SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Conrail

Conrail was the primary Class I railroad in the Northeastern United States between 1976 and 1999. The trade name Conrail is a portmanteau based on the company's legal name, while it no longer operates trains, it continues to do business as an asset management and network services provider in three Shared Assets Areas that were excluded from the division of its operations during its acquisition by CSX Corporation and the Norfolk Southern Railway; the Federal Government created Conrail to take over the potentially-profitable lines of multiple bankrupt carriers, including the Penn Central Transportation Company and Erie Lackawanna Railway. After railroad regulations were lifted by the 4R Act and the Staggers Act, Conrail began to turn a profit in the 1980s and was privatized in 1987; the two remaining Class I railroads in the East, CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway, agreed in 1997 to acquire the system and split it into two roughly-equal parts, returning rail freight competition to the Northeast by undoing the 1968 merger of the Pennsylvania Railroad and New York Central Railroad that created Penn Central.

Following approval by the Surface Transportation Board, CSX and NS took control in August 1998, on June 1, 1999, began operating their respective portions of Conrail. The old company remains a jointly-owned subsidiary, with CSX and NS owning 42% and 58% of its stock, corresponding to how much of Conrail's assets they acquired; each parent, has an equal voting interest. The primary asset retained by Conrail is ownership of the three Shared Assets Areas in New Jersey and Detroit. Both CSX and NS have the right to serve all shippers in these areas, paying Conrail for the cost of maintaining and improving trackage, they make use of Conrail to perform switching and terminal services within the areas, but not as a common carrier, since contracts are signed between shippers and CSX or NS. Conrail retains various support facilities including maintenance-of-way and training, as well as a 51 percent share in the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad. In the years leading to 1973, the freight railroad system of the United States was collapsing.

Although government-funded Amtrak took over intercity passenger services in 1971, railroad companies continued to lose money due to extensive government regulations, expensive labor cost, competition from other transportation modes, declining industrial business, other factors. Its largest Eastern railroad, the Penn Central Railroad, had declared bankruptcy in 1970, after less than three years of existence. Formed in 1968 by the merger of the New York Central Railroad and Pennsylvania Railroad, the PC was created with no plans to merge the varied corporate cultures, the resulting company was a hopelessly entangled mess. At its lowest point, PC was losing over $1 million a day and trains were becoming lost all over the railroad. In 1972, Hurricane Agnes damaged the rundown Northeast railway network and threatened the solvency of other railroads, including the somewhat more solvent Erie Lackawanna. In mid-1973, officials with the bankrupt Penn Central threatened to liquidate and cease operations by year's end if they did not receive government aid by October 1.

This threat to US freight and passenger traffic galvanized the Congress to create a bill to nationalize the bankrupt railroads. The Association of American Railroads, which opposed nationalization, submitted an alternate proposal for a government-funded private company. Judge Fullam forced the Penn Central to operate into 1974, when, on January 2, after threatening a veto, President Richard Nixon signed the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973 into law; the "3R Act," as it was called, provided interim funding to the bankrupt railroads and defined a new Consolidated Rail Corporation under the Association of American Railroads' plan. The 3R Act formed the United States Railway Association, another government corporation, taking over the powers of the Interstate Commerce Commission with respect to allowing the bankrupt railroads to abandon unprofitable lines; the USRA was incorporated February 1, 1974, Edward G. Jordan, an insurance executive from California, was named president on March 18 by Nixon.

Arthur D. Lewis of Eastern Air Lines was appointed chairman April 30, the remainder of the board was named May 30 and sworn in July 11. Under the 3R Act, the USRA was to create a "Final System Plan" to decide which lines should be included in the new Consolidated Rail Corporation. Unlike most railroad consolidations, only the designated lines were to be taken over. Other lines would be sold to Amtrak, various state governments, transportation agencies, solvent railroads; the few remaining lines were to remain with the old companies along with all abandoned lines, many stations, all non-rail related properties, thus converting most of the old companies into solvent property holding companies. The plan was unveiled July 26, 1975, consisting of lines from Penn Central and six other companies—the Ann Arbor Railroad, Erie Lackawanna Railway, Lehigh Valley Railroad, Reading Company, Central Railroad of New Jersey and Lehigh and Hudson River Railway. Controlled railroads and jointly owned railroads such as Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines and the Raritan River Railroad were included.

It was approved by Congress on November 9, on February 5, 1976 President Gerald Ford signed the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976, which incl

St. Stanislaus Kostka Church (Rochester, New York)

The St. Stanislaus Kostka is a Roman Catholic parish church under the authority of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, located in Rochester, Monroe County, New York. St. Stanislaus Kostka Church is the distinctive church structure located on the corner of Hudson Avenue and Norton Street in the city's northeast corner; the church is the spiritual home of Rochester's Polish American community. This Catholic church was replaced a smaller wooden church; the St. Stanislaus grammar school operated from 1897 until 1992; the exterior features a Romanesque Revival architecture style including arched openings, columns. The most striking part of the exterior is the eastern European-inspired domed steeple, which rises 120 feet above the ground. A ceiling mural of the Trinity and Communion of saints was created by Buffalo artist Jozef Mazur. A $500,000 restoration project was completed in 2014; the church's patron, Saint Stanislaus Kostka, was a Polish Jesuit canonized in 1726. St. Stanislaus is one of the few churches in the US to house a relic of the late Pope John Paul II.

The Church sponsors an annual Polish Arts Festival in August. St. Stanislaus homepage Remembering Polish Town: A History of Polish Americans in Rochester

Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control

The Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control is a private non-profit, non-partisan organization, according to its website, "carries out research and public education designed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, chemical/biological weapons and long-range missiles. It is a private, non-profit, non-partisan foundation that operates in Washington, D. C. under the auspices of the University of Wisconsin."The organization was founded by Emeritus Professor Gary Milhollin, who led the Wisconsin Project for twenty-five years. Valerie Lincy now serves as executive director; the Wisconsin Project receives financing through grants from the U. S. government and from several private foundations, the identities of which are undisclosed. In 1995, the Wisconsin Project began publication of The Risk Report, now a subscription database used by governments and private companies to screen business transactions and verify the legitimacy of foreign buyers. Drawing from unclassified sources, The Risk Report contains up-to-date information on sensitive products and technologies, export regulations, organizations and individuals linked to WMD proliferation.

Matthew Godsey is editor of the Risk Report. The Wisconsin Project tracks WMD proliferation through its two watchdog web sites, Iraq Watch and Iran Watch. Created in 2002, Iraq Watch detailed key Iraqi entities involved in weapons proliferation, listed their foreign suppliers, provided access to documents describing Iraq's past WMD-related activities; the site was last updated in August 2006. Iran Watch, launched in September 2004, follows the format of its successful predecessor, listing suspect Iranian organizations and sites and their foreign suppliers; the site provides original analyses and external resources relating to Iran's WMD capabilities. Valerie Lincy is the principal investigator for Iran Watch. In 1986, the Wisconsin Project revealed that Norway, because of a secret export of heavy water to Israel, had the right to inspect Israel's nuclear program; the revelation forced Israel to return half of the nuclear material to Norway and forced Norway to abandon its dangerous nuclear export business.

The Project's activism in the early 1990s drew attention to the proliferation threat posed by Iraq. In a series of publications, the Project argued that nuclear inspections in Iraq would fail unless they became more aggressive; the Project argued for better export controls by exposing past sales of sensitive equipment by western firms to Iraqi builders of nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, long-range missiles. In 1998, the U. S. government used data from the Wisconsin Project to restrict U. S. trade with 63 organizations involved in the nuclear and missile programs of India and Pakistan, following those countries’ nuclear tests. In 2000, the Wisconsin Project launched a public-private initiative to improve export controls in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe; the program was expanded in 2002 in cooperation with the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Customs Service. To date, nearly 800 export control officials have been trained in some 30 countries around the world. In 2005, Professor Milhollin testified before the U.

S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission that weaknesses in U. S. sanctions law were allowing companies helping to spread weapons of mass destruction to go unpunished. The Project's research was the basis for a November 2005 Senate bill that would have eliminated these loopholes and increased the severity of sanctions against companies that continued to proliferate to Iran. In 2007, the Project supplied information on Iranian organizations linked to nuclear and missile work that contributed to decisions by the United Nations, the United States and the European Union to freeze the assets of several of these organizations; the Project exposed the inadequacies of U. S. sanctions enforcement against Iran at the time. In 2008, the Project published a report revealing that the U. S. Commerce Department was cutting controls on the sale of militarily useful American products to China. After the report was published, the Commerce Department suspended and reduced its effort to cut the controls. In 2009, the Project helped the New York County District Attorney's Office investigate sales from China to Iran of nuclear- and missile-usable technology that passed through New York banks.

The Project testified on the commodities and firms involved before a grand jury in New York City that subsequently indicted the Chinese company, making the sales. In 2010, the Project published a report featured in the Wall Street Journal that described how Iran's national shipping company, blacklisted by the United States along with 123 of its vessels, was evading U. S. sanctions by giving its ships new names, new managers, new “owners.” Following the Project's report, the U. S. Treasury Department blacklisted many of the ships' new names, along with their new owners and managers. In 2011, the Project expanded the impact of its Risk Report database, with support from the U. S. State Department, by providing training to hundreds of export control officials in eleven countries, including Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Mexico and Ukraine. Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control website Iran Watch - http://www.iranwatch.org Iraq Watch - http://www.iraqwatch.org The Risk Report - http://www.riskreport.org