Posts Tagged ‘CSX’

CSX, 2 Unions Agree to Paid Sick Leave

February 7, 2023

Two railroad labor unions have reached agreement with CSX for their members to receive four days of paid sick leave.

The agreements cover members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and members of the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen.

The agreements affects about 5,000 workers of whom 4,000 are in the maintenance of way union.

In a news release, the carmen union said the sick leave will be 100 percent of the employees’ rate of pay, and the agreement allows union members the opportunity to designate the use of personal leave days for sick leave.

Carries Continue to Dispute STB Small Rates Rule

February 7, 2023

Four Class 1 railroads are continuing their efforts to get the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to modify the terms of an arbitration program regulators established to settle small rate cases.

CSX, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific and the U.S. companies owned by Canadian National asked the STB to allow a carrier to file its opt-in notice of the program at any time.

The arbitration program being established by the STB requires all Class 1 carriers to agree to participate or the program won’t be in effect.

Regulators have given the carriers until Feb. 23 to agree or disagree to join. The carriers have been calling for additional time before they must make their decision.

The same carriers had last December asked the STB to stay implementation of the arbitration program but regulators rejected that request without prejudice on Jan. 24.

The STB established two rules regarding small rate cases in a rule making proceeding that was finished late last year.

Aside from the arbitration program, the STB established a final offer rate review mechanism for settling small rate disputes.

At the time the STB called the new rules an effort to streamline the process for shippers and railroads to resolve small rate disputes.

If all seven Class 1 railroads agree to join the arbitration program they will be exempt from the final offer rate review process for five years.

The carriers petitioning the STB in the latest filing contend the STB’s decision to set an opt-in deadline is unlawful because it fails “to give notice of its intent to impose this draconian measure; departed from contrary agency precedent without explanation; failed to provide legally sufficient justification for its action; and contradicted its own reasoning in the Final Rule that carriers needed to know the contents of the arbitration program before making a five-year commitment to it.”

NOACA Pushing Extending CVSR Into Cleveland

February 5, 2023

A Northeast Ohio transportation planning agency is trying to revive a long-held dream of having the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad serve downtown Cleveland.

The Plain Dealer recently reported that the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency is working with other agencies to what needs to be done to enable CVSR trains to travel the 11 miles from the tourist railroad’s northern terminus in Independence into Cleveland.

The idea has been studied before and has been around for more than 20 years. A major stumbling block to extending the CVSR into Cleveland is that CSX owns the former Baltimore & Ohio tracks that excursion trains would need to use.

Once part of the B&O’s Valley Line, the track north of Independence remains an active freight line. There are no freight operations over the track used by the CVSR between Rockside Road station in Independence and downtown Akron. That track is owned by the National Park Service.

NOACA coordinates transportation planning in Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Geauga, and Medina counties.

Executive Director Grace Gallucci said the agency plans to hire a consultant to conduct a feasibility study of extending the CVSR northward, possibly to Tower City Center on the southwest corner of Public Square.

“We all have enthusiasm for the project,” Gallucci said. “We’re going to get this done. To be able to put together a railroad taking people from the inner city to the national park would be fantastic.”

She said the study is expected to take 12 to 18 months to complete. Any infrastructure improvements the study recommends could be funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

As for the cost of the feasibility study, Galluci said that will be shared by the partnering agencies. She did not say how much the study will cost.

Those agencies are still working out their respective contributions to the study.

Lisa Petit, the superintendent of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, told The Plain Dealer creating a car-free connection between the park and Cleveland is a major motivating factor behind the renewed effort to extend the CVSR into downtown Cleveland.

She noted that Northeast Ohio has been designed primarily for access by car rather than transit.

This has resulted, Petit said, in lack of transportation between the park and “certain neighborhoods and communities around us.”

U.S. Census data shows that 22.4 percent of Cleveland households don’t have a car. The state median is 6.2 percent.

Joseph Mazur, CVSR president, said previous efforts to extend the railroad’s trains into Cleveland have failed, most recently in 2008.

NOACA has listed extending the CVSR into downtown Cleveland as among a dozen “major projects’’ eligible for federal funding.

The agency defines a major project as one costing $12 million or more to complete.

CSX Trio on the New Castle Subdivision

February 1, 2023

Here is a trio of CSX trains and locomotives. We see CSX 826 eastbound in Sterling on Aug. 26, 2022, CSX 3164 is heading east in Sterling on the same date, and CSX 5359 westbound in Clinton on Aug. 6, 2013.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

CSX Operating Income Up 8% in 2022

January 26, 2023

CSX said this week that for 2022, its operating income was $6 billion an increase of 8 percent compared with 2021,

This included $144 million in gains from what management described as “property sales recognized from the 2021 agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Full-year 2021 operating income included $349 million in gains from this same transaction, CSX said in a news release.

Net earnings for 2022 were $4.17 billion, or $1.95 per share, compared to $3.78 billion, or $1.68 per share, in 2021. Revenue reached $14.9 billion for 2022, increasing 19 percent compared with 2021.

The operating ratio was 59.5 percent while diluted earnings per share were $1.95, an increase of 16 percent from $1.68 for the full year 2021.

During the fourth quarter of 2022, CSX posted operating income of $1.46 billion compared to $1.37 billion in the same period of 2021.

Net earnings were $1.02 billion, or $0.49 per share, compared to $934 million, or $0.42 per share in the same period of 2021.

Other fourth quarter highlights included revenue of $3.73 billion, a 9 percent year-over-year, increase that officials said was driven by “higher fuel surcharge, pricing gains, and an increase in storage and other revenues.”

Severe winter weather in late December modestly reduced volumes and revenue for the quarter.

The diluted earnings per share of $0.49 increased 17 percent from $0.42 for the fourth quarter of 2021.

During an investors call on Wednesday, CSX executives said the strong fourth earnings occurred despite signs of an economic downtown.

CSX management expected to gain traffic volume this year thanks to ongoing service improvements.

CEO Joseph Hinrichs said service metrics continued to show improvement through the fourth quarter after starting a clear upward trend in the early fall.

“As we anticipated, our hiring successes have allowed us to deliver better customer service that will allow us to capture more business with more volume over time,” Hinrichs said.

He noted that this has meant on-time performance has reached pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels. For the quarter, intermodal trip plan compliance was 94 percent, while merchandise traffic reached 77 percent, a 20-point improvement compared to the third quarter of 2022.

During the earnings call, CSX management said it was unable to meet shipper demand in 2022 due to service problems related to crew shortages.

CSX executives said merchandise and coal volume continues to grow, which they expect will enable the Jacksonville-based Class 1 railroad to achieve faster business growth than the economy this year.

Hinrichs said CSX is still not meeting the demand that it has to move carload freight.

However, intermodal traffic is expected to decline due to a decline in import activity as retailers work down high inventories they amassed earlier.

CSX management declined to release earnings projections for 2023, citing economic uncertainty. Management also declined to set an operating-ratio goal.

Chief Operating Officer Jamie Boychuk said operations should continue to improve as additional conductors complete training.

CSX is still hiring conductors due to attrition and a low retention rate for new conductors.

“We’re looking at continuing to build our numbers up so we can get to a point where we can cover vacation time and make sure that our employees get time off,” Boychuk said. Consequently, CSX management said it won’t furlough train crews if traffic volume slows.

CSX plans to $2.13 billion on capital projects this year, up from $1.79 billion in 2022.

Pilot Killed in Crash Along Rail Line in Indianapolis

January 25, 2023

The pilot of a small plane was killed on Tuesday afternoon when the craft crashed along a railroad line on the south side of Indianapolis.

The crash occurred about 3:45 p.m. near Weaver Avenue close to the University of Indianapolis campus.

Rail traffic was halted while investigators processed the scene. A Louisville & Indiana train was stopped near the Weaver Avenue crossing.

The rail line was once a Pennsylvania Railroad route between Indianapolis and Louisville, Kentucky.

Most of the route is now operated by L&I, but CSX has retained ownership of the track in Indianapolis.

The plane was reported to be a Cirrus SR-90 that had taken off from Indianapolis Executive Airport.

CSX Train Derails in Greenwich on Monday

January 24, 2023

Photo by Greenwich Police Department

No injuries were reported after a CSX train derailed on Monday in Greenwich. News reports indicated that 20 cars derailed about noon.

The derailment occurred along North Kniffin Street and took out some power lines in the area, disrupting service to about 100 customers.

The cars involved in the derailment were empty container well cars and flat cars. An online report indicated the train was the I008, which originates near St. Louis and runs to North Bergan, New Jersey.

The train was moving from the Mt. Victory Subdivision to the Greenwich Sub. The derailment blocked the New Castle Subdivision tracks.

An online report indicated that most of the derailed cars had been moved out of the way and the crossing of the New Castle Sub was reopened late Monday afternoon with a 10 mph speed restriction.

All other CSX tracks through Greenwich were reported to be reopened by Tuesday morning. Kniffin Street was reported to still be closed.

Passing Beneath Ohio Route 21

January 21, 2023

CSX SD50 No. 8556 and its train is westbound under the Ohio Route 21 bridge in Warwick Yard in Clinton in April 1996. Warwick Tower is just visible in the background to the right of the bridge pillars.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Hamilton Depot Move Set for Today

January 17, 2023

Movement of the former Baltimore & Ohio passenger station in Hamilton was expected to be completed today (Jan. 17, 2023).

The depot, which dates to the 1850s is being moved in two movements because the structure is two separate buildings.

The first of those building was moved last month more than 1,000 feet north along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to a city-owned lot.

The remaining building is to make the same journey today to be joined with the two-story structure already on site.

The depot was owned by CSX, which donated it to the city with the proviso that it be moved off railroad property.

There has been discussion about making the depot a community center, but no specific use has been agreed upon by city officials.

The depot will be restored to “white box condition,” meaning it will be ready for conversion to suit a business occupant.

Winter at the Painesville Depot

January 12, 2023

An eastbound CSX container train passes the former New York Central passenger station in Painesville on Feb. 2, 2014. The depot has been restored and now houses a railroad museum.

Photograph by Craig Sanders