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PC: Re: Re: Bennings Yard office fire (ex-PRR) (fwd)

----- Original Message -----
From: weldon <weldon -AT- fastol.com>
To: <penn-central -AT- smellycat.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2001 9:18 AM
Subject: PC: Re: Bennings Yard office fire (ex-PRR) (fwd)

> Chessie the Torch strikes again!  This has been a common problem for
> structures CSX and its predecessor Chessie finds "inconvenient."  Western
> <snip>

This seems to be a common industry practice that goes back a number of

I've met former New Haven employees who believe that the Poughkeepsie bridge
fire (1973 or 74) was "an inside job." The official cause was listed as
arson although no one was ever charged. There was even a story that the
local B&B Supervisor was questioned by his superiors on what kind of fire
protection the bridge had about a week before the fire.

For those that don't know, the Poughkeepsie bridge was the Hudson River
crossing for New Haven Railroad freight traffic going to the Maybrook, NY
connection with the Erie Lackawanna and others. As a condition of the PC
takeover of the NH (which, itself, was a condition of the PC merger) PC had
to keep that gateway open. Not only did PC have to short haul itself by
turning traffic over to a competitor, it was a very expensive route to
operate. With the bridge out of service, New England traffic could keep an
all PC routing through Selkirk. I was told that the damage to the bridge was
relatively minor, but it was the excuse PC needed to close the route.

Perhaps this was just the Penn Central equivalent of an urban legend, but it
does makes a good story.

Tony Fleres

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