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Rail News: CSX Transportation

STB slates listening session on CSX service issues


The Surface Transportation Board (STB) will hold a public listening session Sept. 12 to hear from CSX about its recent rail service problems and efforts at recovery, the board announced yesterday.

The hearing also will allow rail shippers and other stakeholders to report on the repercussions of CSX's rail service problems and their experience with the railroad's actions to restore service to acceptable levels, STB officials said in a press release.

The hearing was scheduled after a joint petition to the STB was filed by Foresight Coal Sales LLC, Sugar Camp Energy LLC, Williamson Energy LLC and Consolidation Coal Co. The petition asks for the hearing and that the STB take several steps to address the companies service complaints against CSX.

The board has been monitoring CSX's performance since last month, following complaints from shippers about problems resulting from the Class I's operational restructuring under new executive leadership. The railroad is making the transition to a system known as precision scheduled railroading.

As part of the STB's monitoring, Acting Chairwoman Ann Begeman has talked with CSX President and Chief Executive E. Hunter Harrison about the company's service deterioration and efforts to improve.

In an email to customers early this month, Harrison apologized for the service disruptions, which he blamed on resistance to the restructuring plan on the part of some employees.

"The pace of change at CSX has been extremely rapid, and while most people at the company have embraced the new plan, unfortunately, a few have pushed back and continue to do so," Harrison wrote.

As part of the STB's monitoring of CSX, the agency's staff are holding weekly calls with CSX senior management and receiving weekly service metrics from the Class I.
The board's Rail Customer and Public Assistance office has been working with affected shippers to resolve acute service disruptions, STB officials said.

The Sept. 12 hearing will be held at 9:30 a.m. EDT at the STB's headquarters in Washington, D.C.