CSX Transportation

CSX Transportation (reporting mark CSXT), known colloquially as simply CSX, is a Class I freight railroad company operating in the Eastern United States and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The railroad operates on approximately 21,000 route miles (34,000 km) of track.[1] The company operates as the leading subsidiary of CSX Corporation, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.[2][3]

CSX Transportation
CSX system map (Pan Am Railways not included, trackage rights in purple)
CSX 660, a GE AC6000CW, westbound at Point of Rocks, Maryland
HeadquartersCSX Transportation Building, 500 Water Street, Jacksonville, Florida
Reporting markCSXT
LocaleNortheastern, Southern, Midwestern United States and Eastern Canada
Dates of operationJuly 1, 1986 (1986-07-01)present
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length21,000 miles (34,000 km)

CSX Corporation (the parent of CSX Transportation) was formed in 1980 from the merger of Chessie System and Seaboard Coast Line Industries, two holding companies which controlled a number of railroads operating in the Eastern United States. Initially only a holding company itself, the subsidiaries that made up CSX Corporation were gradually merged, with this process completed in 1987. CSX Transportation formally came into existence in 1986, as the successor of Seaboard System Railroad. In 1999, CSX Transportation acquired approximately half of Conrail, in a joint purchase with competitor Norfolk Southern Railway. Later, in 2022, it acquired Pan Am Railways, extending its reach into much of Northern New England.

CSX and its chief competitor, the Norfolk Southern Railway, have a duopoly on the transcontinental freight rail lines in the Northeastern and Southern United States (South Atlantic and East South Central states).


Early years

CSX Transportation Building in Jacksonville, Florida

CSX Corporation was formed on November 1, 1980, as a merger between Chessie System and Seaboard Coast Line Industries.[4]

Original logo for the CSX Corporation, emphasizing the "multiplication symbol" X

The name came about during merger talks between Chessie System and SCL, commonly called "Chessie" and "Seaboard". The company chairmen said it was important for the new name to include neither of those names because it was a partnership. Employees were asked for suggestions, most of which consisted of combinations of the initials. At the same time a temporary shorthand name was needed for discussions with the Interstate Commerce Commission. "CSC" was chosen but belonged to a trucking company in Virginia. "CSM" (for "Chessie-Seaboard Merger") was also taken. The lawyers decided to use "CSX", and the name stuck. In the public announcement, it was said that "CSX is singularly appropriate. C can stand for Chessie, S for Seaboard, and X, which actually has no meaning." However, an August 9, 2016, article on the Railway Age website stated that " ... the 'X' was for 'Consolidated' ".[5] A fourth letter had to be added to CSX when used as a reporting mark because reporting marks that end in X means that the car is owned by a leasing company or private car owner.

The originator of SCL was the former Seaboard Air Line Railroad, which previously merged with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1967 to form the Seaboard Coast Line. In later years, it merged with the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, as well as several smaller subsidiaries such as the Clinchfield Railroad, Atlanta & West Point Railroad, Monon Railroad and the Georgia Railroad. From the late 1970s onward, these railroads were known collectively as the Family Lines. In 1982, they were merged into a single railroad, the Seaboard System Railroad.[4]

The origin of the Chessie System was the former Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, which had merged with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and the Western Maryland Railway.[4]

Despite the merger in 1980, CSX was a paper railroad (meaning no CSX painted locomotives or rolling stock) until 1986. In that year, Seaboard System changed its name to CSX Transportation. On April 30, 1987, the B&O merged into the C&O. With the Western Maryland having already merged into the C&O, this left the C&O as the sole operating railroad under the Chessie System banner. Finally, on August 31, 1987, C&O/Chessie System merged into CSX Transportation, bringing all of the major CSX railroads under one banner.

Conrail acquisition

On June 23, 1997, CSX and Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) filed a joint application with the Surface Transportation Board for authority to purchase, divide, and operate the assets of the 11,000-mile (18,000 km) Conrail, which had been created in 1976 by bringing together several ailing Northeastern railway systems into a government-owned corporation. On June 6, 1998, the STB approved the CSX–NS application and set August 22, 1998, as the effective date of its decision. CSX acquired 42 percent of Conrail's assets, and NS received the remaining 58 percent. As a result of the transaction, CSX's rail operations grew to include some 3,800 miles (6,100 km) of the Conrail system (predominantly lines that had belonged to the former New York Central Railroad). CSX began operating its trains on its portion of the Conrail network on June 1, 1999. CSX now serves much of the Eastern United States, with a few routes into nearby Canadian cities.

In actuality, not all of Conrail was eliminated. There were a few parts of Conrail that both CSX and NS wanted, and neither wanted to allow the other to have total control over. Those small pieces remained owned by the renamed "Conrail Shared Assets," (later "Conrail Shared Assets Operations") so that the pieces were effectively owned and operated by a separate railroad owned by both railroads, thus neither railroad would control those pieces.

Into the 21st century

The company introduced its current slogan, "How Tomorrow Moves", in 2008.[6]

In 2014, Canadian Pacific Railway approached CSX with an offer to merge the two companies, but CSX declined, and in 2015 Canadian Pacific made an attempt to purchase and merge with Norfolk Southern,[7] but NS declined to do so as well.

In 2017, CSX announced Hunter Harrison would become its new chief executive officer; a settlement with activist investor Paul Hilal and Mantle Ridge.[8] CSX added five new directors to their board, including Harrison and Mantle Ridge founder Paul Hilal. Mantle Ridge owns 4.9% of CSX.[9] Harrison quickly moved to convert CSX rail operations to precision railroading.[10] On December 14, 2017, CSX announced that Hunter Harrison was on medical leave. Two days after the announcement, Harrison died, one day after being hospitalized for complications of an ongoing illness. CSX initially saw a 10% drop in its stock price, but turned around to hit a new 52-week high less than a month later (January 2018).[11] Harrison's successors have continued the shift to precision railroading, with most hump yards converted to flat yards, low volume shipping lanes eliminated and reductions in rolling stock and work force.

Pan Am Railways acquisition

On November 30, 2020, CSX Transportation's parent company CSX Corporation announced on social media that they had come to an agreement with Pan Am Systems to purchase New England based Class II Pan Am Railways, pending regulatory approval from the Surface Transportation Board. The STB approved the purchase on April 14, 2022.[12] As part of the acquisition, Norfolk Southern Railway will gain trackage rights over several CSX lines, and Pan Am Southern, 50 percent owned by Pan Am Railways, will be operated by the Berkshire and Eastern Railroad, a new Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary formed explicitly for this purpose.[12] CSX completed the purchase on June 1, 2022.[13]

Unit trains

A long CSX coal train of empty hoppers crosses the New River as seen from Hawks Nest State Park

CSX operated the Juice Train which consisted of Tropicana cars that carried fresh orange juice between Bradenton, Florida, and the Greenville section of Jersey City, New Jersey. The northbound train was originally designated on CSX as K650 during the 1990s, and Q740 in the 2000s. The Juice Train has previously been studied as a model of efficient rail transportation that can compete with trucks and other modes in the perishable-goods trade. The train was abolished in 2017 north of Tampa, Florida, and now mixed freight trains deliver the cars to their respective destinations. It still operates between Bradenton and Tampa however, but is designated as local O823.[14]

The Coke Express rolls through a level crossing. Hopper cars display both the CSX logo and the words COKE EXPRESS

CSX operates Coke Express unit trains.[15] They carry coke for steelmaking, power generation and other various uses, running between Pittsburgh and Chicago, and other places in the Rust Belt.


A new CSX ES44AC in the YN3 paint scheme.

CSX has rebuilt a significant number of locomotives.[16] Some of the EMD GP38-2, GP40-2, and SD40-2 have been rebuilt to Dash 3 standards with updated Wabtec Electronically Controlled Air Brakes, air conditioning, automated starting controls, a crash safe cab, a new electronic control stand, and Positive Train Control (PTC).[17] In 2019, 25 SD70AC locomotives were rebuilt at the CSX Huntington Heavy Repair Facility, with rebuilt prime movers, in-cab electronic and comfort improvements, New York Air Brake CCB II airbrake systems, and new Mitsubishi drive controls.[18] CSX has also partnered with Wabtec to rebuild GE locomotives at their Fort Worth facility[19] with prime movers upgraded to the FDL Advantage spec and new electronic controls such as the Wabtec Trip Optimizer Zero-to-Zero system.[20]

CSX has also obtained a few EMD F40PH-2s—nos. 9992, 9993, 9998, and 9999 (All locomotives except 9999 have been renumbered to CSX 1, 2, and 3 and were repainted into a heritage Baltimore and Ohio Railroad scheme)—that were retired from Amtrak for executive office car service and geometry trains. Another locomotive, ex-MARC GP40WH-2 no. 9969 was acquired for the same purpose.

With the arrival of Hunter Harrison, CSX has begun to store many locomotives. By the end of 2017, CSX plans to store or retire all of the GE CW40-8, CW40-9, CW60AC, CW60AH, CW46AH, EMD SD50, SD50-2, SD50-3, SD60, SD60M, SD60I, SD70M, SD70AC, and SD70AE (SD70ACe) units. Most of the GE C40-8, B40-8, and B20-8 units stored in Corbin, Kentucky, have already been retired and sold off. Even with the passing of Harrison, his replacement, James Foote, confirmed the locomotives would still be retired.[21]

CSX ordered ten SD70ACe-T4s in August 2018, which were delivered in July the following year. They are classified as ST70AHs. CSX also has a contract with Wabtec for modernizing their fleet of CW44s. The modernized locomotives, nearly thirty in number as of June 2020, are being classified as CM44AC.[22]

On April 30, 2019, CSX unveiled locomotives 911 and 1776, two locomotives created to honor the first responders and veterans.[23] Another special unit, CSX 3194, was unveiled on August 22, 2019, in honor of the law enforcement.[24]


Because of Ross Rowland running Chesapeake and Ohio 614 above the speed limits, in 1995, CSX started a new liability insurance requirement of $200 million to introduce their official policy, "no steam on its own wheels", banning the operation of steam locomotives and other antique rail equipment on their trackage due to safety concerns, and increased risk.[25][26]

List of accidents and incidents

Major yards

Hump and control tower at Selkirk Yard

Hump yards

In hump yards, trains are slowly pushed over a small hill as cars are uncoupled at the crest of the hill and allowed to roll down the hump into the appropriate tracks for outbound trains.

See also


  1. CSX Transportation, Jacksonville, FL. "Company Overview." Archived 2011-01-29 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 2012-12-02.
  2. "CSX Corporate Structure". Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  3. "Fortune 500 - CSX". Fortune. Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  4. "CSX merger family tree". Trains. June 2, 2006. Archived from the original on July 6, 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  5. Vantuono, William (2016-09-28). "So what does the "X" in "CSX" really mean?". Railway Age.
  6. Dolinger, Milt (2006-05-01). "How CSX got its name". Trains. Archived from the original on 2008-12-09. Retrieved 2006-08-04.
  7. Mattioli, Dana; Hoffman, Liz; George-Cosh, David (October 13, 2014). "Canadian Pacific Approached CSX About Merger Deal". The Wall Street Journal.
  8. Orol, Ronald (March 6, 2017). "CSX, Mantle Ridge Reach Blockbuster Deal". TheStreet.com.
  9. Michael Flaherty and Aishwarya Venugopal (March 6, 2017). "UPDATE 2-CSX names Hunter Harrison CEO". Reuters.
  10. Barrow, Keith (September 17, 2019). "Precision Scheduled Railroading Evolution-Revolution". International Railway Journal.
  11. "CSX Investors Seek Clarity After CEO Death, Stock Stabilizes". Reuters. 18 December 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  12. Stephens, Bill (April 14, 2022). "Regulators approve CSX Transportation's acquisition of Pan Am Railways (updated)". Trains. Retrieved 2022-05-01.
  13. "CSX Completes Acquisition of Pan Am Railways". June 1, 2022.
  14. "The Way It Was: Juice Train 1997". Distant Signal Productions. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  15. "CSX.com - Resources". www.csx.com. Retrieved 2022-06-20.
  16. "CSX locomotive rebuild program preserves jobs in Huntington". WVNews. 2015-08-28. Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  17. "SD40-3: CSX Old "New" Locomotive". Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  18. Anderson, Chris (2019-09-03). "CSX upgrading 25 SD70ACs". Trains. Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  19. Whitely, Jason (2021-11-27). "Fort Worth factory successfully reinvented itself after railroads stopped buying new locomotives". WFAA Dallas. Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  20. Luczak, Marybeth (2021-06-24). "CSX Selects Wabtec for Power Upgrades". Railway Age. Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  21. Stephens, Bill (January 17, 2018). "'There is no turning back'". Trains. Archived from the original on January 20, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  22. Landrum, Erik (2019-07-09). "First Progress-built Tier 4 locomotives for CSX arrive". Trains. Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  23. Anderson, Chris (April 30, 2019). "CSX releases veterans, first responders commemorative units". Trains. Archived from the original on May 7, 2019. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  24. "CSX unveils 'Spirit of our Law Enforcement' commemorative locomotive No. 3194 | Trains Magazine".
  25. Wrinn, Jim (2000). Steam's Camelot: Southern and Norfolk Southern Excursions in Color (1st ed.). TLC Publishing. p. 102. ISBN 1-883089-56-5.
  26. Spradlin, Kevin (June 24, 2010). "CSX disputes claims it pulled support for Petersburg festival in '11th hour'". Cumberland Times-News. Archived from the original on April 3, 2019. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  27. "Rear end collision, Mineral Springs NC | FRA". railroads.dot.gov. Retrieved 2021-10-03.
  28. "Film Crew member of Midnight Rider killed by train". Los Angeles Times. 30 January 2019. Retrieved 2021-10-22.
  29. "A Train, a Narrow Trestle and 60 Seconds to Escape: How 'Midnight Rider' Victim Sarah Jones Lost Her Life". hollywoodreporter.com. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 2021-10-22.
  30. Lee, Anita (15 March 2017). "Driver was 'Sober' Before Train Hit Tour Bus, Biloxi Chief Says". Sun Herald. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  31. "Train derails near Crestline - Crawford County NowCrawford County Now". crawfordcountynow.com.
  32. "CSX Working to Remove 25 Coal Cars Derailed in Pennsylvania". U.S. News & World Report. 28 September 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2022.
  33. www.ntsb.gov https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Pages/DCA17FR011-prelim-report.aspx. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  34. "Train crashes into Atlanta house, destroying it". USA Today.
  35. Moulton, Cyrus (21 July 2018). "CSX Cars Derail at Cambridge Street Bridge in Worcester". Telegram.com. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  36. "Kentucky tornado derails a train in Hopkins County; one car lands on home". news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2022-10-16.


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