03 April, North Adams/Florida MA – The light at the end of the Hoosac Tunnel will soon be the headlight on the first locomotive to travel through since the initial tunnel wall collapse on 11.Feruary. LRL Construction, along with subcontractors are completing repairs of the collapsed segments of the 4.75-mile long tunnel. The reopening had been anticipated since a 23.March NS service alert projected an “end of the month” ( i.e., March.2020 – Ed ) reopening. The latest 31.March NS alert expresses in more confident language, “the line is expected to be restored by Saturday, April 4.”
Been good to know ya
PAR recently notified VRS that it will dispatch the last detour train via Bellows Falls on Saturday 04.March. One of three PAR trains is likely to be the first train through the repaired tunnel: RJED, currently staged at Hoosick Jct., EDRJ, in East Deerfield, or a ballast train originating at ED.
Bellows Falls VT
Traffic needs to catch up
Restoration of NS intermodal service will be slightly delayed by lack of container chassis in Ayer. On Sun.05.Apr, the first NS through-train will carry truck chassis to rebuild traffic. The Ayer gate will be reopened as trucks return with loads. In anticipation of the service relaunch, NS has restored the Chicago-Ayer (and return) train symbols, 22K and 23K. Trains have run from Chicago to Mechanicville, NY to cycle crews and equipment back in, for when the route is fully restored.
NS has also built Ayer-bound traffic in the form of several trains of staged at Chicago-area NS and BNSF terminals. The Ayer gate will officially reopen on Tues.06.April, per internal NS communication.
PAR and VRS will retain the option to restart the detour if neccessary, in order to manage congestion, or further tunnel work requirements.