What we know about railroads and Irma

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The National Hurricane Center issued this update on Sunday evening showing Irma's track into Georgia and Alabama for early Monday.
National Weather Service
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Some areas of Florida are seeing more than 12 inches of rain from Hurricane Irma, according to this rainfall total map issued by the National Hurricane Center.
National Weather Service
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — While the remnants of Hurricane Irma will head into Georgia and Alabama on Monday, railroads in Florida are still unusable.

Heavy rains, storm surges, and winds 130 mph and greater hit much of Florida on Sunday. Even though Irma took a slight turn toward Florida’s Gulf Coast, flooding has effected railroads from Miami to Tampa and northeast to Jacksonville.

Florida East Coast Railway officials issued a special customer advisory on Sunday with no indication on when rail or terminal services would resume.

“FEC has suspended all mainline and local train service until further notice,” according to the advisory.

The railroad expected additional effects to its operating region through Monday.

Forecasts projected that areas of Jacksonville and south to St. Augustine along FEC tracks could see as much as 10 inches of rain, while areas further south toward Miami were seeing smaller rainfall totals, but were at a greater risk for storm surges and damages from high winds.

CSX Transportation’s former Atlantic Coast Line A-Line and Seaboard Air Line S-Line was in direct path of some of Irma’s worst rainfall. Areas of north central Florida, including segments of the former ACL mainline could see up to 12 inches of rain by the time Irma pushes north into Georgia early Monday.

It was not clear as of Monday the extent of Irma’s effect on CSX Transportation operations, however all freight service has been delayed to the area since last week.

Norfolk Southern also issued a special advisory on Sunday warning of freight train delays due to the massive storm.

“Norfolk Southern continues to monitor Hurricane Irma as the storm makes landfall in Florida and is projected to maintain hurricane strength as it approaches southern Georgia on Monday,” reads the advisory.

According to the advisory, NS is continuing to hold trains at various yards outside of Irma’s expected path and has issued freight embargoes for several locations in the southeast. Weather forecasters say the storm is expected to continue north and west through Georgia and Tennessee dropping significant amounts of rain on railroad cities such as Atlanta and Memphis, Tenn.

NS' Sunday advisory did not indicate when rail service would be restored. NS’ network through Florida extends only to Jacksonville and a small portion of north Florida near Lake City, however, rail lines in south and central Georgia were at risk for heavy rain and gusty winds early Monday.

Trains News Wire will continue providing updates on Irma’s affect on rail operations in Florida and the southeast.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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