New Orleans closes flood gates, cutting some rail service

UP, NS, KCS alert customers to disruptions because of Tropical Storm Cristobal
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NEW ORLEANS — With Tropical Storm Cristobal approaching, New Orleans has closed flood gates into the city, cutting off some rail traffic.

In an announcement to customers, Union Pacific said the gates were to be closed today at 7 a.m., and the closures “effectively prevent interchange with eastern carriers until further notice.” As of Friday evening, all UP routes in the area remained open except for the Livonia, La., to New Orleans line. The railroad said it had stockpiled generators, ballast, and ballast trains in the area, and had support personnel on standby.

Norfolk Southern told its customers that it did not know how long service would be interrupted by the closure of the gates and the approaching storm, and that the railroad was taking precautionary measures to protect infrastructure and reposition equipment away from low-lying areas. The railroad said it was also working to establish alternate interchange gateways.

Kansas City Southern notified its customers  that closure of the New Orleans Public Belt as of this morning would likely impact rail traffic through Monday.

Amtrak had previously said it was suspending service to and from New Orleans [see “Amtrak halts New Orleans service because of storm,” Trains News Wire, June 5, 2020].


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