August 2005 in rail transport

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This article lists events related to rail transport that occurred in August 2005.

Events[edit]

August 1
August 2
August 3
August 4
  • Russia – Russian President Vladimir Putin visits a railroad technology development and testing center near Shcherbinka; one of the highlights of the visit is Yermak (named in honor of Yermak Timofeyevich who helped open Siberia to Russian expansion), the first new domestic locomotive built in Russia in nearly 25 years. The new electric locomotive is anticipated to use 15% less energy to operate than comparable foreign-built locomotives. (ITAR-TASS)
  • Argentina – Argentinian railroad workers across the country (except for the subway operators in Buenos Aires) go on strike for 24 hours demanding higher wages. The strike comes after 100 days of failed negotiations between the railroads and the engine driver unions; if an agreement cannot be reached within a week, the unions have threatened a subsequent 36-hour strike. The railroad employees strike coincides with a 72-hour health care workers strike that is still occurring. (Prensa Latina)
August 5
August 6
  • United States – The city of Toledo, Ohio prepares the paperwork to file suit against Norfolk Southern Railway. After a steel plate weighing 24 pounds (11 kg) was thrown by two people off an overpass, and then the plate fell onto a passing automobile killing its driver, the city vowed to put up fences on all of the overpasses in the city to prevent a similar accident from recurring. The city claims that NS has been unresponsive in getting the fences installed and plans to sue the railroad to get the work completed. NS has declined comment stating that it is the railroad's policy not to comment on any pending lawsuits. (WTOL)
August 8
  • United States – Norfolk Southern Railway contacts the office of the mayor of Toledo, Ohio, in response to the threatened lawsuit. The railroad has committed to doing what needs to be done to put up the fences that the city wanted on the railroad overpasses, and the city suspends its legal action against the railroad. (WTOL)
August 9
  • United States – BNSF Railway rejects a proposal made by Southern California officials in Riverside and Orange Counties to build an elevated freeway above its tracks adjacent to the Riverside Freeway. BNSF claims that the construction would be too disruptive of the traffic on the railroad, traffic which serves the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. BNSF also cited the difficulties such a freeway would cause the railroad when it would want to expand its own right-of-way to add more tracks along the corridor. (KTLA) (LA Times)
  • Flag of Abkhazia – Officials of the Abkhazian delegation to talks on rebuilding the railroad link between Russia and Georgia through Abkhazia disrupt the proceedings by refusing to allow two Georgian officials entry to the meeting in Sukhumi. The Abkhazian officials refuse entry on the grounds that the two Georgian officials "are internally displaced persons who fled Abkhazia during the 1992–93 war." Previous meetings between Abkhazian and Georgian officials have proceeded without incident; a subsequent meeting date has not been announced. (Eurasia Daily Monitor)
August 10
August 13
August 14
August 15
August 16
  • United StatesNew York, Susquehanna and Western Railway files suit in U.S. District Court in an attempt to reduce or eliminate nearly US$2.5 million in fines imposed by agencies of the state of New Jersey for alleged pollution and environmental regulation violations. State officials claim that the railroad's five construction sites in North Bergen are operating in violation of state regulations in regard to environmental issues. The railroad claims that the regulations and fines "are preempted by federal law and are an unconstitutional interference with interstate commerce." Judge Katherine S. Hayden granted the railroad a temporary block until the case can be more thoroughly reviewed at a hearing on September 26. (North Jersey Media).
  • United Kingdom – One maintenance of way employee on High Speed 1 dies and a second is treated for severe burns when a fire erupts at a railway tunnel construction site at Swanscombe, Kent, England. About 50 firefighters responded to the blaze around 7:15 PM local time. Initial reports indicate the cause of the fire may be a collision between two work trains. Regular Eurostar service between England and France is unaffected by the incident. (Edinburgh News) (Reuters UK)
August 17
August 18
  • India – More than 500 commuters in Thane, India, protest the slow restoration of service on Indian Railways after heavy rain and flooding closed a part of the Central Railway on July 26. The protesters squatted on the tracks at 10:30 AM local time, blocking the trains from advancing. The protest affected all trains headed toward Mumbai, forcing them to stop at various points along the railroad. (rediff) (Mumbai Newsline)
  • United StatesLouisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco signs the state's Railroad Safety Bill into law. The new law mandates that US$25 out of every railroad-related fine imposed in the state will be used to pay for improved or replacement safety devices at railroad grade crossings across the state. The bill signing ceremony was held in Tangipahoa Parish, northwest of New Orleans, where many accidents have occurred already in 2005. Across the state in 2004 there were 25 deaths at grade crossing accidents. (The Advocate)
August 20
  • India – Authorities in the Jamnagar district of Gujarat, India, averted a disaster when a leak of liquefied petroleum gas was discovered and sealed. The gas was leaking from a tank car in a stationary train at the Aliabada station. Fire and other emergency crews rushed to the scene as a precaution, and the leak was controlled without incident. The car was loaded at the Reliance refinery; officials have begun an inquiry into how the car was loaded and to find out what can be done to prevent such an incident from recurring. (newindpress.com)
August 21
  • Bulgaria – The Bulgarian State Railway Company (BDZ) files the paperwork needed for a road hauling permit. The permit will allow the company to operate buses in lieu of trains to make the passenger connections around areas of the railroad system that have been washed out by flooding; the washouts are not due to be repaired before 2006. BDZ will operate the buses as part of its normal operations and not as a subsidiary company. (Dnevnik)
August 22
  • Czech Republic – The Lower House of the Czech Republic approves a bill that would enable České dráhy, the national rail operator, to take out a k1.4 billion loan to purchase new rolling stock. The railroad had already taken out loans worth 45 million in 2004 and €15 million in 2003. (Prague Daily Monitor)
  • Russia North Korea – Russian and North Korean railway officials open a meeting in Rajin, North Korea, to discuss the state of rail operations and interchange between the two nations' systems. The joint Russia-North Korea Railway Commission is expected to discuss the transfer of freight between the two systems as well as streamlining passenger operations between Khasan, Russia, and Tumangan, North Korea. So far in 2005, passenger traffic along this route has increased by nearly 20% while freight traffic has increased by 7% over 2004 figures. (RIA Novosti)
  • India – India's Parliament passes the Railway Bill that will allow Indian Railways to commercially develop land adjoining the railroad's right-of-way. Lalu Prasad, India's Railway Minister announced that the land would be used to provide better amenities to passengers and that it would generate an estimated Rs. 10,000 by year's end. Parcels of land that are not adjacent to stations will be used for beautification projects, such as the planting of jatropa trees along the railroad. (rediff)
  • Japan Vietnam – The Japan External Trade Organization announces that it will fund a feasibility study on a new elevated commuter railway in Hanoi, Vietnam. The agreement means that the Vietnamese project leaders will be able to request further funding from the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation to be used for the line's construction. The proposed railway would connect Yen Vien to Ngoc Hoi, a distance of 25 km (16 mi) and is estimated to cost nearly US$1.2 billion when it is completed. If everything goes well, construction could begin in early 2006. (Bernama)
  • United StatesBNSF Railway begins a week-long appreciation of truckers and the services they provide to the railroad by hosting "BNSF Really Digs Your Rig" events at BNSF's intermodal terminals in Chicago, Oakland, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Drivers who visit these facilities are treated to lunch and refreshments provided by the railroad and its partners. Other BNSF facilities across the system are displaying banners "expressing BNSF's appreciation of the nation's truck drivers." BNSF's efforts are in conjunction with other national Truck Driver Appreciation Week efforts. (PR Newswire)
  • Switzerland – The external auditors report requested by Swiss Federal Railways after a power outage shut down the system on June 22 is released. The report states that the incident which left about 200,000 passengers stranded temporarily was caused by "an unfortunate chain reaction caused by separate incidents." The root of the problem was identified as an incorrect information about the capacity of a central power line in Switzerland; this led to an incorrect risk assessment by railway engineers. (SwissInfo)
August 24
August 25
  • United States – New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority solicits bids to enable cellular phone usage on the city's subway system. The 10-year exclusive contract to provide cellular coverage in 277 of the system's almost 500 stations is estimated to value between US$50 million and $100 million, and would include two 5-year renewal options. The contract includes a clause requiring the winning bidder to carry calls of rival companies so that passengers' phones would work regardless of which provider a subscriber uses. Similar systems are already in use on the London Underground, in England, and MTR, in Hong Kong. (NY Times)
August 27
  • Italy – A slow order is imposed on the Naples-Rome line of Trenitalia when an unexploded World War II American bomb is discovered in excavations at a house site near the railroad line. The bomb's outer shell was scraped by the excavating equipment. Officials hope to move the bomb to a safe location and explode it on September 1 at 8:30 AM local time; if moving it is not possible, then bomb experts will empty the bomb and explode the remainder on site. Until the threat of uncontrolled explosion is contained, all trains in the area are restricted to 40 km/h (25 mph) for approximately 500 metres (0.3 miles). (AGI)
  • Russia – A bomb explodes under the locomotive of a passenger train at Rostov-on-Don on the line from Sulak to Kurush. Officials with the North Caucasus Railway report that the explosion derailed the locomotive and two passenger cars and created a 50 cm (19.7 in) deep, 1.5-metre (4.9 ft) diameter crater. About 60 m of track was damaged in the explosion and derailment. Railway officials added that the passenger train in the dreailment was preceded by an armored train whose responsibility was to detect and neutralize such explosive devices. The railway was able to resume limited service through the affected area at 5:30 AM local time on Sunday. (Interfax)
  • United States – The Cass Scenic Railroad State Park celebrates the 100th "birthday" of the railroad's Shay locomotive number 5, the oldest operable Shay in the world. Originally built for the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company, the locomotive has spent its entire working life in the Cass, West Virginia, area. (Herald-Dispatch)
  • KazakhstanKazakhstan Prime Minister Daniyal Akhmetov places the first stone in the construction of a new Ust Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, to Charsk, Russia, railroad. The new rail connection is expected to reduce travel times and expenses for both passengers and freight between the two regions. (Kazinform)
  • Norway – The first section of the Asker Line, from Asker to Sandvika, is opened. This allows for more and faster trains to operate west of Oslo. The rest of the line is scheduled to open in 2011.[2]
August 28
August 29
August 30
August 31
  • Sri Lanka – Engine drivers across Sri Lanka go on strike protesting what has been termed as "salary anomalies". To counter the strike, the government of Sri Lanka used emergency regulations to revoke the drivers' leave. In addition, the railway has asked retired workers to report for duty to take the place of those on strike. About 16 trains ran on limited schedules with these workers. (ColomboPage)
  • United StatesCanadian Pacific Railway (CP) files a motion to dismiss all claims from a derailment that occurred on January 18, 2002. In 2004 the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a report that blamed the accident, which released a cloud of anhydrous ammonia over Minot, North Dakota, on poor trackwork and inspections, a claim which CP is disputing. Soon after the report was released, several suits were filed against CP, and the cases have been granted class action status. In its filing today, CP cites a recent decision in a similar case involving a BNSF Railway derailment and chemical spill that occurred in 2000; in that case, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that BNSF's violation of certain federal regulations "is generally not recognized as negligence" under law. The first suit against CP is currently scheduled to be heard on October 10 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Duluth News Tribune)
  • United StatesBNSF Railway announces that it expects to restore limited freight service to southern Louisiana by the end of the day on September 1. Other than debris on the mainline, the biggest problem facing crews working to reopen the line is the damage to the Bayou Boeuf bridge in Morgan City; the bridge and bridge piers were struck by a barge propelled by the storm's winds and wave action. BNSF sent crews to repair damaged railway signal systems starting on August 30. Until the southern connections are rebuilt and restored to service, BNSF is transferring freight through other hubs such as St. Louis, Missouri, Chicago, Illinois, and Memphis, Tennessee. (BNSF)
  • United StatesNorfolk Southern Railway (NS) announces that the majority of the company's mainlines that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina are again operational. NS removed almost 3,700 fallen trees and inspected over 1,400 miles (2,300 km) of track before setting trains in motion. Track directly into New Orleans, however, is still out of service due to washouts and continued flooding and the city's emergency evacuation orders. Freight that normally would have transferred in New Orleans is being handled by other terminals across the NS system. NS's experience with previous hurricanes helped it to prepare action plans before Katrina made landfall; NS moved repair equipment, supplies and employees into nearby areas and quickly deployed them to inspect and repair the system after the storm passed. (NS)

References[edit]

  1. ^ China rolls out railway, BBC News. Retrieved June 30, 2006.
  2. ^ "Sandvika-Asker åpnet" (in Norwegian). Norwegian National Rail Administration. Retrieved December 27, 2009.