Digest: Indiana Rail Road's Santa Train canceled for 2020

News Wire Digest second section for Sept. 10: BNSF replaces North Dakota bridge destroyed by fire; New York town, CSX in dispute over condition of local bridge
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More Thursday morning rail news:

Indiana Rail Road cancels Santa Train for 2020

The Indiana Rail Road has cancelled operation of its Santa Train for 2020. In a Facebook post, the company said it explored ways to operate the train in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that “the health, security, and safety or our employees must be our first priority. Unfortunately, we are unable to find a way to safely run the train.” The railroad says the train will return in 2021.

BNSF completes replacement of bridge that caught fire, cut off North Dakota power facilities
BNSF Railway has replaced a North Dakota bridge destroyed by fire late in less than two weeks, restoring service to three energy facilities. The bridge near Beulah, N.D., caught fire Aug. 31, and cut off service to Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dakota Gasification Co. and Antelope Valley Station Power plant, as well as North American Coal’s Freedom Mine, which serves another of the cooperative’s facilities [see “Digest: Amtrak expands carry-on bicycle program …,” Sept. 3, 2020]. KFYR-TV reports BNSF replaced the wooden bridge with a steel and precast concrete structure.

New York village cites CSX bridge for code violations; CSX says there's no issue
The village of Herkimer, N.Y., has cited CSX Transportation for code violations over lead paint the community says is chipping and peeling from a rail bridge, but the railroad has responded by saying it does not see a problem. The Utica Times Telegram reports a company attorney responded to Codes Officer Tina Cirelli said CSX inspection found the bridge to be structurally sound, that its somewhat rusted appearance is not a safety issue, and found no issue with peeling paint, despite Cirelli saying she had pieces of chipped paint on her desk. Cirelli has contacted state and federal elected officials and the state attorney general’s office for assistance, but is unsure what else can be done: “We don’t have the resources to go into a company as big as CSX.” Herkimer, a community of about 7,300, is 15 miles southeast of Utica.



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