Posts Tagged ‘CSX’

Indiana Rail Facility Opens

March 24, 2017

A $2 million commercial rail cross-dock facility has opened in Washington, Indiana, with the 18,0000-square foot structure being the first rail expansion in the city in decades.

The new facility is part of a new 40,000 square feet shell building. The  $10 million project included the shell building and wastewater and electrical infrastructure.

The facility is located near the interchange of U.S. Route 50 and Interstate 69.

The cross-dock facility will allow the direct loading of semi-trailers and railroad freight cars.

It is located on the Cincinnati-St. Louis line of the former Baltimore & Ohio. CSX now owns the line, much of which is out of service in Illinois.

Officials say the cross-dock is expected to meet logistics needs and increase efficiencies for regional companies in the area, including Grain Processing Corporation and Alliance Barrier Films.

They also hope that it will encourage expansion of companies with specialty needs in transportation, logistics and distribution.

Repainted Chessie Loco Seen by Shop

March 21, 2017

A locomotive pained in Chessie System colors that is thought to be bound for the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania, has emerged from a CSX shop in West Virginia.

Trains magazine reported that B30-7, ex-C&O No. 8272 and ex-CSX No. 5554 was seen outside the Huntington locomotive shop last weekend.

The museum has thus far declined to comment on reports that the repainted unit will be added to its collection.

Given its proximity to the GE Transportation locomotive assembly plant in Erie, Pennsylvania, the museum has sought to preserve several GE-built engines.

Trains said it is the first time that a Chessie locomotive has been painted at the Huntington shops in more than 30 years.

Huntington was once a division headquarters for the C&O.

No. 8272 was built in January 1980 and retired more than six years ago. It was removed from a dead line in Cumberland, Maryland, and transported to Huntington in 2016.

Morning in Marion

March 15, 2017

Sometimes it all works out. I had arrived in Marion at 7:35 a.m. and the sun was high enough to be able to illuminate a southbound (railroad eastbound) train on either the Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern or the Columbus Subdivision of CSX.

How nice it would be right now to have a heritage unit leading an eastbound on NS. That was too much to wish for, but maybe I could get a train on the Columbus Sub.

That might have been too much to wish for, too, because traffic can be sporadic on the Columbus Sub.

Thirty-three minutes after I arrived NS sent a westbound stack train through town. That was nice but it was going in the wrong direction for the light.

Nineteen minutes later came an NS eastbound, but I knew from monitoring the scanner that there was train coming my way on the Columbus Sub.

The Q711 arrived a minutes after the eastbound NS manifest freight began to bang the diamonds of the CSX Mt. Victory Subdivision.

It might have been leading a trash train, but C40-8W No. 7790 looked good in the morning light.

Article and Photorgraph by Craig Sanders

CSX Changing Operating Rules

March 15, 2017

Trains magazine reported this week that the first change at CSX since E. Hunter Harrison took over as CEO has been implemented.

Operating employees will now be able to step on and off moving equipment provided that it is moving 4 p.m., or slower.

A CSX bulletin obtained by the magazine said the change took effect on Tuesday and applies to trained employees who have been qualified by a supervisor regarding the rule change and have demonstrated proficiency in the task.

Employees must run down a list of requirements before getting on or off moving equipment, including scanning the area for obstructing objects, maintaining three points of contact, staying clear of adjacent tracks, and first applying a boot to the bottom step or ladder rung to verify proper footing before continuing.

Additional operating rules changes are expected to be implemented on April 1.

CSX Halfway Done With Tunnel Project

March 15, 2017

The last step in the completion of the CSX National Gateway initiative, enlarging the Virginia Avenue tunnel in Washington, is past the half-way point and on target to be completed in mid 2018.

Workers are replacing a 3,800-foot tunnel built in 1872 with twin 4,100-foot tunnels that will be large enough to accommodate double-stack container trains.

The $250 million project began in May 2015 and the first tunnel was completed last December.

Railroad officials say the tunnel, which had been rebuilt in 1906, had reached the end of its useful life.

The new tunnels will be 21 feet tall, but will still be a tight fit for high-profile rail cars. The original tunnels were 18.7 feet tall.

Although Amtrak and commuter carrier Virginia Railway Express will not be using the tunnels, CSX officials say they will benefit because they use tracks leading to Washington Union Station from the south and having a more fluid freight operation will keep passengers trains moving.

The Washington tunnels are the last of 61 clearance projects undertaken by CSX in recent years to develop the National Gateway route between the Northwest Ohio intermodal terminal near North Baltimore and Mid-Atlantic ports.

The National Gateway is an $850 million public-private partnership.

CSX, Schneider Ink New Contract

March 10, 2017

CSX will continue to serve as a primary rail provider for trucking firm Schneider National.

The two companies announced this week that they have reached a multiyear agreement that enables Schneider to serve the eastern United States as demand for intermodal transportation increases.

“By combining the expertise of one of the country’s largest intermodal providers and one of the country’s major railroads, Schneider has been able to provide creative solutions to more efficiently move intermodal freight with truck-like service,” said Jim Filter, senior vice president and general manager of Schneider Intermodal.

CSX has served as Schneider’s primary Eastern rail provider since 2008. Schneider maintains a terminal in Marion, Ohio, that is served by CSX and uses the railroad’s Northwest Ohio Intermodal Terminal at North Baltimore, Ohio.

The latest agreement provides Schneider customers with capacity and operational interfaces designed to increase accessibility and efficiency of rail moves.

“There is significant opportunity to optimize modal selection and convert freight from highway to rail in the Eastern U.S. CSX continues to invest in the intermodal growth opportunity, and we are excited to extend our relationship with Schneider as they truly are a premier intermodal provider,” said Dean Piacente, CSX vice president-intermodal, in a statement.

Harrison’s Compensation at CSX Outlined

March 9, 2017

Hunter Harrison and CSX agreed to a base salary of $2.2 million, the railroad said this week in a regulatory filing.

The compensation package also includes an annual target bonus opportunity of up to $2.8 million, with that amount as a guaranteed bonus this year.

Harrison will receive options on 9 million shares of CSX stock, which is valued at $448 million at its current price of $49.79 per share.

Half of those options will hinge on his continued employment and the other half are tied to his meeting a series of performance targets.

The agreement to hire Harrison as its CEO also came with a number of changes in the CSX board of directors.

Clarence Gooden is no longer vice chairman and board member Timothy O’Toole has resigned immediately.

CSX’ has amended its corporate bylaws to separate the roles of CEO and chairman of the board as well as to change the mandatory retirement age of 75. Harrison is 72.

Although it remains to be seen how Harrison’s management philosophy will play out at CSX, analysts expect that he will further thin the number of managers and employees at the company, close yards and shops, and sell off some rail routes.

These measures will be aimed at improving operations, reducing expenses and boosting profitability.

Some have noted that CSX is far different than were Canadian National and Canadian Pacific when he took over as CEO at those railroads.

The Canadian roads were linear systems whereas CSX has a more complex route network.

That will challenge Harrison to impose his precision scheduled railroading philosophy, which he developed as CEO of the Illinois Central Railroad in the 1990s.

One decision Harrison will need to make will be whether to continue the CSX of Tomorrow strategy, which emphasized intermodal and merchandise traffic while focusing on its major routes operating in a triangle operating from Chicago to New Jersey to Florida and then back to Chicago.

CSX, Harrison Reach Agreement on CEO Post

March 6, 2017

CSX said Monday afternoon it has reached an agreement to hire E. Hunter Harrison as its CEO effective immediately.

Current CEO Michael Ward, who had announced on Feb. 21 that he would retire on May 31, will become a consultant to CSX.

The railroad also said it has reached a pact with hedge fund Mantle Ridge to reorganize the CSX board of directors.

In a news release, CSX said it would appoint five new directors agreed upon by Mantle Ridge and current CSX management.

They are Paul Hilal, who founded Mantle Ridge, Harrison, Dennis Reilley, Linda Riefler and John Zillmer.

Three incumbent directors will complete their terms at or before the conclusion of the CSX 2017 annual meeting. The CSX board will then have 13 members.

Edward J. Kelly, III, the current presiding director, will become chairman of the board and Hilal will become vice chairman.

Harrison will receive an award of incentive options to purchase nine million shares of CSX stock at its current trading price, eight million of which will be granted as an inducement award under the Nasdaq listing rules, CSX said in its news release.

The options will vest over four years with half of the options vesting based on service and half vesting based on the achievement of designated performance goals over the four-year period.

However, the CSX board will still seek shareholder direction with regard to an $84 million payment to cover compensation and benefits that Harrison forfeited by retiring early from Canadian Pacific.

CSX said that Harrison, 72, has said that his acceptance of the CEO position is subject to CSX ultimately providing this replacement protection initially offered by Mantle Ridge upon his departure from CP.

If he does not receive the reimbursement and tax indemnity that he is seeking, Harrison will resign after the 2017 CSX annual meeting.

CSX said it will ask CSX shareholders to conduct an advisory vote during the annual meeting.

A previously announced special stockholders meeting will not be conducted.

The news that CSX, Harrison and Mantle Ridge has reached an agreement was reported in various news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, before it was formally announced by CSX.

CSX, Harrison Reported Close to a Deal

March 4, 2017

News reports on Friday indicated the CSX and E. Hunter Harrison are closed to reaching a deal for the former Canadian Pacific head to become CEO of CSX.

CSX logo 1Bloomberg News reported that an announcement could be made as early as next week although the talks between CSX and hedge fund Mantle Ridge over the composition of the CSX board of directors could still collapse.

The reports indicated the two sides were close to reaching an agreement whereby Harrison would begin work immediately for CSX and receive a four-year contract.

CSX shareholders would vote on whether to reimburse Mantle Ridge the $84 million that it paid Harrison to walk away early from CP.

Back in January, several news reports indicated that Harrison agreed to forego tens of millions of dollars to get CP to grant him a limited waiver of a non-compete clause.

CSX and Mantle Ridge have refused to comment on the report.

Railroads Want W.Va. Taxi Law Modified

March 2, 2017

Railroaders and their employers are taking aim at a West Virginia law that mandates that  only taxi companies regulated by the state’s Public Service Commission may haul train crews.

West VirginiaCSX, Norfolk Southern and railroad labor unions want the state to allow contractors to do the work of moving crews when they are deadheading.

CSX vice president Randy Cheetham told a state legislative committee that railroad crews have safety concerns due to the condition of the taxis and noted that the Mountain State is the only one of 23 served by CSX that does not allow the railroad to contract with companies to provide transportation for its employees.

The legislation that the railroads and union are supporting was passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee this week.

Cheetham said that his company’s contract carriers have newer and safer vehicles.

But a Charleston taxi company, C&H Taxi, said that although transporting railroad crews is just one part of its business, it is the primary revenue for some smaller companies that would lose money if the bill is approved.