Bob Sullivan contradicted statements made two days earlier by Jason Johnson, event promoter, and said it’s been the policy of CSX not to allow steam locomotives on its tracks because of increased risk and liability.
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“The decision on the steam locomotive is consistent with CSX’s policy of not permitting the movement of antique rail equipment over our lines,” Sullivan said in an e-mail to the Times-News. “CSX’s experience is that movements of antique rail equipment on current infrastructure create at least four serious business and safety concerns.”
Those concerns, Sullivan said, include drawing a crowd close to working rail lines, disrupting essential service to area businesses, impairing the track and equipment which are not designed for current configurations, and creating “serious and potentially expensive insurance concerns.”
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However, “the company has concluded that the most responsible and fair approach is to decline all requests for steam locomotive movements on their own wheels,” Sullivan said.
What I find interesting is that CSX is willing to confirm that it does, in fact, have a ‘no steam on its own wheels under any circumstances’ policy. Since the Bayou Canot accident, Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 261 operated over CSX in 1994 (Chicago, IL – Hinton, WV and return), 1995 (Chicago – Buffalo, NY), and 1996 (Buffalo – Chicago), and Wilmington & Western 0-6-0 58 and 4-4-0 98’s made several moves to the Wilmington Amtrak station for Transportation Day as late as 2002, as shown here. I am aware of instances where steam movement proposals were answered with insurance requirements or AAR interchange rules that made the move impractical, but there appeared to be at least the theoretical possibility of moving a steam locomotive over CSX on its own wheels.
This statement appears to rule out that theoretical possibility.