Union asks federal regulators to stop lease of Norfolk Southern Delmarva Secondary

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CEIDCRDelmarva102616th
Delmarva Central Railroad system map
Carload Express Inc
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A rail labor union has asked the Surface Transportation Board to halt Norfolk Southern’s lease of its Delmarva Secondary to a new short line, the Delmarva Central Railroad.

“This impending lease has many economic and safety considerations that should be investigated by the board prior to final approval,” officials with the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation workers union's Transportation Division said in their filing with the STB. “This petition is filed with hopes that the STB will revoke the authority to acquire and lease operations.”

NS plans to lease 162 miles of track to the Delmarva Central, a Carload Express short line, as part of its system-wide cost-cutting initiatives. The line includes trackage in Delaware and Maryland.

Rail labor claims that the short line would not have the financial resources necessary to properly maintain three major bridges on the route, including a swing bridge that the union says was unable to turn for 30 days due to unspecified problems.

SMART’s letter also raised concerns about replacing the line’s union members with, “untrained and unfamiliar employees” who will earn less than Class I railroad employees.

An NS spokesman said the railroad would file a response to the union’s letter with the STB.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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