CSX shakes up management to facilitate transformation
- CSX announced a new operating management structure on Monday, saying decentralizing the roles would facilitate its transition into precision scheduled railroading (PSR).
- The railroad appointed three senior vice presidents to manage Operations East, Operations West and Network Operations. It also named a new vice president for Intermodal Operations.
- By separating its East and West operations from the still centralized network role — which is responsible for locomotive and car management, positive train control, dispatching and crew management — the railroad said it would embed “support functions” with day-to-day operations and boost accountability.
CSX’s transition to precision scheduled railroading may have hit a brief standstill upon the death of CEO Hunter Harrison, but the railroad is now ramping up its plans to finish the transformation started last year.
The new appointments and management structure set the foundation for a more consistent implementation of the railroading model. PSR has one basic tenet: Every car has a plan, from origin to destination, and it’s the railroader’s job to get cars to finish their journey as efficiently as possible.
In other words, a railroad operates its own supply chain. The plan for the cars is received by sales demand and routed through existing infrastructure by a team designing service from a central location. But a plan alone is not enough: the railroad needs a team to execute the plan seamlessly at terminals and yards.
Each of the new appointees, whether for East, West, or Network Operations, report to CSX’s Chief Operating Officer, Ed Harris. Intermodal remains centralized, but the new vice president, Amy Rice also reports to Harris. The different strategy reflects an ongoing push to shift CSX’s intermodal efficiency.
“Our intermodal network needs a ton of work,” CSX CEO Jim Foote told investors in an earnings call last month.