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RAILROADS COOPERATE TO OPERATE DESPITE FLOOD

 WASHINGTON, July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The nation's freight railroads are continuing to move food, coal, grain and other commodities despite the record flooding that has ravaged areas of the Midwest.
 "The strength of the American railroad system lies in its ability to continue to operate, even in the face of natural disasters such as the Midwest flood," said Edwin L. Harper, president & CEO of the Association of American Railroads. "Railroads are working together to reroute trains around flood-affected areas in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin. In addition, railroad men and women are working in shifts around the clock to repair track damaged by high water, and to operate trains safely."
 Delays of rail freight traffic caused by congestion and rerouting of trains are ranging from a few hours up to a few days, with priority being given to intermodal and perishable shipments and the just-in-time movements of materials to factory assembly lines.
 Harper pointed out that 25 to 30 percent of U.S. rail traffic originates, terminates, or passes through the flood-affected area.
 Railroads are also donating transportation services to help in flood relief efforts, Harper said. For example, Norfolk Southern has moved 250 carloads of sand -- enough to fill 6 million sandbags -- and 50 carloads of rock from Barry, Ill., west to East Hannibal, to assist is an effort to strengthen a levee.
 Last week, Burlington Northern Railroad hauled sand, rock and sandbags by rail free of charge to shore up a levee at Bay View Bridge in Quincy, Ill. BN trains continue to move fresh water, food and other necessities to help BN employees whose homes were in the flooded area.
 Burlington Northern and Southern Pacific are hauling containers of bottled water and boxcars of non-perishable food items from as far away as Seattle, Fresno and Sacramento, Calif., to flood victims in Nebraska and Iowa.
 Union Pacific has moved, at no charge, more than 60,000 gallons of urgently needed fresh water in "BulkTainer" containers on flatbed trucks from Omaha and Chicago to Des Moines, Iowa, residents.
 -0- 7/20/93
 /CONTACT: Carol B. Perkins of the Association of American Railroads, 202-639-2552/


CO: Association of American Railroads ST: District of Columbia IN: TRN SU:

KD-IH -- DC020 -- 6813 07/20/93 12:22 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 20, 1993
Words:377
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