CSX’s Precision Scheduled Railroading program, which was supposed to make the railroad operate more efficiently, has instead angered customers who are enduring delays and other service problems.
The federal Surface Transportation Board notified CSX CEO E. Hunter Harrison on Thursday, July 27, about complaints shippers have made since he took over management of the railroad earlier this year and implemented his program.
The STB did not identify any complainants, but coal mining company Murray Energy has gone public in recent days about its longstanding dissatisfaction with CSX service.
In its July 27 letter to Harrison, the letter signed by three members of the STB said, “Recently, the Board has received a number of informal complaints from shippers who rely on CSX rail service. These shippers have reported that CSX’s service deteriorated markedly during the second quarter of 2017, which coincided with CSX’s implementation of significant changes to its operating plan.
“In particular, shippers have complained that transit times have increased significantly and/or become unpredictable; loaded and empty railcars sit for days at yards; switching operations have become inconsistent and unreliable; car routings have become circuitous and inefficient; and CSX customer service personnel have been unable to provide meaningful assistance.”
The letter goes on to say train speed is slowing and yard dwell time is increasing.
“We understand that these disruptions have forced a number of rail shippers and their customers to curtail production, temporarily halt operations, and/or utilize other transportation options that have added additional expense and inefficiencies to their operations,” the letter says.
CSX made the changes without giving its customers time to prepare for them, the STB letter says.
“We are very…