Posts Tagged ‘railroad executives’

CSX to Get New CEO on September 26

September 15, 2022

CSX CEO James Foote will retire later this month and be replaced by a former Ford Motor Company executive.

Taking the helm of CSX on Sept. 26 will be Joseph R. Hinrichs, 55, who has worked in the automotive, manufacturing, and energy industries for more than 30 years.

Joseph Hinrichs

At Ford he was president of the company’s automotive business until 2020. He also served as President of Global Operations, President of the Americas, and President of Asia Pacific and Africa.

In a statement, Hinrichs pledged to continue CSX’s focus on growth, technology, and improving the company’s culture.

Hinrichs also serves in advisory and board positions of various companies including Exide Technologies, Luminar Technologies, microDrive, and First Move Capital.

He previously served as a Senior Advisor at Boyden California, an operating advisor at Assembly Ventures, as well as a Director at Ascend Wellness Holdings; GPR, Inc.; Rivian Automotive, Inc.; and Ford Motor Credit Company.

He was chairman of the National Minority Supplier Development Council from 2016-19 and also served on the boards of CEO Climate Dialogue, Climate Leadership Council, and the US-China Business Council.

Hinrichs earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, graduating magna cum laude from the University of Dayton, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Tiffin University and an Honorary Doctor of Science and Business Administration degree from Cleary University.

A CSX news release said Foote will serve as an advisor to Hinrichs for six months. The CSX statement said the appointment of Hinrichs was a “planned secession.”

Foote also will step down from his post on the CSX board of directors

A story posted on the website of Railway Age included a note from editor William C. Vantuono saying that during a short interview following the announcement, Hinrichs said having experience as a major railroad customer will be beneficial in his new job at CSX, and that addressing the service delivery challenges of the past two to three years will be his prime focus.

Vantuono noted that Hinrich’s experience as a railroad shipper is similar to the background of former Canadian National CEO J.J. Ruest, who had a long tenure in the chemical industry, another major user of railroads for transportation

Mudge Appointed to R.J. Corman Board of Directors

August 4, 2022

Fred Mudge has been appointed to a seat on the board of directors of R.J. Corman Railroad Group.

Mudge is a former board member who served as chairman and interin president and CEO of the railroad.

In a news release, Corman said Mudge earlier served the company for nearly 20 years.

Mudge also is a former secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and previously served as president and CEO of Logan Aluminum, a flat-rolled aluminum manufacturer. In addition, he spent 32 years at Arco Metals.

Executives, Author William Howes Dies

August 2, 2022

Former railroad executive and railroad historian William F. Howes, Jr., has died. He was 83.

Howes worked for the Baltimore & Ohio, Chessie System and CSX, and was known for his work in the passenger department of B&O/C&O.

An obituary posted on the Trains magazine website credited Howes with being instrumental in the development of the Chessie System Chess-C cat logo in 1972, and in overseeing the planning and operation of nearly 100 Chessie Steam Special excursions in 1977-78. He had a hand in designing the yellow, blue, and vermilion locomotive livery introduced in 1972.

He also served as president of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society from 1994 to 2003.

Howes great up in Yonkers, New York, and graduated from Carnegie Tech with a civil engineering degree in 1961.

He began his railroad career as a structural draftsman for the New Haven Railroad in 1960. He later studied for a master’s degree in civil engineering at Purdue University.

Howes joined the B&O in 1963. During his career he worked in the operating, industrial engineering, passenger services, casualty prevention, and executive departments.

In 1965, Howes was appointed assistant to the trainmaster for B&O’s Akron-Chicago Division. He would join the passenger department of B&O/C&O in May 1967 and become its director in 1969.

For the final trips of the Capitol Limited, which departed Chicago and Washington on April 30, 1971, Howes arranged to bring back for one night the famed B&O salad bowl in the dining car and found a few Deer Park spring water jugs, another B&O tradition.

The last runs of Nos. 5 and 6 fielded additional sleeping cars. The trains also carried dome cars.

Howes told the Baltimore Sun in an interview more than three decades later that the railroad was unsure if the trips that began April 30 would be the last ones because of a court challenge to the inauguration of Amtrak on May 1.

Riding No. 6, Howes said he learned at Martinsburg, West Virginia, that the court challenge had failed. “Then we knew it was the end. It was really quite emotional,” he told the Sun.

Howes noted that at the time Amtrak did not plan to operate any B&O passenger trains or use its rails for trains it did plan to operate.

Therefore, some B&O passenger employees with 30 to 40 years seniority were seeing their careers as they had known them come to an end.

Howes retired in 1988 from CSX as vice-president research and analysis. However, he continued to work as a consultant for the railroad industry and government agencies.

Aside from his work for R&LHS, Howes served as president of the Chesapeake Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts in the Baltimore-Washington area.

In 2015, R&LHS awarded Howes its Gerald M. Best Senior Achievement Award.

Howes was a co-author of The American Railroad (with Joe Welsh and Jim Boyd; Travel by Pullman (with Joe Welsh); and The Cars of Pullman (with Joe Welsh and Kevin Holland).

To read the full Trains obituary on Howes, visit

Ex-CSX CEO Hays Watkins Dies

July 31, 2022

Former Chessie System and CSX CEO Hays T. Watkins Jr. has died. He was 96.

Watkins was a Kentucky native who oversaw the merger of the Chessie and Seaboard Coast Line into CSX.

Hays T. Watkins

While serving as chairman of the Chessie, Watkins in 1978 approached Seaboard CEO Prime F. Osborn about a merger.

The two agreed on a deal in which each man would serve as co-CEO of the newly formed company. The board of directors and top management team was split 50-50 between former Chessie and Seaboard members.

“That,” Watkins would say later, “is why we had our 50/50 merger; Prime and I agreed on everything, and if the two of us didn’t agree, we didn’t do it.”

Osborn retired two years after the merger, leaving Watkins as the sole CSX CEO.

Watkins retired in 1991, bringing to an end a 40-year railroad career that also included serving as an executive of the Chesapeake & Ohio where he was vice president-finance and later, president and CEO.

During his time at C&O, Watkins diversified the railroad by buying a gas company as a hedge against rising fuel costs, a pipeline company and a barge line.

He oversaw the formation of Sea-Land Service, a trucking company that also transported shipping containers.

Born in Fern Creek, Kentucky, near Louisville, Watkins earned a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green Business University (now Western Kentucky University) in 1947 and a master’s degree from Northwestern University in 1948.

INRD Appoints New Vice President

July 12, 2022

Indiana Rail Road has named Bryant McCuan as assistant vice president of engineering.

In a news release, the carrier said he will oversee track infrastructure as well as the development and implementation of capital improvement plans. McCuan will work with vice president of engineering Peter Ray.

Before coming to INRD, McCuan worked for 22 years at Canadian National in a variety  of roles including track laborer, track foreman, bridgeman and carpenter. He later was promoted to management.

New NS CEO to Visit Ashtabula

May 3, 2022

New NS CEO Alan Shaw plans to spend today visiting with maintenance of way workers in Astabula.

Shaw, who assumed the CEO role on May 1, is spending time visiting various NS facilities in its first few days on the job.

He replaces James Squires, who has retired. Shaw’s ascension to CEO was planned. He was named NS president last December.

Other locations that Shaw has visited or plans to visit include Debutts Yard in Chattanooga, the yard in Elkhart, Indiana; and an operations center in Roanoke, Virginia.

Shaw also has written to NS employees to lay out his goals as he talks over the railroad.

He called service restoration and developing a customer-centric company that is operations driven among the top priorities.

“My first priority, and the top priority of every member of the Norfolk Southern team, is to restore service to the quality our customers expect and deserve,” Shaw wrote.

“We’ll compete and win in the $800 billion truck and logistics market by being customer-centric and operations-driven.”

The letter cited Amazon and UPS as examples of the type of service-oriented company that NS must seek to become.

Shaw also went on to call for controlling costs and growing revenue.

New CN CEO Outlines Priorities

April 29, 2022

Canadian National CEO Tracy Robinson is now two months into her tenure as head of the Montreal-based railroad and has spent much of that time getting to know the system, including its workers and shippers.

During an earnings conference call with investors this week she laid out her priorities for CN. It was her first public comment since taking over as CEO on Feb. 28.

The first priority Robinson mentioned was focusing on improving velocity. At the same time CN needs to make more efficient use locomotives, cars and crews.

Robinson also spoke of better fitting its network to its strengths, tightening coordination between operations and marketing to ensure CN is able to deliver on its commitments to customers, and investing for growth and efficiency.

“We all know what this network and what this team is capable of doing,” Robinson said. “It’s not a matter of is it operating ratio or is it growth. I think it’s both.”

During the earning call Robinson announced that Doug MacDonald, currently CN’s senior vice president of special projects, was promoted to chief marketing officer.

Robinson replaced the retiring J.J. Ruest at CN. She worked for 27 years at Canadian Pacific and most recently was an executive for pipeline company TC Energy.

NS Names New Transportation VP

April 6, 2022

Norfolk Southern has named Floyd Hudson as vice president, transportation.

Hudson joined NS in 2004 as a management trainee and has held various positions in operations. Most recently he was general manager of the Southern Region and spent a year in a rotating assignment as chief of staff to Chairman and CEO James Squires.

NS said in a news release that Hudson will work with Vice President Network Planning and Operations Paul Duncan, executive Vice President Engineering Ed Boyle, and executive Vice President Advanced Train Control Tom Schnautz.

Hudson replaced Hunt Cary, who is leaving the company.

CSX Names New Vice President

April 2, 2022

CSX has named Steve Fortune as executive vice president and chief digital and technology officer.

He was hired aft6er spending 30 years at BP, where he served as chief information officer of the global BP Group.

At CSX, Fortune will lead all digital and technology operations and planning.

Fortune began at BP as a chemical and process engineer, before moving into operations management and information technology.

INRD Promotes Haire to Assistant VP in IT

March 8, 2022

Matt Haire has been promoted by the Indiana Rail Road to the position of assistant vice president of information technology.

He joined INRD’s IT department in 2004 as a technology specialist working on web development and internal web applications.

After advancing to IT manager and then to IT director, Haire focused on implementing technologies and solutions that would increase efficiencies, reduce costs and improve service and reliability to support internal and external customers, INRD officials said in a news release.