New England passenger authority backs CSX acquisition of Pan Am Railways

By Bill Stephens /trains.com| August 6, 2021

Support comes after CSX offers assurances over Downeaster service


Passenger train passing through trees

A Downeaster rolls east through Freeport, Maine, in September 2016. The agency overseeing the Downeaster is supporting CSX efforts to acquire Pan Am Railways. (Bob Johnston)

WASHINGTON – The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which sponsors Amtrak’s Downeaster service between Brunswick, Maine, and Boston, says it backs CSX Transportation’s proposed acquisition of Pan Am Railways.

Amtrak’s Downeaster uses Pan Am trackage from the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border to Portland, Maine, and on to the passenger service terminus at Brunswick.

The passenger authority is backing the merger after CSX said it would uphold current service agreements, ensure that trackwork will be timed to minimize interference with Downeaster service, establish a streamlined procedure for seasonal schedule changes, and participate in good-faith discussions regarding potential expansion of Downeaster service.

CSX also agreed to abide by Pan Am agreements covering rail and station improvements at Portland and Wells, Maine, and a potential new passenger stop at West Falmouth, Maine.

CSX also will fund installation of positive train control on the Downeaster route in New Hampshire and Maine. CSX had previously said it planned to install PTC on the line.

“NNEPRA looks forward to a positive and productive relationship with CSX,” Patricia Quinn, the authority’s executive director, wrote in a filing to the Surface Transportation Board.

“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to work collaboratively with all stakeholders and to maintain or improve passenger service in the region,” CSX CEO Jim Foote said in a statement announcing the agreement.

It’s the second major show of support for CSX in Maine. Gov. Janet Mills recently backed the CSX-Pan Am deal, applauding the railroad’s plans to upgrade Pan Am trackage in the state.

Amtrak, which is jousting with CSX over resumption of passenger service between Mobile, Ala., and New Orleans, in June said it opposed CSX’s acquisition of Pan Am [see “Amtrak CEO voices opposition ..,” Trains News Wire, June 4, 2021]. “The acquisition of Pan Am by CSX represents a significant threat to the American traveling public which relies on Amtrak and our state partners to deliver frequent, reliable and sustainable intercity passenger rail service,” Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn said.

CSX Corporation is an American holding company focused on rail transportation and real estate in North America, among other industries. The company was established in 1980 as part of the Chessie System and Seaboard Coast Line Industries merger. The various railroads of the former Chessie System and Seaboard Coast Line Industries that are now owned by CSX Corporation were eventually merged into a single line in 1986 and it became known as CSX Transportation. CSX Corporation currently has a number of subsidiaries beyond CSX Transportation. Based in Richmond, Virginia, USA after the merger, in 2003 the CSX Corporation headquarters moved to Jacksonville, Florida. CSX is a Fortune 500 company.

Subsidiaries and divisions

CSX Transportation

CSX Transportation is a Class I railroad operating in the eastern United States and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The railroad operates approximately 21,000 route miles (34,000 km) of track.[7]

As of December 30, 2016, CSX Transportation served population centers in 23 states east of the Mississippi River, the District of Columbia and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. As of December 30, 2016, it had access to over 70 ocean, river and lake port terminals along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.


Conrail was the primary Class I railroad in the Northeastern United States between 1976 and 1999. The trade name Conrail is a portmanteau based on the company’s legal name (Consolidated Rail Corporation), and while it no longer operates trains it continues to do business as an asset management and network services provider in three Shared Assets Areas that were excluded from the division of its operations during its acquisition by CSX Corporation and the Norfolk Southern Railway.[8]

The federal government created Conrail to take over the lines of multiple bankrupt carriers, including the Penn Central Transportation Company and Erie Lackawanna Railway. After railroad regulations were lifted by the 4R Act and the Staggers Act, Conrail began to turn a profit in the 1980s and was privatized in 1987. The two remaining Class I railroads in the East, CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway (NS), agreed in 1997 to acquire the system and split it into two roughly-equal parts (alongside three residual shared-assets areas), returning rail freight competition to the Northeast by essentially undoing the 1968 merger of the Pennsylvania Railroad and New York Central Railroad that created Penn Central. Following approval by the Surface Transportation Board, CSX and NS took control in August 1998, and on June 1, 1999 began operating their respective portions of Conrail.[8]

The old company remains a jointly-owned subsidiary, with CSX and NS owning respectively 42 percent and 58 percent of its stock, corresponding to how much of Conrail’s assets they acquired. Each parent, however, has an equal voting interest. The primary asset retained by Conrail is ownership of the three Shared Assets Areas in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Detroit. Both CSX and NS have the right to serve all shippers in these areas, paying Conrail for the cost of maintaining and improving trackage. They also make use of Conrail to perform switching and terminal services within the areas, but not as a common carrier, since contracts are signed between shippers and CSX or NS. Conrail also retains various support facilities including maintenance-of-way and training, as well as a 51 percent share in the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad.[8]

Winston-Salem Southbound Railway

The Winston-Salem Southbound Railway is a 90-mile (140 km) short-line railroad jointly held by CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway, which provides it with equipment. It connects with Norfolk Southern at the north end in Winston-Salem, CSX at the south end in Wadesboro,[9] and in between with NS at Lexington and Whitney, the subsidiary High Point, Thomasville and Denton Railroad at High Rock, and the Aberdeen, Carolina and Western Railway at Norwood. Originally owned jointly by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and Norfolk and Western Railway,[10] predecessors to CSX and NS, it was completed in November 1910.[11]

Commodities commonly carried by the railroad are grain, sand, gravel, stone, forest products, paper products, coal, coke, cement, clay fertilizer, aluminum, chemicals, iron, and steel. Its principal shippers are Corn Products Company of Winston-Salem, a manufacturer of corn syrup and related products, and Owens Brockway Glass Company of Eller, a manufacturer of glass products.[12]

Geographic divisions

CSX is organized into two operating regions: the West Region and the East Region. Each primary region is divided into two sub-regions:


  • Northeast Region, based in Baltimore, Maryland
  • South Region, based in Waycross, Georgia


  • Midwest Region, based in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Southwest Region, based in Nashville, Tennessee

Other subsidiaries


CSX Corporation was formed on November 1, 1980, by combining the railroads of the former Chessie System with Seaboard Coast Line Industries.[17]

Original logo for the

CSX Corporation

, emphasizing the “multiplication symbol” X

The name came about during merger talks between Chessie System and SCL, commonly called “Chessie” and “Seaboard”. The company chairmen said it was important for the new name to include neither of those names because it was a partnership. Employees were asked for suggestions, most of which consisted of combinations of the initials. At the same time, a temporary shorthand name was needed for discussions with the Interstate Commerce Commission. “CSC” was chosen but belonged to a trucking company in Virginia. “CSM” (for “Chessie-Seaboard Merger”) was also taken. The lawyers decided to use “CSX”, and the name stuck. In the public announcement, it was said that “CSX is singularly appropriate. C can stand for Chessie, S for Seaboard, and X, which actually has no meaning.” However, an August 9, 2016, article on the Railway Age website stated that ” … the ‘X’ was for ‘Consolidated’ “.[18] The T had to be added to CSX when used as a reporting mark because reporting marks that end in X means that the car is owned by a leasing company or private car owner. The company introduced its current slogan, “How Tomorrow Moves”, in 2008.[19]

The founding chairman of CSX Corporation was Prime F. Osborn III of Seaboard,[20] for whom Jacksonville’s Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center is named. The first CEO and second chairman was Hays T. Watkins Jr. of Chessie. Watkins was succeeded by John W. Snow as CEO in 1989 and as chairman in 1991. When Snow left the company in 2003 to become United States Secretary of the Treasury, Michael J. Ward, who then headed CSX Transportation, was promoted to succeed him. Overall in 2003, Ward took on the positions of chairman, president, and CEO.[21] When president Oscar Munoz left CSX in September 2015 after obtaining the role earlier that year from Ward, the company underwent several management changes, with Clarence Gooden appointed president.[22]

The company went through major leadership changes in 2017 when activist investor Mantle Ridge, a hedge fund that held 4.9% of CSX’s stock, demanded a change in the board, that Michael Ward step down as CEO, that the company cut middle management, and that the company hire Hunter Harrison, known for leading the turnaround three other railroads, as CEO.[23] Within months of Harrison’s hiring in spring 2017, several members of CSX’s executive management team stepped down. Harrison died on December 16, 2017 and shortly thereafter Chief Operating Officer James M. Foote was named president and chief executive officer.[24][25]

In March 2018, Foote, said CSX would follow-through on Harrison’s plans to transform the company and move it from a traditional railroad model to a scheduled railroad model in order to reduce costs and improve the quality of service. Part of this effort includes reducing the number of locomotives in service from 3,000 in late 2017 to between 2,370 and 2,420 in 2020. The company also plans to reduce the number of rail cars it owns from 136,000 in late 2017 to between 104,000 and 109,000 in 2020. In 2017, CSX cut its workforce by 3,300 employees. In 2018, roughly 2,200 jobs were cut. A further reduction of 4,000 positions is planned by 2020. CSX estimates that after these cuts it will have a workforce of about 21,000 people.

CSX is also trying to increase profits by monetizing some of its real estate. As of early 2018, the company planned to generate $800 million by 2020 by selling off some railroad lines and other real estate. As of the same date, CSX held real estate in 23 states, the District of Columbia, and two Canadian provinces.



  • Hays T.(Thomas) Watkins, Jr. (1980 – April 1989)
  • John W. Snow (April 1989 – 2003)
  • Michael J. Ward (2000 – 2015)
  • Oscar Munoz (February 11, 2015 – )
  • Clarence W. Gooden ( – May 31, 2017)
  • Fredrik J. Eliasson (February 15, 2017 – )
  • E. Hunter Harrison ( – December 16, 2017)
  • James M. Foote (Acting: December 16, 2017 – December 22, 2017, Full: December 22, 2017 – Present)

Chief Executive Officers

  • John W. Snow (April 1989 – 2003)
  • Peter Carpenter (1992 – 1999)
  • Oscar Munoz (2015 – )
  • Michael J. Ward ( – February 21, 2017)
  • E. Hunter Harrison (March 6, 2017 – December 16, 2017)
  • James M. Foote (December 22, 2017 – Present)

Chairmen of the Board of Directors

  • Prime F. Osborn III (1980 – 1982)
  • Hays T. Watkins, Jr. (1982 – January 31, 1991)
  • John W. Snow (January 31, 1991 – 2003)
  • Michael J. Ward (2003 – February 21, 2017)
  • Edward J. Kelly, III (2017 – January 2019)
  • John J. Zillmer (January 2019 – Present)


The following is a list of CSX management[26] as of January 2020:

  • John J. Zillmer, chairman of the board of directors
  • James M. Foote, president and chief executive officer
  • Kevin Boone, executive vice president and chief financial officer
  • Jamie Boychuk, executive vice president of operations
  • Nathan D. Goldman, executive vice president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary
  • Edmond L. Harris, executive vice president
  • Diana B. Sorfleet, executive vice president and chief administrative officer
  • Mark K. Wallace, executive vice president of sales and marketing


At the end of 2018, CSX Corporation’s total shareholder’s equity was reported as US$12.58 billion and total assets were valued at $36.729 billion. Total revenue for 2018 was $12.25 billion, an increase from $11.408 billion the previous year. Operating income was $4.869 billion, up from $3.72 billion in 2017, while earnings before income taxes were $4.304 billion, compared to $3.142 billion the previous year.

As of 2019, CSX Corporation was a Fortune 500 company.[27][28]


The CSX Transportation Building is a 251 feet (77 meters) high-rise office building in Jacksonville, Florida.[29] Completed in 1960, the building currently serves as headquarters for CSX Corporation.[30] The building is located in the Northbank area of Downtown Jacksonville, along the banks of the St. Johns River. Its former names include the Atlantic Coast Line Building and the Seaboard Coastline Railroad Building.[31] Designed by KBJ Architects, the CSX Transportation Building is a LEED certified building and is an example of mid-century modern and international style architecture.[32]

See also

CSX NEWS: Csx announces new roles for three executives

By  Trains.com| June 7, 2021

Vice president Wallace, Boone, Pelkey shift to new positions

CSX logoJACKSONVILLE — Executives Mark K. Wallace, Kevin S. Boone, and Sean R. Pelkey will move into new roles in changes announced today by CSX Corp.

Wallace, who had been executive vice president of sales and marketing, becomes executive vice president, a role focusing on special projects and initiatives supporting CEO James M. Foote. Wallace is receiving treatment for cancer but remains committed to helping deliver on the company’s growth initiatives, CSX said.

Boone becomes executive vice president of sales and marketing after most recently serving as executive vice president and chief financial officer. He joined CSX in September 2017. Pelkey, who joined CSX in 2005, becomes vice president and acting chief financial officer. He most recently served as vice president, finance and treasury.

“These appointments demonstrate the depth of CSX’s leadership and place us in a position of strength,” Foote said in a press release. “ Kevin’s proven track record of implementing and executing successful strategic initiatives will provide strong direction to CSX’s sales and marketing team as we focus on capturing sustainable and profitable growth. Sean’s broad experience at CSX as well as his deep knowledge of our industry will continue to strengthen our financial performance and shareholder value.”

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