SMART sets plans for weekday service cuts

News Wire Digest for June 8: Utah fire destroys historic transcontinental railroad trestles; CSX derailment leads to brief evacuation
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Monday morning rail news in brief:

SMART to cut weekday operations by a third

Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit will decrease weekday operations by about a third as part of budget cuts to address an expected drop in revenues. The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports that when the agency emerges from its current, coronavirus-related reduced schedule, regular operations will include 26 trains a day instead of the previous 38, which is expected to save more than $1 million annual. The decision reflects the result of a recent survey by SMART, which found that a proposal to eliminate weekend service would cause a greater loss of ridership than the reduced weekday schedule [see “FRA approves $91.5 million for Portal Bridge project,” News Wire Digest, May 26, 2020“], although elimination or reduction of the weekend schedule is still possible.

Trestles destroyed in Utah wildfire
Two historic trestles on the alignment of the original transcontinental railroad in Utah were among artifacts destroyed last week in wildfires caused by lightning. KSL-TV reports the fires began on Tuesday; on Friday, with the blazes contained, Utah state archeologists found the two trestles near the ghost town of Matlin had been destroyed. Both dated to the 1870s when the original transcontinental route was realigned. Also damaged was a box culvert dating to 1900 or earlier, along with other remaining artifacts from Matlin, a town built for workers during construction of the transcontinental railroad.L

Leaking tank car prompts evacuation after CSX derailment
Two tanks cars of concentrated hydrogen peroxide were among the seven cars of a CSX train that derailed early Saturday morning in Screven, Ga., leading to the precautionary evacuation of about 100 people from 30 houses near the scene. No injuries were reported and the evacuees were allowed to return home later Saturday morning. The Jesup Press-Sentinel reports some chemical spilled out of one of the cars, leading to a fire along the right of way.


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