CSXT Realigns Merchandise Sales Department
CSXT has announced it has realigned its merchandise sales and marketing department to better serve customers and align its resources to meet growth targets. The cornerstone of the realignment is a shift from a commodity-based approach to a more customer-focused and growth-oriented strategy, including greater emphasis on direct sales contact, product development and promotion and specialized functional expertise, according to a press release. Michael P. Ryan, previously vice president-agriculture and international marketing, has been named president-sales and will direct sales activities for customers representing CSXT's largest transportation accounts. William J. Kenwell joins CSXT as vice president-sales from GT Nexus, a technology company, where he served as vice president-partner relations. Other appointments include J. Ganson Evans, vice president-process information; James A. Howarth, vice president-marketing; Frank S. Onimus, vice president-product performance; Derrick W. Smith, vice president and general manager of the newly created Emerging Markets Unit; and James M. Woodall, vice president-pricing and yield management. Glenn L. Katz remains vice president and general manager-Florida Business Unit, which will remain intact.
CSX Offering 20-Year Debentures
CSX Corporation has priced a registered public offering of 20-year zero-coupon convertible debentures. The debentures are unsecured, unsubordinated obligations convertible into CSX Corporation common shares under specific conditions. Each convertible debenture has an initial yield to maturity of one percent and is convertible into 17.7461 shares of CSX common stock. This is equivalent to an initial conversion price of $46.16 per share, a 37.5 percent premium over the October 24 closing price of $33.57 on the New York Stock Exchange. The gross proceeds from the offering will be approximately $400-million, or greater. The company intends to use the net proceeds of the offering to redeem other debt and/or to refinance a portion of outstanding commercial paper. The balance, if any, will be used for general corporate purposes.
BNSF Restructures Operating Department
Burlington Northern Santa Fe has announced a restructuring of its operating department. The number of divisions is being reduced to 13 from the previous 22, each led by a general manager who will report to one of three assistant vice presidents-operations. "We believe the new structure will advance our leadership model by providing our leaders with more opportunities to inspire a compelling vision, communicate and make development of our people a priority," said Carl Ice, executive vice president and chief operations officer. "The previous structure served us well," he added. "It enabled us to make improvements in service, cost control and asset utilization, and it supported the gains in safety. The new structure builds on that solid foundation, and positions us for continuous improvement."
Union Pacific to Build Intermodal Facility in Illinois
Union Pacific has approved construction of a $181-million intermodal facility near Rochelle, Illinois, in an effort to increase the ability to handle efficiently the growing rail-truck freight market in the Chicago area. Rochelle is on UP's main line west of Chicago and served by interstates 39 and 88, as well as several state highways. UP had announced plans for a similar facility near Maple Park, Illinois, in early 2000, but plans for that facility were later canceled.
Train Crew Saves Toddler's Life in Maryland
[CSXT Midweek Report, October 18. 2001] . . .
Engineer S.B. Tucker and conductor R.A. Coley had slowed their train to 10 mph as they entered the wye at Hyattsville, Maryland, when they came face-to-face with a terrible sight. A 14-month-old toddler was standing in the middle of the tracks facing away from the train. Tucker immediately threw the train into emergency braking, managing to bring Q17325 to a stop just in time to save the child's life. But the crew's quick thinking in the early afternoon of September 25 didn't stop there. Tucker and Coley gathered up the toddler and held onto the child until the police arrived to sort out the situation. "The crew's alertness and quick response saved the life of a youngster and reminded all of us of the important responsibilities we shoulder every day as railroaders," said Baltimore Division superintendent Dave Donaldson. As Tucker and Coley continued on their southbound journey, they did so with the knowledge that they had shouldered their responsibilities with the utmost professionalism.
CSX Helps German Rail Car Journey to Tennessee
[CSXT Midweek Report, October 18. 2001] . . .
A project that began last spring and involved dozens of CSX employees culminated on October 3 with the delivery of a German rail car to a school in rural Tennessee. The rail car was placed at Whitwell Elementary School to hold paper clips that students collected as part of a diversity project. The students' initial goal was 11-million paper clips, one for each Jew killed in the Holocaust. In the end, the school received approximately 28-million paper clips, often attached to letters from Holocaust survivors or relatives of those killed. Trainmaster Taylor Gavin and his crew, including lead carman Mickey Ridge and carman Freddie Johnson, were some of the CSX employees involved. They worked with crane operators to move the car from a flatbed truck into place and secure it. Roadmaster J.J. Stephens also helped in the project by building the section of track where the rail car sits. The car began its transatlantic journey in Berlin, Germany, arriving in the United States at the port in Baltimore. There it was loaded onto a CSXT freight train. The train made its way through terminals in Hamlet, Atlanta and Chattanooga. At each terminal, a new crew was chosen to continue the train's journey. "The event was a complete success," said Robin Scherch, who leads CSX's diversity committee. Scherch represented the railroad along with Bob Melotti, director-human resources for the Central and Midwest regions. "The whole town turned out, the kids were delighted and the school principal cried when they put the rail car down on the rail platform. I was so proud to be a member of the CSX team that helped to make this possible."
"AF" Improvements Up and Running
[By Ray Saunders] . . .
A $13.5-million upgrade of "AF" Interlocking, the junction of CSXT's RF&P Subdivision with Norfolk Southern, south of the Alexandria, Virginia, Amtrak/Virginia Railway Express station, went live the morning of Saturday, October 20. The project, funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia, in conjunction with CSXT, NS, Amtrak and VRE, also encompassed trackage at "North Alexandria" and "Seminary" and signaling between "South RO" and "Ravensworth," along the RF&P Sub, and related improvements to NS between CR Tower and AF.
This 15-month undertaking was prompted by the need to modernize the facilities for higher speeds and increased capacity. The crossovers at AF between #3 track and #2 track, #2 track and #3 track, and #2 track to the South Freight lead had been downgraded to 10 MPH. Many delays to both passenger and freight movements occurred when crossover or movements against the grain of traffic during peak demand times became necessary.
Now at AF Interlocking, between the new southward overhead signal bridge at milepost CFP 104.7 and the northward signal bridge at milepost CFP 104.1, lies seven new crossovers, allowing diverging movements between tracks #3, #2 and #1 at 45 MPH. New tracks at AF include an "AF Siding" (2400 feet) and #4 track, both diverging from #3 track at milepost CFP 104.3. In addition, an 800-foot non-signaled "AF Set-off" track is accessed off of the "AF Siding." The southern junction of track #4 and the AF Siding with the NS "Horn Track" is now the location of "SY" (Seminary). A hand-operated crossover has also been put in place between #3 track and the Horn track to allow a southbound movement practical for use of the Set-Off track.
A cut-in period for the new AF - from October 9 through 26 - was scheduled, with the VRE issuing a special temporary timetable, encompassing the two phases of the operation. The first phase covered the period of October 9-12, with both Manassas and Fredericksburg Line trains adhering to their normal schedules along with the cancellation of the "reverse" trains to and from Manassas (P321, 323, 325, 334, 336, 338) while work to complete the retirement of the interlocking at "North Alexandria" occurred. Prior to the start of the second phase of "A Better VRE in 3," CSXT initiated a signal suspension between Ravensworth and South RO, Friday night of the 12th, to give the signal forces an opportunity to complete their part of the cut-in. Switches were taken off power and put in hand-throw position. Switchtenders were put in place at AF - under the control of the "CQ" Dispatcher in Jacksonville - during the suspension to throw whatever switches were required and to let trains know that their routes were lined for their movements. In addition, overnight Friday the 12th into Saturday morning the 13th, the aforementioned "Seminary" was relocated from #3 track to the new #4 track and the #3 track/Horn track crossover was cut-in. Work was completed in time for P94013, the Washington Chapter NRHS's "Autumn Gold Express," en route from Washington to Clifton Forge, Virginia, to be the first train to traverse the new #4 track access to the Horn track. The second phase of "A Better VRE in 3" began on Monday, October 15, with schedules of both VRE's Manassas and Fredericksburg lines padded by 15 minutes to allow extra time for movement through the suspension area. The suspension of the reverse trains to and from Manassas also continued.
In addition to the switchtenders' input, all trains traveling between AF and SRO needed the "Alexandria" block appropriate to the direction and track they were occupying. Trains traveling south of AF on the RF&P Sub also needed the "Ravensworth" block in the same fashion. This method of operation along the RF&P Sub limited, by rule, passenger trains to a maximum speed of 59 MPH and freights to 49 MPH.
The testing of the new signal system to go along with the new track arrangement went so well that it was completed by Saturday the 20th. The switches were restored to power, the bulletin calling for the signal suspension was rescinded, and new, improved AF was open for business. VRE was able to revert to its pre-October 9 schedules as the situation became "A Better VRE in 2."
Operationally, trains now receiving advance warning of being crossed over at AF or making a diverging move receive an Approach Limited (flashing yellow, green, red) or Limited Clear (flashing red, green, red), corresponding to 45 MPH, CSXT limited speed.
Biking the WB&A Trail
[By Allen Brougham] . . .
It was a warm and sunny afternoon on September 16 when I was joined by Gilbert Elmond for a leisurely assault on the recently-opened Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Recreational Trail in Prince George's County. This was the first biking visit to this particular trail by both of us. As reported often before in the Bull Sheet, we make it a point to visit all of the railroad trails in the area to experience their attendant pleasures and historical input.
After a brief stop at the restored Bowie Tower and a chat with Ashby Kelley, its curator, Gilbert and I motored to the nearby eastern end of the trail, at Race Track Road, for our adventure.
The asphalt-paved trail is not at all challenging. For the most part, it traces the original right of way of the old WB&A interurban line for a distance of 5.6 miles. Nearly all of the trail follows the route of a power line, the use by it along the old roadbed probably being the reason that space for the trail had not been encroached upon in the interim since train service ended in 1935. All of the major roads the trail crosses are separated from the trail users via a bridge or short tunnel. Also, near the trail's midpoint, a bridge spans CSXT's Popes Creek line. Looking north from the bridge, one can easily see the PRR-style distant signal for the approach to Bowie. No trains were seen by us that day, but it is an ideal place to watch trains if any happen to be in the area.
The trail, which is a part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission system, has two dedicated parking areas. The Race Track Road area at the eastern end is near the site of a one-time branch of the WB&A to the Bowie Race Course, and rail is still visible in a couple of spots. It is here, too, that an extension of the trail along the main right of way further into Anne Arundel County is planned. The second parking area is on Electric Avenue near Glen Dale Road about a mile east of the western end of the trail. (East and west directions are used in this report for simplicity; the trail is actually oriented northeast to southwest.)
In spite of the trail's close proximity to urban areas, it is mostly buffered from those areas as though they were strictly rural.
It was noteworthy, too, that for a trail located so close to metropolitan populations, it was very lightly used on this particular day. It was an ideal day for such recreation - so where were all the people? One explanation could be that the trail is a new one, has not gotten much notice, and will become more popular as time goes on. Another explanation is that folks on this particular day were simply not in the mood. It was, after all, just five days after September 11...
Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Electric Railroad Company
[Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission] . . .
Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis (WB&A) Railroad began operating in February 1908. At the time, it was a state-of-the-art interurban rail line with electric trains traveling as fast as 70 miles per hour. Stops along the trail were located at Bowie, Lloyd, Highbridge, Hillmeade, Bell, Randle (Glen Dale Hospital), Lincoln, Buena Vista, and Cherry Grove. Despite the fact that the railroad was rarely profitable, service was excellent. It was fast and on time. In 1909, a Washington to Baltimore round trip ticket cost $1.25 and travel took only 65 minutes one way. Ridership peaked in 1918 during World War I, when the railroad had 33 scheduled trips from Washington to Baltimore, carrying 5.9 million riders a year. The Great Depression took its toll, however, and the WB&A ceased service in August 1935. The tracks were removed shortly thereafter.