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Safety Under Scrutiny Following Fatal Amtrak Derailment

The National Transportation Safety Board’s “Go Team” arrives on the scene of the derailment of Amtrak train No. 188 at Frankford Junction in Philadelphia, Pa., on May 13, 2015. While the cause of the accident is still under investigation, it has been verifi ed the seven- car train was traveling at 106 m.p.h. as it approached a curve with a speed limit of 50 m.p.h. on May 12, 2015. The catastrophic wreck took eight lives of the 254 on board. Additional details can be found on page 11. PHOTO COURTESY NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD



BNSF Railway continues to adjust schedules of certain manifest trains oper- ating over the former Santa Fe Transcon. Until recently, the railroad had operated a pair of eastbound manifests from Bar- stow, Calif., to Kansas City, Kansas, and Lincoln, Neb., that alternated days of the week with H-BARKCK (to Argentine Yard in Kansas City, Kansas) operating one day and H-BARLIN (to Lincoln) de- parting on the opposite day. Effective April 16, both trains were canceled and replaced by daily Train H-BARNEW (High Priority Manifest, Barstow-New- ton, Kan.), which carries both Argentine Yard and Lincoln blocks. Upon arrival at Newton, the train is switched into three trains originating from Newton. The Ar- gentine traffic now operates in M-HUT- KCK (originating in Hutchinson, Kan.) as has been the standing practice for about one year. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 11:30 p.m., new Train M-NEWLIN departs for Lincoln, operat- ing to Peabody, Kan., up the Strong City Branch to Superior, Neb., and over for- mer Burlington Northern rails to Hast-


ings, Neb., and eventually Lincoln. A third train, M-NEWGAL to Galesburg, Ill., has been running for some time al- ready and departs Newton at 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday, using the former BN Brookfield Subdivision east of Kan- sas City, Mo. BNSF began operation of another

new schedule, H-BARAMS (High Prior- ity Manifest, Barstow, Calif.-Amarillo South Yard, Texas), in mid-April. This daily train is scheduled out of Barstow at 12:01 a.m. and arrives into Amarillo the next afternoon at 4:00 p.m., a 38- hour trip across the former Santa Fe. The train carries Galesburg and Tul- sa, Okla., blocks that are forwarded to their destinations via M-AMSGAL and H-AMSTUL schedules, respectively. The addition of H-BARAMS also comes with the elimination of Train H-BARGAL (High Priority Manifest, Barstow-Gales- burg), which traditionally carried traffic originating in Modesto, Calif., including loaded reefers of wine. This traffic now moves east on H-BARAMS and M-AMS- GAL schedules. Train Q-SBDCHI2 (Guaranteed Ser-

vice Intermodal, San Bernardino, Ca- lif.-Chicago) had its symbol changed to Q-SBDCHI7 to reflect an increase in the priority of this train. Effective April 17,

Q-SBDCHI7 departs San Bernardino at 2:00 a.m. Wednesday-Saturday and ar- rives in Chicago 62 hours, 25 minutes later, three hours better than Q-SBD- CHI2’s timetable. The domestic double stack train is authorized to operate with 10,000 feet of train and distributed pow- er on the rear. Further, Train Q-SBD- CHI1 was upgraded to Q-SBDCHI6, also to show an increase in priority. Q-SB- DCHI6 departs San Bernardino at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday-Thursday and Satur- day, operating on a 62-hour, 25-minute schedule, also three hours better than previously timetabled. BNSF in April continued to oper-

ate traffic away from its former Santa Fe Oklahoma mainline between Fort Worth, Texas, and Arkansas City, Kan., due to trackwork in this corridor, espe- cially at the east end of the yard in Alli- ance, Texas. On several occasions, emp- ty grain trains have been rerouted west from Temple to Lubbock, Texas, and up the Plainview Subdivision to Canyon and Amarillo, Texas, then across the Transcon to either Kansas City, Kan., or Newton, Kan.; some V-SNTKCK (Au- tos, San Antonio, Texas-Argentine Yard, Kansas City, Kan.) trains have also op- erated via this route. Still other trains have run east from Fort Worth via Ma-

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