CSX Investments and Policy Enhancements Drive Multi-year Safety Improvement Trend
CSX (NASDAQ: CSX) has achieved record safety performance in recent years through a rigorous and comprehensive approach that includes investments in infrastructure and technology; a growing workforce; fluid network operations; and a safety culture that emphasizes employee training and coaching.
“CSX understands that safety is the foundation of our business, which depends upon our ability to work collaboratively as a ONE CSX team to deliver customers’ freight safely, reliably and sustainably,” said Joe Hinrichs, president and chief executive officer. “Everything we do at our company is centered around our recognition that the safety of our employees and the communities where we operate is paramount.”
Since CSX began transforming its operating model in 2017, the company has achieved new levels of safety and operating performance. It is the leader among Class I railroads with the fewest train accidents and the lowest average rate of Federal Railroad Administration injuries since 2019. At the same time, CSX has established itself as the industry leader in service performance metrics, affirming that network fluidity and safety go hand in hand.
CSX’s rise as the industry’s safety and service leader has been driven by multiple factors, including:
Investments in technology and infrastructure
- CSX has consistently increased its annual investment on core infrastructure and will spend $1.7 billion out of a total $2.3 billion capital budget on track, bridge and signal projects in 2023. Over the five-year period from 2017 through 2021, the company spent $500 million more on core infrastructure than in the previous five-year period and has continued to increase spending each year.
- CSX has already updated several hot bearing detectors (HBDs) across its rail network with connectivity to facilitate remote monitoring. The company has also over the past three years been updating the HBDs to second-generation technology that is more effective in detecting overheated rail car wheel bearings, and consistently inspects the units every two weeks to ensure optimal performance. The HBDs are deployed every 15.1 miles along key routes and 16.2 miles along all CSX routes. The company is proactively preparing to install 53 additional detectors over the course of 2023, extending coverage to ensure that HBDs are in place every 14.3 miles along its key routes and 14.9 miles along all CSX routes.
- CSX has been updating its acoustic bearing detectors (ABDs) over the past several years to second-generation technology to assist with safety inspections. The railroad currently has nine units in place and is in the process of installing 12 additional ABDs, which analyze the acoustic signature inside the bearing to help identify potential issues.
- CSX has installed three automated train inspection portals (TIPs) on high-volume main lines to perform 360-degree inspections on moving trains using high-resolution imaging technology and advanced image analysis. TIPs are able to detect defects as the train is in motion.
- CSX uses autonomous track assessment cars (ATACs) to gather critical data on track conditions and send the data in near real-time for assessment and, if necessary, expedited track repair. ATACs are constantly travelling in trains across the entire network.
- CSX has an extensive drone safety program that uses unmanned aerial vehicles to perform a wide range of tasks, including aerial mapping of yards, facility inspection, storm response, accident investigation and law enforcement.
Growing the workforce and improving quality of life for train crews
- CSX has successfully conducted a recruitment and hiring campaign for train crew members. Last year, the company hired more than 2,000 conductors and continues to onboard new employees to meet increasing demand for rail services.
- CSX led the industry in implementing several changes to improve quality of life for operations employees, including updated attendance policies that are more flexible and agreements with rail labor unions on paid sick leave.
Safety-focused policies and practices
- CSX uses an industry-leading best practice for monitoring the condition of hot bearings and is actively participating with other major carriers in sharing best practices on standards for tracking and analyzing trends in bearing condition. CSX established its best-in-class method of analysis in 2007, and has continually honed the approach over time. The practice has helped the railroad significantly reduce incidents. CSX incurred only one minor bearing-related incident in 2022.
- CSX utilizes advanced risk assessment technology annually to determine the shortest and safest routes to transport goods categorized as hazardous.
- CSX holds hazardous materials training events for first responders, contractors and local government officials. In 2022, the company conducted 40 training events attended by more than 3,600 individuals.
- CSX will participate in the FRA Confidential Close Call Reporting System and already has multiple well-established company initiatives to encourage safe behaviors and reporting of safety issues. The programs offer various options for submitting information to make it convenient for employees, including email, voicemail and web forms.
As CSX continues to prioritize the safe transport of critical freight across the nation, the company is committed to maintaining its focus on proactively taking measures to protect its employees, communities and customers.
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. For nearly 200 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation’s economic expansion and industrial development. Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation’s population resides. It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and farming towns alike.
Matthew Korn, CFA – Investor Relations – (904) 366-4515
Source: CSX Corporation