to P-42 locomotive #140, which also had to come out of service to repair damaged a safety appliance. The westbound SUNSET was delayed 3-1/4 hours by this incident, and the next morning's TEXAS EAGLE also suffered a 1-1/2 hour delay from its starting point.

The SUNSET will remain a Los Angeles-San Antonio train until further notice, due to track and bridge damage from Hurricane Katrina. While service may return in the near future to New Orleans for this train, it could be years before service can resume on the CSX route between New Orleans and Florida.

Kevin Korell

OTOL Board Leader

Howell, NJ

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