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USA:
CSXT Pledges Speedy Resolution To Track Issues

  : Thursday April 20, 2000
CSX Transportation Inc. (CSXT) today pledged that it would fulfill quickly and effectively the terms of the Safety Compliance Agreement signed by officials of CSXT and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The agreement addresses areas identified in a recent study of CSXT's rail lines by the FRA.

The agreement was released today and cited mutually agreed-upon provisions that will improve CSXT's track inspection and maintenance processes. It was the result of a collaborative effort by CSXT, the FRA and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees.

``We take the FRA report very seriously, and we appreciate the partnership we have with the FRA to ensure the highest level of safety on our railroad,'' said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John W. Snow. ``Let me assure you -- our track structure is safe for our people, the passengers who ride on our tracks, our customers and the communities we serve,'' said Snow, who noted that so far in 2000, FRA reportable track-caused derailments are down 30 percent compared to the same period in 1999.

``In the past four years, we have invested $791 million on rail replacement and repair, cross ties and road bed surfacing,'' Snow said. ``This agreement attests to our commitment to making CSXT the safest railroad in America.''

The Safety Compliance Agreement is in effect until May 1, 2001, but Snow said he is confident that CSXT's clear and decisive actions to correct track conditions and maintenance processes will convince the agency to conclude oversight before that date. The FRA will assess CSXT's progress in January 2001.

Virtually all of the specific track conditions have been corrected and the remaining ones will be resolved within 30-60 days, Snow said. Slow orders are in effect on those line segments that still require work -- about 100 miles of CSXT's 23,400-mile network.

CSXT agreed to changes that reinforce many of its practices already in place:

  • Increase the frequency of track inspections by its three track geometry test vehicles based on projected annual million-gross-tons of rail traffic.
  • Develop new, measurable processes to ensure adequate time for track inspections and maintenance.
  • Assess -- in cooperation with the BMWE and the FRA -- track department manpower requirements.
  • Roll out system-wide a track inspections procedures manual developed through a CSXT, FRA and BMWE joint effort.
  • Establish and enforce quality performance standards for track projects.
CSXT has also taken additional steps beyond the safety agreement's scope. These include:
  • Inspection blitz: Last Friday, CSXT began a system-wide inspection blitz that will exceed FRA standards. Phase I will focus primarily on main tracks, secondary tracks and sidings. Phase II will include the balance of the network.
  • Internal audit: To ensure quality and follow-through, CSX's Audit and Advisory Services has begun a comprehensive review of track inspection and maintenance practices and procedures. In addition to an overall assessment, the audit will examine how identified deficiencies move through the company, both in terms of internal reporting and execution of repairs.
  • Communications: Last month, CSXT initiated and continues to hold a weekly conference call among CSXT, FRA and union leaders as an additional channel of communication and to address issues as they arise.
Snow said the safety agreement ``provides a benchmark for becoming a much safer railroad. As operations return to normal in this post-Conrail integration period, I am confident that we can make more rapid progress in critical areas.''

CSXT and its 35,000 employees provide rail transportation and distribution services over a 23,000-mile network in 23 states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces. CSXT is a business unit of CSX Corporation headquartered in Richmond, Va.

Source:  CSX Transportation (www.csxt.com)
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Earlier story
CSX Statement Regarding Federal Railroad Administration Draft Report
01 Apr 2000

Web sources:
CSX OKs better track inspections
Yahoo 20 Apr 2000


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CSX Transportation

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

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This file last updated: Thursday, 20-Apr-2000 18:45:26 EDT
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