Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority Wants to Terminate VRS Contract

(Via the TRAINS.COM Newswire)

OGDENSBURG, N.Y. – The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority wants to terminate its contract with the Vermont Rail System, operator of the New York & Ogdensburg Railroad Co. The authority issued a notice of termination last week, claiming it is in breach of contract regarding maintenance of an antiquated locomotive, Johnson Newspapers reported.

David W. Wulfson, Vermont Rail System’s president, told the newspaper the notice surprised him. “We were shocked to get the letter. We absolutely didn’t expect it,” he said. “We feel the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority is overreacting to a disagreement over the interpretation of a minor issue in the contract. We are hoping we can discuss this with them and come to an agreement.”

Wulfson said the problem revolves around a defunct locomotive owned by the authority. The contract requires the railroad to maintain the equipment, but Wulfson said maintaining the locomotive is no longer cost-effective and the railroad recommends purchasing a newer one. A check of the company’s locomotive roster indicates that the oldest locomotive is an Electro-Motive SW9 switcher built in 1951.

Wulfson said the locomotive has been out of operation for approximately two years and has been replaced by one owned by the Vermont Rail System at no cost to the authority

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