Posts Tagged ‘CSX hump yards’

CSX Buys Yard Control System

August 7, 2021

CSX has awarded a contract to Trainyard Tech to install its CLASSMASTER™ hump yard process control system at Avon Yard near Indianapolis.

In a news release, Trainyard Tech said the system will result in more efficient operation of the 55-track classification yard and improve safety.

Trainyard said its system will simplify troubleshooting, analyze yard trends, review up-to-the minute historical performance, and provide information about an individual railcar or yard devices.

CSX plans eventually to install the Trainyard Tech system in all five of its hump yards.

NS Closes Linwood Yard Hump

May 2, 2020

Falling traffic at Norfolk Southern has led the carrier to temporary close the hump at Linwood Yard in North Carolina.

In a statement, NS said the yard will continue to provide switching for local customers but that 85 jobs will be eliminated.

However, some employees used their seniority rights to obtain positions elsewhere at NS.

NS has said that its freight traffic has fallen 30 percent in April.

The carrier may close other yards during the pandemic but the advent of the precision scheduled railroading model had already resulted in some closures, including hump operations in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Sheffield, Alabama.

“We are taking hard looks at our yard and terminal network, testing what we can live without,” Chief Operating Officer Mike Wheeler said earlier this week.

Linwood Yard was opened in 1979 by the Southern Railway.

When Stanley Yard Still Had a Hump

January 23, 2020

I’ve only photographed Stanley Yard in Toledo once and that was one of those outings where I was out to get one thing and happened to get a few others along the way.

Stanley was built by the Toledo & Ohio Central in the early 1900s and later served New York Central, Penn Central, Conrail. It is now owned by CSX.

CSX tried closing Stanley in early 2004 but had to reopen it when the freight congestion in nearby yards became too much.

In March 2017 CSX closed the hump at Stanley, which can be seen above although at the time I was there it was idle.

At right is a Canadian National transfer run that is arriving off the former Toledo Terminal on May 13 2012.

CSX Reopens Another Hump

September 10, 2018

The hump has reopened at CSX’s Radnor Yard in Nashville, Tennessee, making it the second hump yard to be reopened in the past year.

Radnor had been one of eight classification yards converted to flat-switching in 2017 as part of the railroad’s transition to the precision scheduled railroading operating model.

Another of those yards, Avon Yard near Indianapolis, has also seen hump operations restored.

CSX officials said that Radnor’s layout was too cumbersome for flat switching. Work to reopen the former Louisville & Nashville hump began last June.

Chief Financial Officer Frank Lonegro said last week that reopening the hump at Radnor shows that the company is willing to revisit and reverse decisions when necessary.

He said CSX will revisit other hump-yard decisions if merchandise traffic grows significantly in certain areas.

The railroad’s merchandise traffic is up 4 percent this year although it is still far below traffic levels posted a decade ago.

In 2016, Radnor was CSX’s third-busiest hump, trailing only Waycross, Georgia, and Selkirk, New York. At that time it classified an average of 1,477 cars per day, but CSX has not said how many cars per day it classifies now.

CSX to Reopen Another Hump

July 2, 2018

Maybe hump yards are more important than some high-ranking railroads initially thought.

CSX plans to resume within the next few weeks hump operations at its Radnor Yard in Nashville, Tennessee.

It had been converted a year ago to flat switching as part of system-wide operational changes made by the late E. Hunter Harrison, who was then CSX’s CEO.

But CSX found flat switching in the ex-Louisville & Nashville facility to be cumbersome so it is reversing course.

CSX also had shut down its hump at Avon Yard in Indianapolis last August, but reopened it less than a month later after the western end of its system became congested.

Harrison was not a fan of hump yards and changed eight of the CSX’s hump operations to flat switching. At one time, CSX officials said they expected to have a few as one or two hump yards still in operation.

In a statement, a CSX spokesman indicated that congestion was behind the move to resume humping yards at Radnor yard, saying that “given the footprint complexities of flat switching at Radnor Yard in Nashville, we will improve network fluidity, optimize train starts, dramatically reduce out-of-route train miles and switching costs by reopening the hump,”

Before its hump closed, Radnor Yard was CSX’s third busiest hump, trailing only Waycross, Georgia, and Selkirk, New York.

Radnor was classifying an average of 1,477 cars a day, which was within the range that Harrison said was an insufficient volume to justify the operating and capital expenses of a hump yard.

Although CSX declined to reveal how many cars a day Radnor classifies on average now, it remains in the company’s top 10 terminals in volume.

CSX officials said that when the Radnor hump reopens will depend on completing maintenance of retarders and other infrastructure.

The CSX spokesman said that once Radnor’s hump resumes operation, CSX will eye downgrading operations at other yards and infrastructure.

Norfolk Southern also found itself having to backtrack on ending hump operations at its Debutts Yard in Chattanooga, Tennessee, after facing congestion issues due to rising traffic volume on the southern region of its network.

CSX to Keep 4 Humps, Unload Some Trackage

May 24, 2018

CSX plans to keep four hump yards but is reviewing other “underused” facilities, including 8,000 miles of trackage that may be abandoned or sold.

CEO James Foote disclosed the plans during a speech to the Wolfe Research Global Transportation Conference.

“We’re doing a good job of analyzing about 8,000 miles of railroad and trying to determine what segments fit into  . . . three baskets,” Foote said.

He identified those are core and non-core routes, and lines that are somewhere in the middle and need further analysis to determine whether they should be retained or spun off.

The hump yards that CSX plans to keep open for now are located in Waycross, Georgia.; Selkirk, New York; Indianapolis (Avon); and Cincinnati (Queensgate).

Foote said Waycross and Selkirk are anchors in their regions of the CSX network.

Avon and Queesgate have been processing cars at record levels. CSX briefly closed Avon Yard as a hump and talked about moving its yarding duties to smaller yards in Indianapolis but backed away from those plans after its network became congested.

CSX will continue to seek to consolidate underused local switching and support yards in an effort to find more efficiency gains.

Foote contended that railroad’s financial goals for the next three years are not necessarily contingent on selling off routes.

One of those objectives is to have a 60 percent operating ratio which is the percent of revenue that is being devoted to operating expenses.

“This is not something that was in the plan that says if we don’t do this we can’t hit a 60 operating ratio,” Foote said. “This is totally separate and independent. And again to a large degree, it goes back to learning, understanding the complete footprint of the CSX network and how it should be most efficiently and effectively run.”

The financial plan, which governs operations through 2020, calls for cost-cutting, efficiency gains and revenue increases.

This include selling real estate, which is expected to net $300 million. The plan also identified $500 million in potential line sales.

CSX said it is talking with numerous would-be buyers who have expressed interest in routes the Class 1 carrier might be willing to sell.

The carrier has said it doesn’t have a target number for how many miles it wants to sell or abandon.

Chief Financial Officer Frank Lonegro said that management recently held an “intense dialogue” about core and non-core routes with the company’s board or directors.

Lonegro said management outlined what routes were considered part of the core and which lines no longer fit into CSX’s plans.

“Precision scheduled railroading has clearly given us the opportunity to look more at redundant routes and branch lines that don’t carry very much traffic,” he said.

Report Says CSX to Level Cumberland Hump

January 24, 2018

A Cumberland, Maryland, radio station is reporting that it has learned from multiple sources that CSX plans to bulldoze the hump in its yard there.

CSX ended hump operations at the Cumberland yard last year when it converted it and several other hump yards to flat switching as part of the change to the precision scheduled railroading operating model.

WCBC said the razing would occur in a matter of weeks. It would be at least the second hump that CSX has leveled.

The hump at Tilford Yard in Atlanta was razed earlier on orders of new CEO James M. Foote. The Cumberland yard is a former Baltimore & Ohio Railroad facility.

The late E. Hunter Harrison, who became CEO of CSX last spring, favored flat switching rather than hump operations.