RAIL BRIEFS

RAIL BRIEFS

Amtrak Starts to Install

Train Smoke DetectorsOMAHA, Neb. - Amtrak has begun installing smoke detectors in crew cars following a weekend fire that killed an employee.

The installation of smoke detectors began Monday in the double-decker cars that serve as crew sleeping quarters on long-distance trips, said Debbie Marciniak, an Amtrak spokeswoman in Chicago.

The move comes after a 70-year-old Amtrak employee died of smoke inhalation from a fire that began early Saturday in the crew car of a westbound California Zephyr. Nineteen people suffered minor injuries.

The fire was discovered as the train pulled into Hastings, Neb., about 150 miles west of Omaha, for a scheduled stop.

Some passengers complained that they were not warned about the fire, and questioned why there were no smoke detectors on the train.

Labor Questions Delay

Rail Merger Closing

CHICAGO - CNW Corp. and Gibbons, Green, van Amerongen said the uncertainty over the labor protection aspects of short line sales led them to extend the date for closing their pending merger from April 30 to May 31.

While awaiting developments in pending litigation involving the degree of labor protection that must be provided in branch line sales, CNW has canceled the March 16 stockholder meeting to vote on the merger and will delay completion and mailing of the proxy material for merger vote.

CNW management is participating in the acquisition by Gibbons Green of the railroad holding company. In addition to Chicago and North Western Transportation Co., a major Midwestern grain and coal hauler, CNW owns Douglas Dynamics, a leading producer of snowplows.