Copyright 2004, Traffic World, Inc.
A tornado spinning off tropical storm Bonnie whipped through Norfolk Southern''s Simpson intermodal yard Thursday afternoon in Jacksonville, Fla., picking up an intermodal container and throwing it nearly half a mile, according to Mark Metzger, a spokesman for RailRunner, a container transportation company that uses NS''s Triple Crown intermodal service. The container landed in a field and no injuries were reported.
The twister also caused some damage to cars and trailers at the intermodal yard but there were no injuries to personnel and train movements into and out of the yard were unaffected, NS said.
NS said it would close its Jacksonville intermodal ramp temporarily to prepare for Hurricane Charley, which strengthened to a Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds. NS is considering canceling Triple Crown trains and expects some delays on intermodal trains leaving Jacksonville because of the shutdown. However, the extent of the delays "could not be determined at this point, it depends on how severe the storm is," said NS spokesperson Susan Terpay.
NS expected to reopen its ramp Aug. 14.
"We''ve been getting ready for a while," said CSX spokesman Gary Sease. CSX, which runs throughout Florida, had normal "hurricane protocol" in place for tropical storm Bonnie but "this is much more significant," Sease said. Freight service was suspended Aug. 13 from Jacksonville south. Sease said shippers should expect roughly 24 hour delays for some shipments as a result.
Extra crews and ballast trains are stationed along CSX''s lines from Florida to Maryland to compensate for flood damage.