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Amtrak Trains Delayed After Bridge Closure

Posted September 19, 2007
Updated September 20, 2007

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— Several Amtrak trains were delayed Wednesday afternoon after a Johnston County bridge that runs over the Little River was closed.

About 40 trains, carrying about 1,400 passengers, that travel in the area, just south of Kenly, were affected, Amtrak spokeswoman Karina Romero said.

Passengers could call 800-USA-RAIL or go to Amtrak.com for additional information and schedule updates.

The bridge was undergoing an annual inspection when inspectors found a defect in the support system, said Meg Sacks, a spokeswoman for CSX, the railroad company that manages the bridge.

The Amtrak trains were detoured to nearby stations so passengers could board buses to take them to their destinations.

"When we got in Richmond, they said we are sorry, but there's a bridge that is unsafe,” Amtrak passenger Barbara Woods said.

"Trains went over it yesterday, but we couldn't go over it today,” Amtrak passenger Millie Wannamaker said. "It has just been a long trip ever since."

Woods and Wannamaker were put on a bus in Richmond and brought to Raleigh.

Afternoon departures from New York to Miami and Miami to New York were also canceled. The bridge closure also affected the Auto Train from Lorton, Va., to Sanford, Fla., and Sanford to Lorton, Romero said.

About 30 freight trains operated by CSX were also affected by the closure, but no other passenger trains were expected to be affected, Sacks said.

The bridge was closed for about a day in April 2006 when a visual inspection uncovered a defect, Sacks said. That closing impacted about 50 trains, including 10 Amtrak routes.

7 Comments

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  • MrPearce Sep 20, 2007

    Bass Fisherman:

    Don't hang around on trainorders.com do ya? :)

    Eastern rails are all in rough shape, probably irrespective of the road owner. I would bet that NS just has a much stricter internal policy when it comes to comment by their workers.

    I think the primary differentiation is this: Union Pacific can still run those mammoth steamers over their road, but there isn't a Tier 1 Eastern railroad that allows steam on their roads at all. I think that reveals the true status of Eastern tracks.

    Unless CSX and NS can start turning a profit and still turn gobs of money back into the road, either one or both is going to be snatched up by a bigger player, is my guess. Whether one will eat the other, or UP will step in snatch them up, I have not a clue.

  • mrtwinturbo Sep 19, 2007

    I'm sure someone complained, like the train that caught fire some weeks back......

    Stephen....good point....I wonder how fast you would have to go to jump the Little Ditch...errr, River, shoot I heard that the river had dried up because of the drought..

  • Road-wearier Sep 19, 2007

    More legacy of the Tom Rice management philosophy - run it till it's worn out, then run it till it breaks, and then think about fixing it. CSX suffers to this day from this mindset.

  • Bass Fisherman Sep 19, 2007

    Was this the same defect found in 2006? Aging infrastructure is an under-statement when it comes to CSX and our railroad system. Through business contacts, I have talked with a lot of the rank and file railroad workers, and it is just bad.

  • MrPearce Sep 19, 2007

    Just a sign of aging infrastructure. At least it was caught before a Amtrak or Freight train went into the ditch, er, river :)

  • tgw Sep 19, 2007

    Better they find the problem now than after a train goes into the "Little River" which is about 15' wide-if that wide.
    Could still really make for a bad day!!!

  • Stephen Sep 19, 2007

    But it's just a Little River...why use a bridge at all? ;)