News Wire Digest Second Section for Saturday, April 4

Washington Gov. signs crew-size bill; museum gets BM&LP hopper; coal mine closings; and more
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BMLP_Hopper
Set up to be transported like a trailer, a donated Black Mesa & Lake Powell hopper car prepares to leave the Navajo Generating Station in Page, Ariz., for its trip to the Arizona Railroad Heritage Park and Museum.
Arizona State Railroad Museum Foundation

More Saturday morning rail news:

— Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a bill that requires freight trains in the state to have at least two crew members. The state’s utilities and transportation commission can increase that number if an increase is “necessary to protect the safety, health, and welfare of the public, passengers, or railroad employees, to prevent harm to the environment or to address site-specific safety or security hazards. House Bill 1841 sets fine for violations of “not less than $1,000 and not more than $100,000 for each offense. Class III railroads operating at speeds of 25 mph or less are exempt. Inslee vetoed a portion of the bill which would have made it effective immediately, saying the commission would need time to engage railroads in a rule-making process to implement the bill. It will take effect June 11.

— The Arizona Railroad Heritage Park and Museum has added Black Mesa & Lake Powell coal hopper No. 301 to its collection. The car is an Ortner Rapid Discharge hopper built in 1976 by the Ortner Freight Car Co. in Covington, Ky., and was the first in a series of cars delivered to the BM&LP that year. It was donated by the Salt River Project following the closure of the BM&LP and the Navajo Generating Station the railroad served, and will join BM&LP E60C locomotive No. 6001 in the museum’s collection. A salvage operator working at the plant in Page, Ariz., also donated a pair of 50-ton freight car trucks that the museum will use with another freight car.

— Tennessee-based Contura Energy is closing most of its coal mines for 30 days as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, part of plans that company CEO David Stetson says “will help us manage through the challenges of a distressed coal market and growing coal stockpiles, alongside varied customer responses to the coronavirus.” Contura, which has mines in the Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia coal basins, says some sites will be idled for a shorter period and a few will continue to operate at near-normal rate of production. Among mines remaining in operation — at least temporarily, with skeleton crews to fill existing rail orders —Deep Mine 41 in McClure, Va., served by CSX Transportation, and the Toms Creek Prep Plant in Coeburn, Va., served by Norfolk Southern. The closures began Friday.

— The Portland Bureau of Transportation will build a new bridge over BNSF and Union Pacific tracks to serve the Rivergate Industrial District. The Portland Tribune reports the $25.8 million project for the new bridge on North Rivergate Boulevard will be completed in spring 2021 and will ease access to about 100 businesses.

 

 

 

 

 

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