CSX brings back CN veteran to lead operations
- CSX on Monday announced Edmond Harris would be the railway's new executive vice president of operations.
- Harris spent two decades at Illinois Central and Canadian National (CN), where he worked with the late E. Hunter Harrison and also with current CSX CEO James Foote to implement precision scheduled railroading.
- Harris previously led Canadian Pacific's operations as COO, and led OmniTRAX as chairman and director before joining CSX.
The railway's transition to precision scheduled railroading (PSR) continues to advance at full speed, despite the sudden death of Harrison in December.
Upon the late CEO's passing, CSX swiftly promoted COO James Foote to the top position. With sales and operations experience in the bag, and having previously worked alongside Harrison at CN, Foote was well positioned to maintain his legacy.
But his promotion would also leave a leadership gap within the operations team.
Enter Edmond Harris, another railroad industry veteran who could claim personal experience working with Harrison to implement PSR. In fact, Harris was part of the team that first introduced the railroading model to Illinois Central.
In a recent letter to the Surface Transportation Board (STB), obtained by Progressive Railroading, CSX CEO James Foote told the regulator the transition to PSR "consists of two phases." The first involves "top-to-bottom changes to the way the railroad operated," including new leadership, ways of thinking, and strategic plan.
"The second phase of implementation is the pure, daily execution of those five PSR tenets, which is well underway," Foote added. "We have outstanding railroaders who are working as a team with the clear focus of executing PSR."
Based on his resume alone, it is clear Harris will play a key role in ensuring the transition goes smoothly from here on out.
In late December, the STB asked CSX to inform it of any planned operating changes in 2018 as part of the regulator's ongoing oversight of the transition.
"We believe that PSR is in place at CSX, and do not foresee any significant operating changes at this time," Foote said.
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