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December 1986 - Page 6

o peration this fal l . . .. Illinois Central Gulf, a n early promoter of reduced-crew intermodal service, August 4 launched two crewman piggyback runs between S t . Louis a n d Memphis . . . . Bethlehem Steel's Steelton, Pa., plant began shipping 80-fool lengths of rail in September. (Railway Age) B urlington Northern has withdrawn from the national management council which negotiates labor contracts with the major unions. B N i s interested in seeing crew sizes reduced, and work rule changes for shop forces. The present contracts do not expire until 1 988, but it will be inter esting to see how things may change. (Bulletin Board) . . . The D enver & R io Grande Western w as not overlooked when the Tax Reform Bill was passed by Congress. Included in it were tax breaks relating to repair expense incurred by the road as a result of the slide and flood at Thistle, Utah, in 1 98 3 . The company will not have to pay taxes on insurance money received in conjunction with the slide. S o uthern Pacific a nd the N evada Public Service Commission are at odds over state regulations regarding the storage o f dangerous loads held within the state. The railroad recently was cited for storing cars of explosives for more than 48 hours in Wabuska and Hafed (east of Sparks). The railroad has filed an action to challenge the constitutionality of the Nevada law under which the railroad was cited. The Federal District Court in Reno granted a tem porary restraining order on September 26 blocking the PSC from prosecuting the SP for violations of the state hazardous ship ment law, which was enacted last Decem ber to halt a shipment of 35 carloads of radioactive dirt from New Jersey to Nevada.

GE Enters Canadian Locomotive Building
N ot content to see ElectroMot ive's Cana dian subsidiary, General Motors Diesel, have the market all to itself, General Elec tric's locomotive division has made an entry into the Canadian market. With gov ernment encouragement, GE will build locomot ives at the fo rmer Canadian National Moncton, New Brunswick, shops. Reported to be first in line is a Canadian National order for 10 units, with BC Rail also interested in 10 locomotives. While we would not expect any units to be delivered until 1 987, it should add a new and interesting dimension to rail activ ity in Canada. It may also pave the way for export sales to other countries, depending on their trade and duty arrangements with Canada.

Three Marines Arrested in SP Theft, Derailment
A s eries of thefts from freight trains and a 37-car derailment near Palm Springs, Calif., on August 23 led to an intensive investigation by Southern Pacific Railroad police and FBI agents which culminated in the September 27 arrest of three Marines stationed at Twenty Nine Palms, Calif. The three men were apprehended near Indio, Calif., driving a pickup truck which was carrying tires and television sets while following an SP train. It was determined that the items had been stolen earlier that evening from an SP train at Lorna Linda (near Colton). One of the three, Brian Banks, admitted causing the August 23 derailment o f sym bol LACHT. He boarded the train near Banning and disturbed the air brakes, caus ing the train to stop. He then uncoupled the last car before the train departed. He incorrectly thought the car would remain stopped, but after a delay it began rolling eastward behind the main portion of the train. At Garnet, it collided with the rear of the train, with speed at impact estimated in excess of 90 mph. The resulting pileup blocked the main line for a day, took the life of a 25-year-old transient, and caused in excess of $3 million damage to railroad equipment and cargo. You ask how this could all happen? It should be pointed out that this was a caboose less train, so the crew was more than a half mile away. When the rear car was uncoupled, but then started rolling, the end-of-train device continued to signal that the rear car was moving, even though it was not attached to the train. Banks and his cohorts admitted commit ting a series of thefts from SP trains dating back to June. SP Police Captain Joe Harlan estimated that $300,000 of electronic com ponents had been stolen by the group, which may have been assisted by others. The theft from interstate shipment and train-wrecking charges which may be filed are federal charges, and Banks could be held in the death of the transient also.

Portland Rail Riding Surpasses All Projections
R idership on Portland's new light rail line (PRN 276) is off to an auspicious start. Paid ridership on MAX (Metropolitan Area eXpress) the first week (Sept. 8- 1 2) averaged 26,280 per day, against projec tions of 1 4,000- 1 7,000. Some 38,000 paid fares were recorded on September 1 3, the first Saturday of revenue service, followed by 26,000 more on the following day. It appears that shoppers headed for downtown and the Lloyd Cen ter mall are thronging the cars, alongside of sig htseers getting their first Portland "trolley" ride in decades. -DOUG BABB, Tri-Met

Death of Perles Thins Authors' Ranks
A nthony Perles, 50, author of several criti cally acclaimed books on San Francisco transit history and a contributor to Pacific RailNews, died on September 22 after a two-year illness. Known to his friends and colleagues as Tony, Perles amassed a large collection of San Francisco historical lore and immaculately restored a three-story Victorian town home which housed his collection and an elaborate model railroad layout. By training Tony was a civil engineer and often worked as a consultant to various Bay A r e a p u b l i c agencies, including BART. He took many thousands of photo graphs and traveled widely, mostly by train but sometimes by motorcycle ( . . . my two-wheeled rapid transit," he would explain). He was the author of Tours of Discovery and co-author of The Peoples Railway a nd Illside Mum; a ll of them about the San Francisco Municipal Railway and pub lished by Interurban Press.

Walsh New UPRR Head, Lewis to Lead UP Corp..
M ichael H. Walsh will become chairman and chief executive officer o f Union Pacific Railroad about November 1, 1 986, upon the retirement of William S . Cook, chair man, president and chief executive officer of parent Union Pacific Corporalion. A t the same time, Drew Lewis, currently holding the top posts at the UP R ailroad, w ill become president and chief operating officer of the parent UP Corporalioll. W alsh comes to UP from Cummins Engine Co., a well-known producer of Diesel engines.

M ichael H. Walsh New Union Pacific CEO

6 DECEMBER 1 986

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