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Published: 7 September 2017
CSX hearing postponed
The US Surface Transportation Board (STB) has postponed its “Listening Session” into performance issues at CSX Railroad as Hurricane Irma heads towards Florida.
The listening session was expected to be very lively, with speakers from Dow Chemical Company, the National Grain and Feed Association, Cargill and the American Chemistry Council using the opportunity to state complaints over service as CSX implements CEO Hunter Harrison's Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR) model.
CSX has cut over 3,500 employees, merged divisions, closed some facilities and rescheduled a large part of its operations as Harrison drives through his vision for a leaner, more cost effective operation.
Responding to complaints from manufactures, growers, shippers and other railroad users the STB had scheduled its listening session for 12 September in Washington, but with Hurricane Irma now expected to make landfall in Florida on Monday, September 11 the event has been postponed.
“The Board understands that CSX and many rail shippers are currently focused on hurricane preparedness efforts in areas that could be affected by the storm. The Board does not want to divert attention or resources from those necessary activities, nor does the Board believe that it would be appropriate to require CSX’s senior management team to be in Washington, D.C., and away from its Jacksonville, FL headquarters should a potentially catastrophic hurricane make landfall early next week. Accordingly, the Board will postpone the listening session, but intends to reschedule it as soon as practicable,” read the STB statement.
Harrison had welcomed the listening session, arguing that CSX’s performance metrics are improving, and customers will actually see better service once his PSR model is fully implemented.
One company, JCI Jones Chemicals, has written to the STB withdrawing its request to comment at the listening session. “JCI has been in recent communication with CSX's executive leadership on this matter and is confident that they fully understand and are addressing our specific concerns and issues” said Timothy Gaffney, JCI Executive Vice President.