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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF, CSXT eliminate Chicago interchanges to craft consistent East/West service

For Class Is, moving freight through the Windy City hasn't exactly been a breeze due to long-time congestion problems that only now are being addressed more urgently by the railroads — especially through Chicago Transportation Coordination Office.
To that end, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and CSX Transportation Aug. 6 announced changes to their through-Chicago interline procedures designed to improve transit times by literally bypassing interchanges in the city.
BNSF now delivers Northeast-bound trains directly to CSXT rather than turn over the freight to a local switching railroad, which would deliver the train to CSXT. The run-through service is designed to eliminate Chicago handling, helping the Class Is offer more consistent service.
"Customers will benefit from equipment turning more efficiently and their products reaching their destination faster," said Pete Rickershauser, BNSF vice president, network development, in a prepared statement.
BNSF plans to assemble traffic normally interchanged in Chicago and destined for Baltimore, Philadelphia and Portsmouth, Va., at its Galesburg, Ill., facility — 155 miles southwest of Chicago — to reduce transit time by one to two days.
CSXT would assemble BNSF's westbound traffic in Willard, Ohio, moving it directly to Galesburg or Kansas City, Mo. — and saving a day of transit time.
"Customers will see more consistent service, and that's critical to growing our business and providing more truck-like service," said Mike Giftos, CSXT executive vice president, sales and marketing, adding that the improved service could affect as many as 30,000 carloads annually.

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More News from 8/6/2001