Digest: Blockade of KCS de Mexico reaches 24th day

News Wire Digest for Sept. 19: North Carolina museum cancels Polar Express rides; train derails on Texas tourist railroad
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Saturday morning rail news:

Blockade blocking KCS de Mexico service to port reaches 24th day
A blockade of Kansas City Southern de Mexico tracks in Michoacan, Mexico, reached its 24th day on Friday, continuing to halt service to and from the port of Lazaro Cardenas. Mexico News Daily reports that more than 70 teachers and student teachers continue the blockade over non-rail issues: job stability, teaching positions for more than 2,000 recent graduates, the payment of scholarship money they are allegedly owed by the government, and the release of political prisoners. “We understand what they are asking for, but it is an issue outside the railroad,” said KCS de Mexico president Oscar del Cueto, also president of the Mexican Association of Railways. “There may be reasons to protest, some are valid, but in the strict sense, there should be no impact on third parties.” In all, he said, KCS de Mexico has faced 95 days of blockades this year at three different locations.

North Carolina Transportation Museum cancels Polar Express operations
The North Carolina Transportation Museum has cancelled its 2020 Polar Express train rides. In a statement on its Facebook page, the museum said it had made the “difficult decision” after considering ways to hold scaled-down versions of the event but that ultimately, “the two factors that guided our decision were safety of our visitors, staff, and volunteers, and maintaining the integrity of the Polar Express train ride that the public has come to expect.” The move is a significant financial blow to the museum, which says the Polar Express is its largest fundraiser, attracting 60,000 visitors over 22 days of operation. The museum’s exhibits remain open with capacity limitation, and it invites financial support to help offset the loss of the Polar Express operations. For more information, visit the museum website.

No injuries reported as Texas State Railroad train derails
No injuries were reported when a train on the Texas State Railroad tourist operation derailed Friday afternoon. Passengers from the derailed cars were transferred to cars that remained on the track and the train was able to return to the railroad’s Palestine, Texas, station. KYTX-TV reports the railroad said the damage was minor, but the railroad has canceled scheduled trains for the remainder of September. No cause of the accident was immediately available.

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