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15th September 2018

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Published by membersonly, 2018-09-11 17:40:49

1312i

15th September 2018

INTERNATIONAL SUPPLEMENT TO BLN 1312 15 SEPTEMBER 2018

BRANCH LINE NEWS

INTERNATIONAL

This newsletter covers the World outside the British Isles from information
supplied by members.

Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Compilers or of the Society.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS TEAM:-
International Editor (to whom all email and postal contributions should be sent):
Paul Griffin, 7 School Bell Mews, Church Lane, Stoneleigh, COVENTRY, CV8 3ZZ
Email: [email protected]
Deputy International Editor: Derek Woodward, 68 Church Street, Matlock, DERBY, DE4 3BY

________________________________________________________

This picture, taken from the rear of EC86 13:50 Venezia Santa Lucia – München, is taken just after the train has passed
through the southern portal of the Inntal tunnel at about 19:00 on 1 August 2018. The normal route to Innsbruck can
be seen disappearing off to the right. The 12756 metre-long Inntal tunnel normally sees use as the Innsbruck freight
avoiding line, but between 15 July and 2 September was used by diverted two hourly EC services (and the VSOE!)
between München/Kufstein and Verona. Use of the tunnel for passenger trains had been banned as there is no safety
tunnel, but its use was so convenient for OBB that this was overlooked for the period of engineering works south of
Innsbruck. Many euro-gricers made the journey, but what may dampen any sense of achievement is that the Scheers
& Wall atlas for Austria shows a connection off the tunnel to the proposed twin bore Brenner Base Tunnel from
Innsbruck into Italy with underground flying junctions at both ends.....

EUROPE

[337] Belgium - Electrification works begin between Hamont and Mol
On Thursday 23 August 2018, the electrification works between Hamont-and Mol officially started with
the first mast planted at Hamont. There are 830 catenary supports to plant in the 33 kilometres between
Hamont and Mol. The works are expected to be finished by the end of 2020. It is also expected that the
electrification between Hamont and Weert will be included within this project as a logical follow-on. It
is always cheaper to extend an existing contract.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnybrauns/44175406682/in/photostream/

[338] Germany – More on the Fuchstalbahn trains
A report on the future of this line in the last BLNI caused a flurry of interest for the three special trains
in October. Here are the details: http://www.bahnpark-augsburg.de/angebote/fuchstalbahn.html
Trains run 7, 14 and 21 October between Landsberg and Schongau and will be a VT98 schienenbus with
payment on the train of €16 for return ticket. Landsberg d. 10:45, Schongau a. 11:33, Schongau d. 11.45,
Landsberg a. 12:35, Landsberg d. 13:30, Schongau a. 14:18, Schongau d. 14:45 Uhr, Landsberg a. 15:35

[339] Germany – New draisine operation opens in Sachsen
Route 6200 Arnsdorf (b Dresden) – Dürrröhrsdorf. The middle section of this line, closed since 2007,
now has a draisine operation (run by Mecklenburger Draisinenbahn) which opened 1 July 2018. The
start/finish point is at Ausleihstation B6 and more information can be found at: www.sachsendraisine.de

[340] Germany – Hannover diversions
The first half of October sees major construction work at Hannover station including demolition of the
vaulted canopy. Details at:
https://bauinfos.deutschebahn.com/docs/fernverkehr/infos/BA_Hannover_01-15102018.pdf
During this period almost all avoiding lines and associated curves are apparently available for gricing.

[341] Germany – Jena trams get the ultimate destination
This is what google translate makes of an item in the IBSE Telegramm. Note the new extension, in bold
for your edification. “Tram Jena. The blocking of Naumburger Straße in Jena and thus the distance to
Zwätzen, loop begins in the beginning of September 2018. Within two years should the single-track
sections disappear and the Stretch to be expanded. In addition, it is planned to hen, the track leaving
the current terminal extend to the kingdom of heaven. Lines 1 and 4 then start from the beginning of
the construction site most likely the north school and drive to turn the loop through the parking facility.”
It is to be hoped that departure from this life is not a prerequisite for travelling on the new service.

[342] Greece – Old line between Tithorea and Leianokladi regains limited service
The old line between Tithorea and Leianokladi regained a service from Sunday 1 July comprising two
local trains, one departing Leianokladi at 06:40 for Athina back again at 19:20 from Athina to Leianokladi
in the evening. Every Sunday, one extra local pair operates leaving Athina at 11:20 and returning from
Leianokladi at 16:40.

[343] Italy - A ride on the Trenino Verde
On a recent holiday in Sardinia, a member managed to travel on the Tempio to Palau line. Despite
previous BLN information, the only sure way of getting a return journey is on Wednesday, Thursday and
Friday, departing Palau harbour 09:00 and arriving at Tempio 12:30. The return journey is at 16:00
arriving Palau 19:30.There is a bus from Palau on MONDAYS only at 14:20, arriving at Tempio
at 15:40 to connect with the 16:00 departure on the way to Palau (train one-way only). The last train
this season ran on 7 September. There is a useful little tourist office at Palau Harbour station where
English is spoken. Interesting street running to Palau Town, where the train reverses. Our member
recommends the journey, but comments that publicity is hopeless, there are no timetables and the
website seems to be incorrect and is not very helpful. Overstaffing/overmanning is obvious - 7 staff were
observed at Tempio (which has a bar/cafe for the one train!) including a station master! That doesn’t
include crossing keepers etc.
Most stations were derelict, but Arzachena has an information office and refreshments. Our member
had no problem paying for a ticket on the train, but wasn’t given a ticket! There were about 30
passengers and the train comprised a diesel locomotive and 2 carriages. Railcars and other stock
including a derelict steam loco were observed in a large yard at Tempio. Some stations were visited on
the closed line from Tempio to Perfugas and Sassari and all were substantial buildings. There seemed to
be a trace of use disturbing the rust on the line.

[344] Poland – Three days in Poland
This was the start of a members August Interrail which commenced with an on-time flight from Luton
to Warszawa Chopina airport with Wizzair. A 20 minute ticket was purchased at the adjacent station,
now connected to the airport by an underground walkway, and validated in the train once it started
moving. 20 minutes is quite long enough to get to Central Warszawa, and our members hotel was
adjacent to Ochota station. Once checked in he decided to investigate on-line purchase of the ticket for
his key train the next day. Imagine his horror when it showed as being extremely full with no ticket
purchase option available! A quick 15 minute walk took him to Warszawa Centralna station where there
were long queues at all the ticket offices. Nevertheless after 45 minutes he was able to buy a first class
ticket on his target train and returned to his hotel room much relieved.
The train in question was the ‘Kormoran’ which is the 07:08 Olsztyn to Wroclaw train, and on a number
of dates in August was to be diverted south of Częstochowa via freight lines – as was its northbound
equivalent. A leisurely start to the day was therefore possible as departure time from Warszawa
Centralna was not until 10:30. The train was indeed very full, but our member was pleased to discover
he had a forward facing window seat with an unobstructed view. Perfect! Routing is initially via
Skierniewice, and he was able to reflect that the rebuilding of this line over the last few years had caused
most combinations of curves and lines in the area between Warszawa and Lodz to be used, several of
which he required and none of which were now available. Departure time from Czestochowa was 13:03
and shortly after departure the train crossed over to the most westerly line and took line 703, which
runs south of the big freight yard and past Częstochowa Raków on non-platform lines before briefly
joining the line from Częstochowa Stradom. Having gone over the main line to Katowice our member
knew at this point that the train must turn south onto line 155, the long single track electrified line to
Poraj, where it would rejoin the normal route. And so it was, the train soon passing the extensive sidings
at Częstochowa Mirew where several double electric locos were present on freights, then passing

though forest all the way to Poraj. Success, and now our member would make his way to Kielce and two
nights in a city centre hotel.
His objective the next day was a simple one. An out and back trip on the summer weekend service from
Kielce to Busko Zdrój – only introduced this year. Outward and return tickets were easily purchased for
a total cost of Zloty12.4 – about £2.50 – and the train, a modern two car EMU, was already in the
platform with doors open and airconditioning working. The latter was a significant consideration as
northern Europe was in the midst of a lengthy heatwave and it was very hot and sweaty on the platform.
The train runs Saturdays and Sundays in the summer months, with two return trips. The first departed
at 11:04 and was reasonably well filled with a few more passengers joining at small suburban stations
on the way south. At Sitkówka Nowiny the train takes the long freight line which heads first south, then
east to Tarnobrzeg. The section between here and the junction for the Busko Zdrój branch was
rehabilitated in 2016 and has a good line speed. At Wloszczowice the train crosses over and takes the
single track electrified line to Busko Zdrój, closed until very recently since 2003. Line speed is lower here,
but quite acceptable. It was noted that there are few communities of any size near the line, but a big
industrial complex had disused rail connections. There were no stops on the line at all. Busko Zdrój
station was something of a surprise. It has obviously been smartened up and the station building looks
very neat whilst the platform is of high standard with full signage. Obviously considered a station with
a future!

The renovated station at Busko Zdroj, most the the trains passengers having departed on the coaches to the town.

Two road coaches were waiting and disembarking passengers made their way to them for a short
transfer to the town itself, which is some 2km away. Media stories about the line mention that
consideration is being given to extending the line towards the town, which begs the question of why it

wasn’t extended in the first place. A possible clue is the presence of extensive sidings before the station,
obviously meant for a once buoyant freight traffic which was probably the reason for the branch being
built. There was a branch into the yard from the south, obviously industrial but now disused. Passenger
traffic was secondary. The final surprise was the number of people waiting to get on the train at Busko
Zdrój, presumably for a day out in Kielce. The second train pair is in the evening, so all afternoon could
be spent in the areas major city. Since our member was disinclined to savour the delights of Busko Zdrój
and its well known spa for six hours on such a hot day, he returned to Kielce and had a lazy afternoon.
The following day was a Sunday, and the plan was to do the narrow gauge line from Jędrzejów to
Pińczów. This meant an early start from Kielce as that was when the only connecting train ran. The train
turned out to be the overnight service from Kołobrzeg to Przemyśl to which a portion from the seaside
resort of Hel had been added. It arrived on time at 06:58 and half an hour later arrived in Jędrzejów – a
mere 2.5 hours before the departure of the NG train. The walk from the PKP station to the NG station is
about 15 minutes and a map is recommended as, while it isn’t difficult to find, it isn’t signed either.
Those who need to leave Kielce before breakfast will find the supermarket outside the station open well
before the NG train departs.
Jędrzejów Wąski station at 09:30 was showing distinct signs of life. Diesel Lxd-332 had appeared and
was engaged in shunting a coach off the stock. Volunteer staff were also present, though no-one was
selling tickets – in fact there wasn’t even a ticket office in the rather smart brick-built station building,
though there was a small museum which was open for inspection. A few passengers watched the train
hopefully. The railway, incidentally, is the Jędrzejowska Kolej Dojazdowa (JKD) and their website is at
http://www.expres-ponidzie.k-ow.net/

Home page of the Jędrzejowska Kolej Dojazdowa. On the right Rozklad Jazdy means timetable. In 2018 trains ran on
Sundays 26 May to 30 September.

The official entrance to the narrow gauge railway, complete with plinthed ng diesel. There were numerous unofficial
ways into the site.

Immaculately turned out Lxd-332 is at the head of a multi-coloured rake of stock on the 10:00 departure from
Jędrzejów Wąski. The words on the locomotive are Likwidacji szkod Radziejewsk, which google translates as
Liquidation of Stock Jewish Council. Presumably something to do with the Holocaust?

Our member claimed a seat on the empty train, then watched as families arrived and filled the train. It
was obviously going to be a kiddies day out. The train departed promptly at 10:00 and staggered slowly
through the outskirts of Jędrzejów, which took longer than expected. Once in the country a cycle track

followed the line on one side, while branches scraped the other side of the train, showering pieces of
leaf and twig through the open windows to the sound of squeals from the children. Further on the line
passed through dense woodland where the train bulldozed its way through a green tunnel seriously in
need of pruning. The Jasionna stop attracted no custom, and only three people got off at Wygoda,
despite the presence of the adjacent amusement park. This meant that Umianowice at km21 was the
next point of interest. Umianowice is a junction station with a triangle. The line goes straight on towards
Chmielnik Buski (and once all the way to Tarnobrzeg), but the train turns right to take the line towards
Pińczów. The train stopped on the west to south curve by a mown area of grass to set down, but no-one
alighted. It is 9km to Pińczów, which is located under an escarpment which can be seen for miles, and is
now the end of the line. Once the line continued to Kazimierz Wielka and ultimately to Kraków. Clearly
what is operating now is only a fragment of a once extensive system. Pińczów is the major town of the
area, it’s attractions including the 18th-century palace of the Wielkopolski family, several churches and
monasteries (some dating back to 15th century), the Renaissance St. Anne's Chapel, the recently
restored synagogue, and ruins of the 13th-century castle. Our member had anticipated the train
emptying here, but in fact it didn’t and there were a lot of people waiting to get on. Subject to at least
15 people wishing to travel, the train makes a fill-in trip back to Umianowice, departing at 12:05. This
time the train ran onto the south to east curve and stopped just before the points of the run-round loop.
What happened next was typical of Polish narrow gauge. Adjacent to the line were picnic tables, a
building with toilets behind and an open fire for cooking your own sausages, thoughtfully on sale in the
train along with draught beer and light refreshments. For the kiddies there was a play area, and to ensure
everyone had a good time two large loudspeakers were set-up and soon the site resounded to the
sounds of Euro-pop.

The train is on the south to east curve at Umianowice and the line on the right is the disused side of the triangle with
the old water tower. Behind the photographer the former line to Chmielnik Buski is completely overgrown.

It is understood that in previous years the train reversed around the triangle, but the loco was unhooked
as soon as it arrived, so that obviously wasn’t going to happen. A few extra metres could be gained by
asking for a ride in the cab when the loco finally ran round, but 40 metres of track between the loco and
the first carriage could not be griced. It was a relief when the train set off back to Pińczów at 14:20. A

few people stayed to be picked up later, but most people went back to Pińczów. Here the loco ran round
and set off on the return journey to Jędrzejów at 14:35. Another hour was spent at Umianowice
(thankfully without music), again on the south to east curve, before the train was reversed out over the
south junction and headed for Jędrzejów. The fun wasn’t over yet though – the train stopped at Wygoda
for just over 30 minutes so passengers could have a brief visit to the amusement park. Finally, the train
got back to Jędrzejów Wąski at 18:00 hours. There was now a considerable wait before our member
could continue to Kraków for his overnight stay.

[345] Poland - The Kamienna Góra Inclined Lift
Gdynia is by far the least touristy part of the ‘tri-city’ area that also includes Gdansk and the upmarket
resort town of Sopot. The mainline railway is busy with PKP inter-city services and Polregio local trains,
as well as the separate SKM local service that uses its own pair of tracks intensively (standard interval
around 10 minutes). In Gdynia itself there are no trams, only an extensive trolleybus system that extends
as far as Sopot. However, the city is not quite rail-free; overlooking the developing waterfront district is
the Kamienna Góra hill, with a huge crucifix on top. In 2015 an inclined lift was installed to climb this hill.
It consists of a single cabin with room for 8 seated passengers (on our members visit, one of these was
the attendant/operator). It is a short trip – the total track length is 115m and the difference in levels
40m. Operation is daily from 10:00 to 22:00 and the ride is free.

[346] Russia - Russian Railway Journey question
A member has sent your International Editor a copy of an article from Railway World January 1958
entitled Russian Railway Journey Part 4 - Moscow, by J.H. Price. It makes an interesting read and at one
point poses a question that our member would like to throw open to our knowledgeable membership.
The section in question reads as follows: ‘…but the one big remaining mystery about the metro is why
they discarded the perfectly good 1935 Arbat Line (two miles of cut-and-cover, four stations and a river
bridge, now standing idle) in favour of a new and very costly deep-level tube line, opened in 1953’.
Please send any replies to BLNI to be passed on.
[347] Russia – Railways no longer run to Moskva time
One of the more idiosyncratic leftovers from the Soviet Union was the convention of all railways running
to Moskva (Moscow) time, despite this meaning that railway time in Vladivostok was seven hours behind
local time. From 1 August Russian Railways (RZD) have been running on local time. The end of an era –
and much confusion!

Train information at Khabarovsk in eastern Russia earlier this year showing local time and Moskva (Moscow) time

[348] Serbia - Concluding a three part adventure in Serbia and Kosovo
Monday 25 June, Kraljevo to Beograd via Smederevo.
A very early start in order to get to the station for the 05:40 to Lapovo. Thankfully the unit to form the
train was waiting in the station (Russian DMU 711064/63) and our members had an uneventful run to
Lapovo, arriving just a couple of minutes late at 08:34. Here there was a long wait for the 10:52 service
to Smederevo but there was some action at the station including diesel 661-158 on a freight. The Skopje
to Beograd train also came through a mere 170 minutes late. The train for Smederevo was formed of a
DMU (711044/43) that came off the depot, which was welcome because the route is electrified

throughout and there was a danger that the train could have been formed by one of the decrepit class
412 Riga built EMUs. The journey to Smederevo was an eye-opener. After leaving the main line at Mala
Krsna the line goes past a massive steel works before terminating next to a 15th century fortress on the
River Danube.

15th century fortress at Smederevo as seen from the station platform.

It would have been nice to have had time to explore this area but as it was they had only half an hour
before joining the same DMU on the 13:05 service to Požarevac. At Mala Krsna they crossed a class
412 EMU on the reverse working and it was absolutely plastered in graffiti - so much so that it was
impossible to identify any of the cars in the 4-car unit.

So you think we have graffiti problems in the UK? This is fairly typical of the condition of the Riga built class 412
EMUs in Serbia. Photographed at Mala Krsna.

Arriving several minutes early at 14:04 at Požarevac gave just 16 minutes to take a few photos before
getting on the same unit for the return as far as Mala Krsna. Having checked the timetable they knew
that they would see the class 412 EMU again here and have an opportunity to photograph it. Also
present was 661-119 on a freight. Actually, they had just over an hour there and were able to find some
refreshment at a nearby kiosk. At 15:51 the same DMU returned from Smederevo forming their train to
Velika Plana, where they would change into the Sofia to Beograd service used the previous
Thursday. Needless to say this train was late, turning up 35 minutes in arrears which ballooned to nearly
80 minutes by the time Beograd was reached at 19:55, mostly due to significant trackwork taking place
between Resnik and Rasadnik and the apparent disconnection of all signalling in this area.
During the week they had seen several reports suggesting that Beograd terminus station would close at
the end of June, and were therefore keen to take some photographs around the station. It was definitely
looking even more run-down than they remembered, but there were no notices nor any other indication
that closure was imminent.
They then crossed the busy road outside the station to the familiar territory of the Belgrade City Hotel
where they had stayed several times before.

Beograd terminus concourse, as seen days before closure of the station.

Booking hall at Beograd Terminus station

The following morning they were able to get breakfast at the hotel before checking out and heading for
the bus stop outside the station. The buses to the airport run at 20 minute intervals and they caught
one at 07:50 for the 20 minute journey. The journey on the 10:25 Air Serbia flight back to Heathrow was
uneventful.
This had been their third trip to Serbia and the railway system there has shown some slight signs of
improvement, but not many. There are a few pockets where track upgrades have taken/are taking place
but on the whole their infrastructure remains very poor. Time keeping was slightly better on the lines
used this time but on long distance trains is still very poor. They suffered cancellations without warning,
and the level of information at stations was generally close to zero. Travellers do need to plan properly
and should have backup options available. If travelling into Kosovo one has to be aware of the political
situation, especially the need to have a valid Serbian entry stamp when travelling northbound. But for
all that it is still an interesting country to visit, the people are generally friendly and they did not feel
threatened at any time. There is good food and good wine to be had, the scenery in some places is quite
stunning, and with history aplenty of course.

[349] Slovenia - Preliminary works start on the new line to Koper
The government of Slovenia announced that it would start preliminary works on the second track of the
Divača – Koper railway line before the end of August. The single-track Divača-Koper railway line is
currently a bottleneck on the Mediterranean and Baltic-Adriatic corridors and a second route is crucial
for the Port of Koper, as 64 per cent of all cargo is transported to/from the seaport by rail and only 36
per cent by road. The project has been on the agenda for a while, but was severely delayed due to a
couple of referendums consulting the public about the project.

It can be seen from the map (e-BLNI only) that the new line is not double-tracking the existing line, but
a brand new route 27km long. Because of the difficult terrain and environmental constraints, 75 per
cent of the line will go through eight tunnels, making the project complicated and costly.

[350] Sweden – The former military port railway in Karlskrona
The naval port city of Karlskrona, on Sweden’s south coast, is a World Heritage Site and still has a
significant military presence, with prohibited areas (although some sites can be visited by arrangement).

Karlskrona station

The present-day station is at the edge of the town centre area, which occupies a low hilltop, but disused
tracks leading through the streets led our member to discover an unusual railway that once tunnelled
through the hill to the port.

Rails visible at Amiralitetstorget

Tunnel under Admiralty Church Tower looking south

The two tunnels go under the main town square (Stortorget) and the Admiralty Church bell tower to
enter the military restricted area at Amiralitetstorget, where rails can still be seen in the tarmac. The
tunnels have locked gates but there is nothing to stop you walking up to the gates. The tracks are still in
place. The north portal of the north tunnel has the dates 1885-1887.
[351] Switzerland – New Rosshäusern tunnel opens
The 43-km mainly single track line between Bern and Neuchâtel is being upgraded by the BLS (that’s the
Bern–Lötschberg–Simplon railway) with extensive doubling and engineering works to increase the line
speed from 90 km/h to 160 km/h. A particular bottleneck has been the single track and winding old
Rosshäusern Tunnel built in 1901. The replacement of this tunnel by a new double track tunnel
commenced in 2013 with completion planned for 2016. It actually opened ceremonially on 25 August
2018 with a few trains running through, but diversion of all trains was delayed until Monday 3
September. The deviation is about 2.4 km of new track including the 2080 metre tunnel and reduces
the line distance by 300m. The old tunnel will be closed and used for drainage purposes.
Beginning this autumn, remediation will begin on the viaduct over the Sarine between the new tunnel
and Gümmenen station, after which (planned for 2021) Bern to Gümmenen will be double track.

[352] Ukraine/Russia – Rail links stopped
On 17 August the Ukrainian Government announced that all public transport links to Russia by rail and
bus would be cut for “national security”, due to the ongoing conflict with Russian-backed militias in the
eastern part of the country. No date for the cessation of cross-border trains (Kiev – Moscow via Bryansk
and Kharkiv – Belgorad) has been announced.

REST OF THE WORLD
[353] Cuba – Railway still recovering from subtropical storm Alberto
Heavy rain and flooding caused by subtropical storm Alberto in May damaged the railway bridge at Zaza
del Medio, but after three months it was re-opened to rail traffic on 27 August allowing local services
and freight from Zaza del Medio to Sancti Spiritus and Tunas de Zaza, and Havana to Sancti Spiritus to
resume. The Cienfuegos-Sancti Spiritus local also remains cancelled.
The Linea Sur near Aguada and Linea Norte around General Carrillo remain closed. On the Hershey
Railway the only regular service is on the Jaruco line and on the main line Havanna - Matanzas only
construction trains are running. Apparently the overhead catenary is going to be repaired and a train
has been seen working on the overhead in Hershey station.
[354] Cuba – Branch of Hershey railway to be extended
The famous Hershey railway runs east from Havana to Matanzas, and from Hershey sends a branch
south to Jaruco. When visited by a PTG tour in 2017, the branch ended at Jaruco Hershey station short
of the Central main line (Linea Centrale), and it was necessary to walk to the Jaruco Linea Centrale
station. Now Cuban Railways are working on reopening the Ramal Jaruco by reinstating the Hershey
branch under the Linea Centrale and building a new line which sweeps through 180 degrees to join the
Linea Centrale from the south at a triangular junction. Once the line from Hershey to Jaruco has been
upgraded this will allow freight traffic to/from the Santa Cruz del Norte rum factory as well as sand trains
and other freight. The reinstated line will also offer better rail connectivity within the new Mayabeque
province as it will allow a more direct rail connection between San Jose and Guines with the central and
northern towns of the province such as Jaruco and Santa Cruz de Norte respectively. A cautionary note
however: a recent visitor to Jaruco found no sign of any construction activity actually going on.

The Cuba Report of the trip in BLN 1280 included a Hershey railcar departing North from Jaruco, so this is
one of it in the station... the new track will continue to the left over the level crossing. Taken on 19 February 2017.

[355] Uruguay – Services resume between Montevideo and Enpalme Olmos
The present passenger railway from Montevideo is to be incorporated into the Metropolitan
Transportation System (STM) and on 15 September services will resume to Sudriers (Empalme Olmos)
using newly purchased trains with air conditioning, Internet connection and toilet facilities. More stops
will also be provided. Elsewhere on the system the railways between Rivera and Paso de los Toros and
the Piedra Sola-Paysandú to Salto line have been ‘recovered’ using money from the Mercosur
Convergence Fund.

[356] USA - Amtrak says no trains on routes without PTC, and bus bridge for Southwest Chief
Amtrak will not operate passenger trains on lines without positive train control after 31 December 2018,
a decision which could lead to the discontinuance of part of the routes of eight trains, not just the
Southwest Chief.
This was announced at a meeting in Raton, N.M., on the future of the South West Chief. The Amtrak
board of directors has mandated the policy, despite exemptions for the technology’s implementation
granted by the Federal Railroad Administration. The policy means the Amtrak Board would insist the
following trains on FRA-exempted routes be discontinued:
Southwest Chief: between La Junta, Colo., and Dailies, N.M., and through Topeka, Kan.
Cardinal: over the Buckingham Branch Railroad between Orange and Clifton Forge, Va.
California Zephyr: 152 miles of UP’s Green River subdivision west of Grand Junction, Colo.
Texas Eagle: 110 miles of UP’s Desoto subdivision south of St. Louis, Mo.
Downeaster: north of Haverhill, Mass., to Brunswick, Maine., on Pan Am Railways
Vermonter: north of Springfield, Mass., on the New England Central
Ethan Allen: on Vermont Railway east of Whitehall, N.Y.
City of New Orleans: a total of 18 miles on Canadian National around Memphis, Tenn., and New Orleans

The Southwest Chief will be split into two services connected by a bus bridge over the Raton Pass, so
anyone wishing to travel the present route must do so before the end of December. Quoting from the
presentation - “For those very limited routes where a host may not achieve an alternative schedule by
year’s end, Amtrak will suspend service and may seek alternative modes of service until such routes
come into compliance." Some of the shorter sections will no doubt have PTC installed once funding can
be sorted out, but for some of the other services above the future is much less certain. The Cardinal and
Texas Eagle look particularly vulnerable.

A proposed Amtrak schedule for the combined train-bus operation that would replace the Southwest
Chief.

[357] USA - Local train service starts in Connecticut
A 100 km commuter route run by Connecticut Department of Transportation as CTrail started on 16 June
between New Haven and Hartford in Connecticut with Springfield, Massachusetts. There are 17 train
pairs on weekdays (14 at weekends) calling at seven stations of which Meriden, Berlin and Wallingford
have been built for the project. Two existing stations at Windsor and Windsor Locks are to be relocated
and rebuilt, subject to a final funding agreement, and three further stations are planned to open by
2020. Amtrak owns the infrastructure, which now has extensive double track, and the line is shared with
Amtrak services.


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2018-2019 Annual FERPA Notification