- The Surface Transportation Board (STB) indefinitely postponed its scheduled listening session regarding CSX operations issues due to Hurricane Irma.
- Since CSX is headquartered in Jacksonville, FL, the STB did not wish to divert attention or resources from the railroad's disaster preparedness efforts as a result of the listening session.
- The listening session will be rescheduled as soon as recovery efforts are sufficiently underway and safety is ensured.
CSX was in fact fully occupied by preparations for Hurricane Irma, as staff rerouted both rail cars and locomotives.
Where needed, service shutdowns were required in order to safeguard rail traffic. Workers were relocated and repair equipment made ready. In addition to the cancellation of the STB session, company executives canceled their appearance at Morgan Stanley’s 5th Annual Laguna Conference on Thursday, Sept. 14, as clean-up efforts took priority.
The now-delayed listening session called by the STB is in part a response to complaints of poor service issued by energy companies Murray Energy and Foresight Energy, among others. Lengthening dwell times were also negatively impacting chemical and agricultural clients, some of which are defecting to Norfolk Southern in desperation.
Though CSX cooperated with the STB's requests for a detailed plan of service improvements, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma came right on the heels on the promised improvements, which may hamper the company's metrics.
"As progress is made to safely restore train service in affected areas, delays are expected to continue for traffic moving into and out of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina due to commercial power outages that hinder full recovery," the company said in a customer advisory.
The downtown office and traffic to Jacksonville is expected to reopen today, although the company is still working on the affected routes to Tampa and Orlando.