Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Orleans rail operators deal with Isaac

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Residents in New Orlean's French Quarter Thursday assured Railway Age by email that the city center was literally weathering Hurricane Isaac far better than expected, retaining electric power and phone service. But outlying city neighborhoods and suburbs often were being overwhelmed with water generated by heavy rain. All streetcar service remained suspended Thursday, the residents said.

Amtrak Thursday noted, "All Amtrak service to and from New Orleans is temporarily suspended due to Hurricane Isaac through Friday, Aug. 31." Service on the Crescent was truncated back to Atlanta; City of New Orleans trains ran no further south than Memphis; and Sunset Limited service was turned as far west as San Antonio, Tx.

As for freight rail, Norfolk Southern Thursday said its operations were affected in Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and southern Alabama, adding, "Inspections of the network continue as conditions allow. Based on preliminary inspections, we expect that service in some areas of south Alabama (on the line between Birmingham and Mobile) will begin on Friday, ramping up to normal schedules through the weekend." Inspections in southern Mississippi and Louisiana had not been completed, NS added.

On its website Wednesday, CSX advised,” Customers with shipments scheduled to travel in or through the Gulf region can expect delays of at least 72 hours. Although rail service to South Florida has resumed, customers can expect some delays as traffic backlog is cleared. “