Feds give CSX until Thursday to ID fixes to problems that accelerate Amtrak delays

By George Spohr, Journal & Courier; August 22, 2017

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Amtrak’s on-time performance went from bad to worse in July, and the federal government is growing increasingly frustrated with the primary driver of those delays: CSX.

Based in Jacksonville, Florida, CSX owns about 21,000 miles of track. Amtrak’s Hoosier State and Cardinal trains run on CSX tracks between Indianapolis and Dyer.

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Waiting for a Train: Epic CSX Traffic Jam Sows Chaos From Coal to French Fries

By Paul Ziobro, Dow Jones Newswires, Fox Business News; August 22, 2017

The freight-train ride from Chicago to Colesburg, Tenn., usually takes a few days. Earlier this month, though, the ride was 18 days, 13 hours and 57 minutes, logs show.

Congestion, delays and erratic service are hitting CSX Corp., one of only two railroad operators that handle nearly all the shipments that move by train east of the Mississippi River. The problems began in May and became much worse this summer, according to customers and weekly performance data reported by the Jacksonville, Fla., company.

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A press release from CSX:

CSX Revises Service Metrics to Better Reflect Performance

Revised metrics provide more precise information about operational performance, asset utilization and opportunities for improvement

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Aug. 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CSX (Nasdaq:CSX) has revised the way it calculates three key service metrics – Train Velocity, Terminal Dwell and Cars Online – to more accurately reflect the company’s operational performance.

“CSX is transitioning to Precision Scheduled Railroading, which focuses heavily on service to customers and asset utilization,” said E. Hunter Harrison, CSX president and chief executive officer. “These revised service metrics give us a more accurate understanding of how we are performing and where there are additional opportunities for improvement. That clarity is essential to achieving our highest potential performance, which will benefit our customers, our employees and our shareholders.”

CSX’s revised metrics, which are available on the company’s website, are defined as follows:

  • Train velocity – CSX’s new definition has been revised to include a train’s end-to-end time, and accordingly, speed. The previous definition only counted time on line of road, and excluded intermediate dwell time for crew changes, freight car pick-up or set-off, or other work events at an intermediate yard. The updated definition includes intermediate dwell, reflecting the true speed of a train from origin to destination, and will help identify all opportunities to move trains faster and more reliably from origin to destination. The inclusion of additional time in train velocity has the effect of reducing speed when compared to the prior methodology.
  • Terminal dwell – CSX’s new definition has been expanded to include all car dwell time encountered on an end-to-end trip. The previous definition excluded the amount of time a car spent at a terminal during an intermediate work event if it arrived and departed on the same train. The updated definition includes intermediate car dwell for terminal work events when a car arrives and departs on the same train.This change more accurately reflects all time that a car dwells, and will help identify opportunities to improve asset utilization. The inclusion of these additional dwell events has the effect of reducing terminal dwell when compared to the prior methodology, as intermediate dwell on the same train is often less than dwell events on cars that change trains, which reduces overall average dwell time.
  • Cars online – CSX’s new definition measures the number of active freight rail cars on rail lines operated by CSX. The previous definition included all cars that were last reported on a line operated by CSX, which counted several categories of inactive freight rail cars, including cars that are being repaired, are in storage, have been sold, or are private cars dwelling at a customer location for more than one day. The exclusion of these inactive car categories enables focus on movement and utilization of active cars on the system. As inactive cars become active again, they will be included in the active cars online count. The exclusion of inactive cars has the effect of reducing the number of cars online when compared to the prior methodology.

To assist users in analyzing the company’s historic performance, CSX has restated 2016 and 2017 train velocity and terminal dwell performance data using the new definitions and is making that data along with 2017 cars online data available on its website, www.csx.com/servicemetrics. Please note that CSX’s new metrics differ from data reported by other U.S. railroads, and are not directly comparable.

“These new measures better reflect end-to-end railroad performance,” said Harrison. “We remain committed to meeting our customers’ business requirements throughout the transition to Precision Scheduled Railroading and into the future.”

CSX will continue its required reporting of EP 724 data to the Surface Transportation Board in the prescribed methodology on a weekly basis.

About CSX

CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company.  It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products.  For over 190 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation’s economic expansion and industrial development.  Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation’s population resides.  It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and farming towns alike. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OfficialCSX).

CSX risks losing volume, pricing power on service woes

By Reynolds Hutchins, Associate Editor, Journal of Commerce; August 22, 2017

Major service disruptions will not cost CSX Transportation much intermodal business in the short term, but unless the railroad can convince customers that the delays and missed cargo pickups will be short-lived, it risks losing volume and pricing power.

The 6.2 percent increase in CSX’s intermodal volume over the four weeks shows that although shippers are threatening to take their cargo away, they have limited avenues to use while others are not ready to bite the bullet of changing their distribution strategies. Besides, there is only so much capacity that truckers and their eastern archrival, Norfolk Southern Railway, can take on.

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Murray, Foresight call for formal US STB proceeding on CSX service

By Jim Levesque, Platts; August 22, 2017

US coal producers Murray Energy and Foresight Energy have escalated their complaints against CSX at the US Surface Transportation Board by calling for a formal proceeding concerning the railroad’s service.

In a filing with the STB released Tuesday, the producers urge the agency to institute a proceeding to address CSX’s “brazen refusal to meet the demands for coal transportation.”

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Safety whistleblower’s lawsuit against railroad reinstated

By Gloria Gonzalez, Business Insurance; August 22, 2017

An appeals court has reversed a decision granting summary judgment to CSX Transportation Inc. in a lawsuit filed by an employee who said his employer retaliated against him for reporting safety concerns.

Evard DeMott sued Jacksonville, Florida-based CSX under the Federal Railroad Safety Act alleging that CSX retaliated against him for engaging in protected activity, according to the ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, in Evard DeMott v. CSX Transportation Inc.-Baltimore Division.

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North Carolina DOT project would improve CSX track

From Progressive Railroading Magazine; August 23, 2017

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has proposed improving sections of CSX tracks in Scotland and Bladen counties to help alleviate traffic congestion and allow freight-rail transportation to grow.

The NCDOT Rail Division’s proposal calls for using a federal grant to improve the tracks to reduce freight-rail delays, improve air quality and lower highway congestion, department officials said in a press release.

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A press release from Action for Healthy Kids:

Action for Healthy Kids® and CSX Provide Grants to 300 Schools for 2017-2018 School Year

CHICAGO, Aug. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Action for Healthy Kids® (AFHK) announces the 300 recipients of School Grants for Healthy Kids for the 2017-2018 school year, provided through funding from CSX Transportation. Awarded in 12 states and Washington D.C. the Game On grants aim to expand student access to in-school physical activity and healthy foods, improve knowledge and behaviors around exercise and nutrition, and engage parents in activities that reinforce healthy habits at home. The grants are expected to impact an estimated 152,000 students in 186 school districts.

The grants, ranging from $500 to help returning grantees sustain their programs and $1,000 for new grantees, can be used for a variety of wellness purposes including:

  • Physical activity components, such as funding for physical education, active indoor and outdoor recess, classroom energizers, walking and running clubs, and before- and after-school programs; and
  • Nutrition components, such as education, school gardens, taste tests, and healthy classroom parties and celebrations that introduce students to the value of an active, healthy lifestyle.

“As a transportation services provider, CSX understands the importance of creating connections, and we want to help kids connect with activities that help them develop healthy habits for their entire lives,” said Rob Doolittle, Assistant Vice President Corporate Communications, CSX. “Through our ongoing partnership with AFHK, we are seeing sustainable, impactful changes being made in schools, and we’re excited to continue this great momentum in the coming school year.”

Additionally, 800 school health teams nationwide will be trained on how to build and maintain sustainable wellness teams, augment school health and wellness best practices, and use AFHK resources and programs to implement wellness policies. AFHK also provides technical assistance to help the 300 grantee schools successfully implement their grants, develop their school health team and assess their school health environment.

Together, CSX and AFHK are also planning five service days this fall at which CSX employees will volunteer with AFHK and other CSX partner organizations to refurbish and beautify play spaces, brighten cafeterias with murals to inspire healthy habits, plant school gardens, and much more.

“The funding from CSX connects schools with much-needed resources for their wellness initiatives and acknowledges the impact of physical activity and good nutrition on children’s health and learning,” said Rob Bisceglie, CEO, Action for Healthy Kids. “Partners like CSX are not only helping us to make positive changes at the local level through school grants, but also to drive a greater national focus on the importance of health and nutrition in schools.”

Since 2013, CSX-supported school grants have helped 1,353 schools implement health and wellness initiatives, impacting nearly 700,000 students. For a complete list of schools funded by CSX in the 2017-2018 school year, visit ActionforHealthyKids.org/CSX.

To learn more about CSX’s support of programs related to wellness, safety, community and the environment, visit www.beyondourrails.org.

About Action for Healthy Kids®
Action for Healthy Kids® is a nationwide grassroots network mobilizing school professionals, families and communities to take actions that improve school foods, nutrition education and physical education for all students. With funding opportunities, expert technical assistance, and our flagship program, Game On, Action for Healthy Kids provides full support to schools and families to develop healthy school environments where children thrive. To learn more about the ways our 120,000+ volunteer network is helping to make every kid healthy and ready to learn, visit us at ActionforHealthyKids.org, on Facebook (act4healthykids) and on Twitter (@Act4HlthyKids).

About CSX
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company.  It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products.  For nearly 190 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation’s economic expansion and industrial development.  Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation’s population resides.  It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and farming towns alike.  More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like us on Facebook (http://facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).

 

SOURCE Action for Healthy Kids

 

 

 

 

 

Boston: Faneuil Hall Operator Acquires South Station Lease

By Steve Adams, Staff Writer, Banker & Tradesman; August 22, 2017

The operator of Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. of New York, has acquired the 98-year lease for the office and retail space at Boston’s South Station.

The purchase price was $119 million, according to a real estate industry source. The previous South Station leaseholder, Chicago-based Equity Office, upgraded the concourse’s retail space in 2013 with a new 30,000-square-foot CVS, Tavern in the Square, Starbucks and Barbara’s Bookstore. The landmark structure also contains 120,000 square feet of office space, which is fully occupied.

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Expedia to expand U.S. passenger rail booking presence: CEO

By Sophia Kunthara, Reuters; August 22, 2017

(Reuters) – Online travel provider Expedia Inc is looking to build up its rail booking services in the United States, Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday.

The Bellevue, Washington-based company, which offers online bookings of hotels, flights and cars for travelers, is working to expand those capabilities to passenger train service on a global basis, Khosrowshahi said, looking to key markets like Europe, where it has already started offering rail bookings in the United Kingdom and Germany.

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Cheap oil undercuts U.S. rail, bus service: study

August 23, 2017

By Joseph White, Reuters, WKZO DETROIT (Reuters) – Cheap gasoline is squeezing U.S. bus companies and the Amtrak passenger rail system that bet more consumers would embrace alternatives to driving for trips shorter than 400 miles, a study by researchers at DePaul University concluded. The study, released Tuesday, found nine metropolitan areas in the United […]

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Private freight rail’s contribution to the Corpus Christi and U.S. economy

August 23, 2017

By Ian Jeffries, Association of American Railroads, Corpus Christi Caller-Times; August 22, 2017 The New York Times recently documented the benefits of a 2015 decision by the U.S. Congress to permit crude oil exports, particularly how it has affected Corpus Christi and its ports. “Because of the exports, the job losses have been stemmed and […]

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Iowa Interstate Railroad Equips Entire Locomotive Fleet With Recorders

August 23, 2017

A press release from Wi-Tronix: Iowa Interstate Railroad Equips Entire Locomotive Fleet with Streaming Event Recorder and Advanced Video Analytics Technology Bolingbrook, Illinois (PRWEB)August 23, 2017 Wi-Tronix, LLC formally announced today that it has equipped Iowa Interstate Railroad’s (IAIS) entire locomotive fleet with Violet™. Violet™ is a real-time, streaming event recorder and advanced video analytics […]

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VIA partners with Aboriginal Business

August 23, 2017

A press release from VIA Rail Canada: Supporting Economic Development of Indigenous Communities – VIA Rail Partners with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business MONTRÉAL, Aug. 22, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – VIA Rail Canada announced today that it has entered into a partnership with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), as part of its commitment […]

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Of ducks and dogs: On a leash, and a little puppy love wanted

August 23, 2017

New York City: Duck on a leash rides G train in Brooklyn By Lauren Cook, amNEWYORK; August 22, 2017 What has two legs, feathers and rides the subway? A duck, of course. The subway can be a wild place filled with “Showtime” dancers and riders with questionable food choices, but on Monday some straphangers were […]

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Walt Disney’s Love of Trains: Part One

August 23, 2017

By Jim Korkis, Contributing Writer, Mouse Planet I have always had a fascination with vintage trains, especially growing up in Glendale, California, where I could spend time on the weekends at a special section of Griffith Park called Travel Town, an outdoor museum to preserve and celebrate Southern California railroads, with actual vehicles that people […]

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Fuxing trains enter service on Beijing – Tianjin high-speed line

August 22, 2017

Written by  Keith Barrow, International Railway Journal; August 21 CHINA Railway Corporation’s new CR400AF Fuxing high-speed trains entered passenger service on the Beijing – Tianjin route on August 21. The eight-car trains will initially operate 39 services per day between Beijing and Tianjin and six services per day between Beijing and Xingtai in Hebei province. […]

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42 hurt in SEPTA train crash outside Philadelphia

August 22, 2017

By Jason Laughlin and Joseph A. Gambardello, Staff Writers, Philly.com A SEPTA Norristown High Speed Line train ran into an unoccupied train early Tuesday inside the 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby, injuring 42 people, officials said. None of the injuries appear to be life threatening, SEPTA said. The train’s operator was treated at […]

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