Posts Tagged ‘CSX’

CSX Seeks to Improve Freight Tracking

September 24, 2021

CSX is working to improve its online freight tracking system to make it easier for shippers to do business with the railroad.

Kevin Boone, executive vice president of sales and marketing, said the goal is to bring the carrier’s online tools up to the same level as those used by UPS and FedEx.

 “Today it’s not real easy to do business with railroads. We don’t provide the insights, the visibility that we should,” Boone said during a presentation to the North East Association of Rail Shippers.

To attract shippers CSX is upgrading its ShipCSX portal to provide tracking and tracing capability.

However, Boone acknowledged the system needs further development.

The carrier also is aware of Rail Pulse, a GPS-based tracking system being developed by Norfolk Southern, short line holding companies Genesee & Wyoming and Watco, freight car leasing company GATX, and railcar manufacturer and leasing company Trinity Rail.

“We’re looking at everything. Certainly we’re aware of Rail Pulse. I think it’s an interesting concept,” Boone said.

Boone called Rail Puse the future, saying the ability to track and trace freight is something shippers have indicated they would be willing to pay extra to be able to do.

Once fully developed, Rail Pulse is expected to provide shippers a single online portal to track shipments that move on cars equipped with the GPS tracing system.

Rail Pulse, unlike current tools railroads have, will provide precise real-time location data, even on short lines. It will enable shippers to track shipment not covered by the Automatic Equipment Identification system.

Other information provided by Rail Pulse will include whether a car is loaded or empty, whether doors or hatches are open or closed, and if the car has been involved in a collision that could damage cargo.

Other companies also are seeking to develop rail car tracking systems using GPS technology.

Railinc subsidiary TransmetriQ is developing an advanced estimated time of arrival system that can help rail customers better plan their operations based on accurate car arrival times.

Virginia Short Line to Buy part of Cardinal Route

September 24, 2021

A Virginia short line railroad that hosts Amtrak’s Chicago-New York Cardinal is seeking to buy track it now leases from CSX.

The Buckingham Branch Railroad wants to buy 164 miles of former Chesapeake & Ohio track in Virginia between Clifton Forge and Doswell.

BBR has leased the track since 2005. It was formed in 1988 and today operates 280 route miles.

In a filing with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, CSX and BBR said they have agreed to convert the lease into an exclusive rail freight operating easement and terminate the existing agreement.

Sitting at Milepost 1

September 23, 2021

It’s a Saturday morning and I’ve found this R.J. Corman grain train sitting south of Ansonia, Ohio, awaiting a crew.

Rebuilt GP16 No. 1832 has yet to couple onto the cars, which were delivered to the Corman by CSX. All of the covered hoppers have CSX reporting marks and lettering.

The grain is bound for an ethanol plant located near Greenville. The track on which the train is sitting is the longest segment of the former Cincinnati Northern that is still in existence.

Once part of the Big Four system, the CN ran from Franklin, Ohio, north of Cincinnati, to Jackson, Michigan.

A few short segments of the CN are still used to serve shippers in various locations in Ohio and Michigan.

Note that on the Corman this is milepost 1. During the Big Four days Ansonia was milepost 151 on the CN.

The grain in this train will take a short surviving segment of the former Pan Handle (Pennsylvania Railroad) Columbus-Logasnport, Indiana, line to reach the ethanol plant. Most of that ex-PRR route has been abandoned, too.

No. 1832 began life as a GP7 built in March 1951 for the Seaboard Air Line. It served for a time on the CSX motive power roster before being acquired by the Corman and assigned to the Western Ohio Line.

The corn in the adjacent field will soon be ready for harvest. Perhaps someday it will these rails to Greenville to be processed into ethanol.

It Took 4 Tries to Get This Image

September 22, 2021

The third time is supposed to be the charm or so the sayings goes. In the case of the above image it was the fourth time that proved to be charming.

Three times I sought to photograph a westbound CSX train passing the Union City, Ohio, water tower on the Indianapolis Line. Three times I got cloud skunked.

The resulting images were not terrible yet the lighting was subdued. My luck finally turned late last Saturday afternoon when sunny skies prevailed as CSX train Q631 rumbled into town.

The lighting was mostly right down the nose but slightly favored the north side of the tracks. That gravel path to the left is Railroad Street and it doesn’t see much traffic.

CSX Willing to Give up PAS Ownership

September 11, 2021

CSX CEO James Foote said during a conference this week that his company is open to giving up its half ownership of Pan Am Southern if it is allowed to acquire Pan Am Railways.

PAS ownership is currently split between Norfolk Southern and Pan Am. PAS provides NS with access to Boston.

CSX has proposed keeping its PAS ownership but giving operating control of it to a neutral party, a subsidiary of short line railroad conglomerate Genesee & Wyoming.

However, some critics of the CSX-Pan Am deal have argued that the G&W subsidiary – Berkshire & Eastern – is not necessarily a neutral party.

Speaking to the North American Rail Shippers conference on Thursday, Foote said, “It was our partner in that initiative that thought we should do it this way.”

PAS oversees the former Boston & Maine west of Ayer, Massachusetts, and a north-south route along the Connecticut River in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Among those opposing CSX plans for PAS are the U.S. Justice Department, Canadian Pacific, and Vermont public officials.

All have said the manner in which CSX has proposed to handle PAS raises competitive concerns, saying CSX is already the dominant freight railroads in New England.

Foote said he is baffled by why CP wants to route its New England traffic through the Hoosac Tunnel, which cannot accommodate double-stack intermodal traffic.

 “We’ve got a super deluxe double-stack railroad, but they don’t like it for some reason,” Foote said about his company’s Boston & Albany route.

STB Finds 5 Class 1s were Revenue Adequate in 2020

September 10, 2021

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has determined that five Class 1 railroads had adequate revenue during 2020.

The carriers were BNSF, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Soo Line (Canadian Pacific) and Union Pacific.

A railroad is considered to be revenue adequate if it achieves a rate of return on net investment equal to at least the current cost of capital for the railroad industry.

During 2020 the STB determined that to be 7.89 percent.

The five carriers cited by regulators achieved a rate of return on net investment equal to or greater than the agency’s calculation of the cost of capital for the railroad industry.

CSX 911 Passes Through Akron

September 7, 2021

The Spirit of Our First Responders, CSX 911, an ES44AC-H, pulled a coal train through Northeast Ohio on Monday.

The train N758, a coal train that originated at the Bailey Mine in Graysville, Pennsylvania, and was bound for a Duke Energy steam plant in Terrell, North Carolina. Some online reports had the train symbol as N759.

The trailing unit of the train was ES44Cc-H No. 765. The train passed through Akron on the New Castle Subdivision around 11:30 a.m.

It diverged at Greenwich and traveled via Crestline, Galion and Edison to Columbus.

Todd Dillion caught the train at Kent while Robert Farkas got it at Clinton.

The first four images are from Todd while the bottom image is from Bob.

Jury Sides With CSX in Civil Case

September 7, 2021

A Pennsylvania jury found CSX to be no negligent during a jury trial in a federal district court for injuries suffered by a pedestrian struck by a train in January 2013.

The case, which was heard in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, involved a lawsuit filed by Jonathan Lopex, 34, who suffered the loss of a leg below the knee and brain damage.

He had sought more than $2 million in damages in the civil action.

Attorneys for Lopez said the crew of the train failed to exercise reasonable care by allowing the train to travel in excess of the speed limit and failing to stop the train to avoid striking Lopez.

CSX countered that Lopez was primarily responsible for the accident because he was walking with his head down and listening to music.

The railroad’s attorneys contended that had Lopez listened for the locomotive bell, horn and ambient noise he would have hear the train coming.

The accident occurred at a public grade crossing with warning lights.  Evidence introduced at trial indicated the train was traveling between 11 and 14 mph on a segment of track where the top speed is 11 mph.

Take a Look Down the Street

September 3, 2021

CSX AC4400CW No. 562 leads an eastbound through Clinton on June 14, 2021. If you look down the street, you can see the consist of the train. This can help you to visualize how sharp this curve is.

Photograph by Robert Farkas