11 September 2000 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]DuPont Company has filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern Corporation, seeking damages for rail-service breakdowns during the past year following the split-up of Conrail.
The suit, filed in US District Court in Alexandria, Va., charges that Norfolk Southern breached its contract with Dupont to provide timely, uninterrupted and reliable service.
A DuPont spokesman says the service disruptions, which have been ongoing since the CSX and Norfolk Southern railroads split up Conrail on June 1, 1999, have affected nearly a dozen plants in the company's nylon, fluoroproducts and chemicals-solutions businesses, among others.
He said DuPont "incurred expenses and suffered losses amounting to millions of dollars."
Chemical industry officials say rail service has been a major problem since 1997 when massive disruptions followed Union Pacific Corporation's merger with Southern Pacific Rail Corporation.
"When Conrail was taken over a year ago, there were promises that the transition would be smooth," said Fred Webber, president of the American Chemistry Council. "But almost immediately, our industry experienced problems. Service was sporadic, rail cars were lost and computer systems didn't work."
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