Storm of “Biblical proportions” in Southeast fouling Amtrak service

October 5, 2015

The historic rain-producing storm which has inundated the Carolinas with previously unheard-of amounts of rainfall has damaged the track infrastructure of both CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway, the two principal railroads in the Southeast.Website Insert 5000 New Seats copy

Amtrak, which operates exclusively on CSX and Norfolk Southern south of Washington, D.C. has cancelled service south of Richmond, Virginia, and is assessing the few options available to get the Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Auto Train, Carolinian, Piedmonts, and Palmetto running again. There is service being run in Florida between Miami and Jacksonville.

There is an unknown amount of damage on CSX’s I-95 Corridor (former Atlantic Coast Line Railroad main line) in North Carolina and South Carolina, but one critical bridge north of Charleston, South Carolina could take up to multiple weeks to repair for return to train service. There is an alternative, running trains to the west over the former Seaboard Air Line Railroad main line from Raleigh, North Carolina via Columbia, South Carolina and to Savannah, Georgia, rejoining the CSX I-95 Corridor main line. That is the current route of the Silver Star. The Raleigh-Columbia-Savannah routing takes approximately three hours longer in running time than the Florence-Charleston-Savannah route the Silver Meteor, Auto Train, and Palmetto currently use.

Here are the customer service advisories from CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway:

CSX Customer Advisory - CSX Operations Delayed in Mid-Atlantic States

October 5, 2015

CSX is recovering from historic levels of rain over the weekend in the Carolinas. Several branch lines and at least two major lines have been impacted by flooding and downed trees. CSX crews are working to restore normal operations but the risk of additional rain and flooding continues. While Amtrak has suspended passenger operations between Richmond and Jacksonville, freight continues to move in most areas although somewhat slowed by the conditions. Some local customers in the region may not be able to be served until all tracks are restored to service. As always, our main priority is the safety of our employees and the needs of our customers. The CSX Customer Service team is available 24/7 to field any questions should customers need more details. Customers with questions about shipments can contact the Customer Service Center via www.shipcsx.com or by calling 1-877-ShipCSX (1-877-744-7279). Customers can sign up on ShipCSX to automatically receive service advisory notifications.

Norfolk Southern:

Oct 05, 2015

Norfolk Southern operations is being curtailed or re-routed due to flash flooding and record rainfall affecting the Mid-Atlantic East Coast areas.  In particular, the South Carolina area on the Piedmont operating division has experienced excessive flooding interrupting service on several of their main corridors.
  • Columbia to Augusta line is now back in service
  • Columbia to Charleston line is projected to be back in service by the end of the week
  • Columbia to Charlotte line is projected to be back in service within 5 days
  • Columbia to Spartanburg line is projected to take 2-3 weeks before full service is restored.  Portions of this line will be approved for service as incremental gains are made from the east (Columbia) and from the west (Spartanburg)
Norfolk Southern is advising that customers in these areas should expect delays. Every attempt is being made to prioritize routing of traffic as rail infrastructure is restored.
The latest ETA and routing information is always available through Pacesetter and accessNS.
Customers with questions regarding local service should contact their Operations and Service Support representative.
Operations and Service Support at 800-898-4296
Automotive Operations at 888-649-9273
Customers with questions regarding local service in the Conrail area should contact their Conrail Customer Service representative.
Conrail Customer Service at 800-456-3018

 

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