CSX Announces "Major Streamlining" of its Management Structure
CSX has announced a major streamlining of its management structure at a number of its companies. Included will be the elimination of some organizational layers and realigning of certain functions. "Our goal is to create smaller, more responsive and streamlined organizations focused on driving operating income up and better realizing our full potential. This effort will allow us to deliver stronger results more quickly," said Michael J. Ward, CSX's chairman, president and chief executive officer. The streamlining will also reduce the non-union workforce by 800 to 1,000 people. The reductions will be made over the next six months through a structured process, one layer at a time, beginning at the top of each organization.
CSX TIMELINE . . .
Key Management Changes & Organizational Restructurings at CSX Following "Split Date"
- June 1, 1999: Known as "Split Date," CSX assumed 42 percent of Conrail following an arduous tug of war with Norfolk Southern, which assumed 58 percent. At the time of Split Date, John Snow was chairman and chief executive officer of CSX Corporation, and Alvin R. (Pete) Carpenter was president and chief executive officer of CSX Transportation (CSXT).
- July 1999: Ronald Conway, who had joined CSXT from Conrail in 1998 as executive vice president and chief operating officer, was promoted to president of CSXT. Pete Carpenter, who had been president, was promoted to vice chairman of the parent CSX Corporation.
- August 1999: CSXT president Ron Conway and his leadership team announced a "major commercial and operational reorganization" to be called a "Second to None Vision." It included the creation of service groups in merchandise, coal and automotive, in addition to the existing CSX Intermodal unit. Also, CSXT reorganized its operating department into five regions, each being led by a vice president.
- October 1999: CSX launched a voluntary early retirement and separation program for non-contract employees allowing them to add three years to their years of service and three years to their age for the purposes of calculating their company pension benefits, and the separation program to allow employees to receive an early-retirement payment. The company expected 800 employees to apply.
- April 11, 2000: CSX announced that CSXT president Ron Conway, along with some other officials, had "left the company." It was no secret that Conway had been asked to leave, but he was retained for a while as a consultant. John Snow, chairman of parent company CSX, assumed the responsibilities formerly handled by Conway for CSXT. New CSXT appointments included Michael Ward as executive vice president in charge of operations and network performance, and Mike Giftos as executive vice president and chief commercial officer.
- October 4, 2000: CSX instructed all departments to assess the work its people were doing and to "identify work that [was] unnecessary or redundant." Involuntary reductions in non-union jobs would result, mostly in headquarters functions "with minimal impact in field operations."
- November 2000: Michael Ward was named president of CSXT. The position had been assumed by CSX Chairman Snow upon the departure of Ron Conway seven months earlier.
- December 2000: Alan F. Crown was promoted to executive vice president of transportation from his previous position as senior vice president of transportation. Jim Fallon was named senior vice president of transportation succeeding Crown.
- February 2001: Alvin R. "Pete" Carpenter, CSX vice chairman, announced his retirement. He had been CSXT president until July 1999 when Ron Conway took the position.
- April 2002: CSXT President Michael Ward was elected to the CSX Board of Directors.
- July 10, 2002: Michael Ward was named president of parent CSX Corporation. Interestingly, his position as president of CSXT was not replaced. Al Crown, still executive vice president of transportation, became the senior official at CSXT. At year end, the other five CSX unit companies (CSX Intermodal, CSX Lines, CSX World Terminals, CSX Technology, and The Greenbrier) had presidents of their own, but CSXT did not.
- December 4, 2002: In response to continuing consolidation of key departments, CSX Intermodal, CSX Technology and several departments at CSXT reduced their non-contract workforce by 65 employees. Another 135 positions were earmarked for elimination through attrition in 2003.
- February 3, 2003: CSX Chairman John Snow left the company to take his new role as Secretary of the Treasury. Michael Ward assumed the position of CSX chairman.
- February 2003: Al Crown was named executive vice president and chief operating officer of CSXT. The appointment consolidated the engineering and mechanical groups under Crown in addition to his transportation responsibilities. Still, CSXT had no president of its own.
- May 5, 2003: Oscar Munoz was named executive vice president and chief financial officer of CSX Corporation reporting to Michael Ward. Munoz replaced Paul Goodwin, who retired.
- July 17, 2003: CSXT announced an operating reorganization with "structural changes" including the elimination of about 143 non-contract positions in Jacksonville and field locations, and a newly aligned operations department.
- August 7, 2003: Frederick J. Favorite was named CSXT senior vice president performance improvement, reporting directly to CSX Chairman Ward.
- September 11, 2003. Al Crown retired from CSXT. The suddenness of his retirement, without prior public notice, led some to speculate that he may have been canned. In a letter to employees from CSX Chairman Ward, a paragraph was devoted as a tribute to Crown's accomplishments, with the balance of the letter explaining that Ward would assume responsibility of the company's rail operations, and his vision for the future.
- November 10, 2003: CSX announced that it will be "streamlining the management structure" at a number of its companies, eliminating organizational layers and realigning certain functions. The streamlining was expected to reduce non-union workforce by 800 to 1,000 people over a six-month period "through a structured process, one layer at a time, beginning at the top of each organization."
Two Senior CSX Executives Announce Their Retirement
Two senior CSX executives have announced they will retire: Frank E. Pursley, CSXT's senior vice president Service Design, will retire December 31, 2003. He will be succeeded by Alan P. Blumenfeld, currently president of CSX Intermodal. Michael Giftos, CSX's executive vice president and chief commercial officer, has announced that he is retiring effective March 31, 2004. He will be succeeded by Clarence Gooden, currently CSXT's senior vice president Merchandise Service Group.
Canadian National to Acquire BC Rail
Canadian National announced on November 25 it will pay the British Columbia government $1-billion in cash to acquire the outstanding shares of BC Rail Ltd., along with the right to operate over BC Rail's roadbed under a long-term lease. BC Rail's rail bed will remain in public hands, with CN assuming responsibility for rail transportation and infrastructure maintenance. CN will make Prince George its new B.C. North Division headquarters and invest $1-million in a new state-of-the-art wheel shop in Prince George as part of the BC Rail partnership.
Shorty Hansrote Dies
[By Allen Brougham] . . .
Roy Carr Hansrote Jr., retired B&O interlocking tower operator, died suddenly at his home on September 20. He was 67.
Born near Hedgesville, West Virginia, in August 1936, he was given the nickname "Shorty" early on by his father, the name he was known by throughout his 41-year career. Another nickname was "Truck," also given by his father, which was used by his family.
His father worked in the B&O track department. Shorty also had a grandfather who was a B&O locomotive engineer.
Shorty retired from the railroad - then CSXT - on July 31, 1998. At the time of his retirement, he was the first-shift operator at West Cumbo Tower near Hedgesville.
Shorty Hansrote, in a photo taken by Doug Koontz, in West Cumbo Tower
Shorty, who stood 5-feet-8-inches, began on the railroad in May 1957 following an enlistment in the Army. His first job was on the extra list at NA Tower in Martinsburg, later taking a regular assignment at Miller Tower in Cherry Run, West Virginia. He eventually worked in all of the towers in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, a cluster of offices then located along a 60-mile stretch of the busy B&O mainline along or near the Potomac River from Harpers Ferry to Orleans Road. When Shorty retired, four towers - Martinsburg, West Cumbo, Miller and Hancock - still comprised that cluster, and it was he who then had the distinction of holding the longest tenure of any of its original B&O-hired operators.
West Cumbo and Miller towers closed in 2000, and Martinsburg Tower closed earlier this year.
His entire career was as an operator, although he served the dual function of ticket agent when he worked at Harpers Ferry.
He is remembered by those with whom he worked as very friendly and professional on assignment.
Buffalo & Pittsburgh Petitions to Acquire Inactive CSXT Rail Line in Pennsylvania
The Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad has petitioned the Surface Transportation Board to acquire an inactive 17-mile rail line from Creekside to Homer City, Pennsylvania, from CSXT. BPR had leased the line between 1988 and 1993, but both BPR and CSXT were given approval to discontinue operations in 1993 due to declining traffic. BPR plans to serve a Homer City utility with about 2,500 carloads per year, according to a news report.
Union Pacific Raises Quarterly Dividend
Union Pacific's board has voted to increase the company's quarterly common stock dividend by 30 percent, to 30 cents per share. "Following last year's 15 percent dividend increase, the 2004 raise is a further indication of management's ongoing commitment to enhance shareholder value," said Dick Davidson, chairman and CEO of Union Pacific Corporation.
Union Pacific Orders 175 Locomotives From EMD
Union Pacific has placed an order for 175 class SD70M locomotives from General Motors' EMD for delivery beginning in the second quarter of next year. The deal is the largest between the two companies since GM won a contract to supply 1000 units to UP in 1999.
Renovated Union Pacific Depot in Cheyenne, Wyoming, has Grand Opening
The initial phase of renovation of the 1886 Union Pacific Railroad depot in Cheyenne, Wyoming, is complete, and a grand opening was held on November 22. The city took possession of the building in 2000 with plans to convert it with space for a museum, restaurant and offices. The cost of renovation of the three-story depot is expected to reach $10-million. Also under construction is Depot Square, a pedestrian plaza featuring artwork, landscaping and a stage.
Ohio Ceremony Marks U.S. Train Speed Record
It may come as a surprise to those who think the Acela holds the U.S. rail speed record, but there is now a marker in Williams County, Ohio, recounting a record 183.85 MPH set by a train on July 23, 1966. The occasion was a test run by the New York Central using a rail diesel car equipped with twin jet engines on its roof. According to an article published by the Toledo Blade on November 14, 2003, there was a ceremony to dedicate that marker noting the U.S. record speed. But according to Don Wetzel, who was the engineer on the 1966 test train, he actually got the train up to 196 MPH before Al Perlman, the railroad's president, told him to slow down before reaching the official timing point. The test was being conducted to look at possible high-speed shuttle train service on routes between major cities. Years later, Amtrak's Acela reached a test speed of 169 MPH, according to the article, but it never came close to the record set back in 1966 in Williams County, Ohio.
Lucin Cutoff Marks its Centennial
November 25 marked the 100th anniversary of the Lucin Cutoff, the line built by the Southern Pacific across Great Salt Lake to avoid the longer, hillier portion of the intercontinental rail line completed in 1869. Construction on the combined causeway and trestle began in early 1902, and was opened to freight traffic on Thanksgiving Day, 1904. Passenger trains began using the route the following year - according to a November 25, 2003, article in the Salt Lake Tribune - and continued until 1971 when Amtrak opted to use a different route that skirts the southern edge of the lake. The wooden trestle has been replaced with a rock and earthen causeway, which is still in use by about 20 freight trains each day by Union Pacific as part of its primary east-west route. The causeway is under a considerable amount of maintenance to keep it from sinking into the deep, mushy bottom of the lake.
Track Inspector Helps Free Mountain Lion Cubs
[BNSF Today, 11-5-03]... BNSF track inspector Pat O'Rourke was forced to stop his westbound hi-rail vehicle Friday morning, October 31, in Durrant Canyon near Butte, Montana, to investigate an obstruction on the track. What he discovered was quite unbelievable - three about-eight-week-old mountain lion kittens frozen to the rails in the frigid morning air. Apparently, the young mountain lions had crossed Silver Bow Creek in the 10-degree air before walking onto the steel rails. According to O'Rourke, one kitten was frozen to the track on its back. Another was frozen to a railroad spike by its paw and its belly also was frozen to the rail. The third kitten was frozen to a second set of tracks by the tail. "I tried to approach them with a shovel and give them a little prod," says O'Rourke. "I couldn't figure it out... I thought they were just born." When O'Rourke couldn't move the kittens with a shovel and realized they were frozen to the tracks, he tried pouring his thermos of coffee on one kitten's paw, hoping it would free the animal from the icy trap. That didn't work either. "They kept licking their paws, and the more they licked, the more stuck they got," says O'Rourke. "It seemed like every time they moved one thing, something else got stuck." The sound of the screaming kittens roused their mother, who was watching the spectacle from a nearby ridge. The roar of the angry female mountain lion spooked O'Rourke back into his truck. O'Rourke called BNSF's office in Butte. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) was called. Marty Vook, a game warden, arrived on the scene with hot water. When the kittens finally ran free, O'Rourke said, they left patches of hair on the steel tracks. "(O'Rourke) said the kittens were all teeth and claws," Lewis told the newspaper. O'Rourke said the kittens were exhausted by the ordeal. "They weren't real healthy when they left," O'Rourke said. "But the warden said that was their best chance." Now O'Rourke's co-workers are calling him the "Lion King." He said he doesn't mind the joking. He was just happy to help the young mountain lions out of their jam.