Freight News, Rail

CSX Sticks With Harrison’s Plan To Cut Jobs, Reduce Trains

[ March 13, 2018   //   ]

CSX recently affirmed that it would stick with former CEO Hunter Harrison’s plan to cut jobs and rail cars, and slash capital spending:

U.S. railroad operator CSX Corp said on March 1 that it would stick with a plan started by former Chief Executive Hunter Harrison, who died in December, to boost profit through cutting jobs and rail cars, and would also slash capital spending.

Harrison died in December at the age of 73. Jim Foote took over as acting CEO. Harrison was known as a turnaround artist. He turned Canadian National Railway into one of the most-efficient railroads in the world. Harrison brought his pixie dust to Canadian Pacific, rightsizing the organization and creating efficiency gains only rivaled by Canadian National. Harrison and Canadian Pacific attempted high-profile hostile takeover attempts of   CSX and Norfolk Southern but were rebuffed.

Harrison attempted to apply his turnaround skills to CSX. A major question was whether new CEO Jim Foote would continue his cost-cutting strategy. That question has just been answered.

Key to Harrison’s strategy was cutting cost, reducing downtime, and getting higher utilization from CSX’s existing railroad fleet. Harrison lengthened trains, closed rail yards, mothballed certain trains that were considered underutilized and cut overtime pay for hundreds of workers. Last summer, critics suggested the rapid changes came at the expense of safety measures