Portland to bill railroad for cost of fighting wildfire

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Fire Bureau will bill the Union Pacific Railroad for the cost of fighting an urban wildfire that threatened a north Portland neighborhood on August 8.

The bureau's final investigation report concluded that a UP train with mechanical problems started the brush fire that quickly climbed a bluff near the University of Portland. However, investigators have been unable to determine what created the sparks that several witnesses saw coming from under the passing train's cars.

The fire threatened as many as 100 homes and took 170 firefighters, plus helicopters, fireboats and every firetruck in the city to battle.

CP firms are takeover targets

TORONTO -- Each of the five Canadian Pacific Ltd. companies that begins trading August 21 is a takeover target, says chief executive officer David O'Brien, a nationalist who fears the loss of Canadian head offices.

O'Brien, 59, was speaking about the prospects for the CP companies on the day before they joined the Toronto Stock Exchange on a "when-issued" basis.

The shares - Canadian Pacific Railway Co., CP Ships Holdings Inc., Fording Inc., PanCanadian Petroleum Ltd. and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc. -- can now be bought and sold in anticipation of CP's official breakup in early October.

At that time, Mr. O'Brien will step down as CP's chairman, CEO and president, although he will remain as PanCanadian's chairman and a director of Fairmont.

The companies will be takeover targets because each will be widely held and none appear to have restrictions on foreign ownership.

Although the rail, energy and hotel companies are large by Canadian standards, they are vulnerable because they are relatively small by global standards, he said.

Slim budget forces Amtrak to halt Iowa expansion

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Noting a congressional mandate to cut costs, Amtrak has dropped plans for Des Moines-to-Chicago passenger rail service through Iowa City.

Amtrak Chief Executive Officer George Warrington told Illinois legislators in August that expansion of the railroad's Iowa service was unlikely.

The derailed plan doesn't affect Iowa's participation with other Midwest states seeking to develop a higher-speed rail-passenger network.

Funding for that long-term project is tied to pending federal legislation giving Amtrak bonding authority to upgrade and expand service.

Iowa will continue to have two Amtrak routes - the California Zephyr and the Southwest Chief, each with one daily passenger train each way.

The California Zephyr serves the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line through Burlington, Mount Pleasant and Ottumwa, and the Southwest Chief's Burlington Northern route clips the state's southeast corner at Fort Madison.



2001 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers