CSX and Hunter Harrison

dak94dav Feb 16, 2017

  1. dak94dav

    dak94dav TrainBoard Member

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    I've been reading some about CSX possibly making a deal for a Hunter Harrison to be their new CEO. There seems to be plenty of hate for this guy from both career railroaders and railfans alike lol. What's the deal with this? I admit I'm not as deeply knowledgeable about prototype railroading as I'd like to be, so evidently I've missed something that's happened in the past with this Harrison fellow.
     
  2. maxairedale

    maxairedale TrainBoard Member

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    Maybe that is why he is not liked.
    The above is from http://business.financialpost.com

    Gary
     
  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Harrison has stellar recognition for his business acumen following his highly successful work at IC, CN and CP; Wall Street finds a halo wherever he goes. His challenge at CSX would be to convince the Board that he can run the railroad better than CSX's CEO Michael Ward and Harrison's presence would likely bring with it a stake by an investment firm to give extra muscle to Harrison and to hopefully cash in on his success. Ward is of retirement age at 66; Harrison is 73.

    CSX shares have risen nearly 40% in the last 3 Months.
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hmmm. Remind me- Why was it that NS spurned his merger advances? Something he wanted to do, was not in their best interests. I can only wonder what he'd do to CSX, to fluff up the bottom line and make himself look good.
     
  5. CarlH

    CarlH TrainBoard Member

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    Under the proposal, the equity firm Mantle Ridge, which currently owns only 5% of CSX stock, would be given 6 out of the 14 seats on the CSX Board of Directors. This is almost control of the Board, so if the stockholders approve the proposal, the stockholders would virtually be giving up control of the Board.
     
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  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Does not seem like much of a deal to me. Does this mean that firm also holds the largest block of stock?
     
  7. BnOEngrRick

    BnOEngrRick TrainBoard Member

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    He is also demanding basically his salary up front. He has health issues and refuses to submit to a physical or provide his medical history to CSX for review by the Medical department.
     
  8. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    It's safe to say that Harrison has no allegiance to whatever team he works with. If I were a senior manager, I'd have no trust in a guy like that. I wonder if there was an exodus of talent from roads he previously captained?
     
  9. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Well, CSX pulled the trigger. E. Hunter Harrison will be the next CEO pending shareholder approval of his compensation package.

    I expect some massive changes will be effect 12 months from now. Under performing lines axed, divisions merged and cut, etc.

    I'm not familiar with all of CSX's "weak spots", but the old B&O west of Cumberland (Mountain Subdivision, Bridgeport Sub, Shortline Sub, Fairmont Sub, Cowen Sub / A&O) has had all sorts of rumors floating around for a decade that CSX wanted to axe the whole "West End". These rumors became more real in 2005 when they leased the Cowen Sub to WATCO, then in 2006 to PAL, which is now known as the A&O.

    Here we are in 2017, the bottom dropped out of the coal market. The A&O is running less than 25% of volume it had just 10 years ago. The drilling activity across northern WV has bolstered traffic volumes on the daily Q316/317 through Grafton, sometimes having to move in two sections between New Martinsville / Brooklyn Jct and Cumberland. I fully expect that CSX will sell outright the entire West End piecemeal. As a whole I think it is too much for G&W, WATCO or any other operator to assume full control. Fortunately for the new operator, CSX will also sell a bunch of coal hoppers and locomotives. Maybe some will be included in the parting out of the Mountain/Bridgeport/Shortline/Fairmont/A&O-Cowen Subs.

    Bleak picture, but this has been in motion for 30 years with the removal of the St. Louis Main.
     
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  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Time for train crews to start seeking other employment....
     
  11. dak94dav

    dak94dav TrainBoard Member

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    Do you think there's a chance the old Clinchfield will get spun off and become a new regional or large Class 3?
     
  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    How much of it is still intact?
     
  13. dak94dav

    dak94dav TrainBoard Member

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    Not sure, was thinking the Clinchfield was still all intact, just mothballed. Could be mistaken though
     
  14. BnOEngrRick

    BnOEngrRick TrainBoard Member

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    First day, orders went out that no crew will go home prior to having their full 8 hours on duty, and hump yards will only send 1 car over at a time.
     
  15. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I think that's right. So sad that one of the finest, most highly engineered routes in the east is wasting away. When I shot this in July 2010, I never thought that legislation would so quickly doom its traffic.

    2010-07-20 Elkhorn City KY - for upload.jpg
     
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  16. mmi16

    mmi16 TrainBoard Member

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    Hunter has been closing Hump Yards right and left. Since I a now retired, I have no idea what kind of Operating Plan has been implemented in support of the closings.

    Dispatchers will be recentralized in Jacksonville - 1st arrivals are to be Sept. 1, 2017
     
  17. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    As a result of the hump closure at Hamlet, NC (former SAL), it seems that CSX is instead using other routes and yards. In the Carolinas, I know of at least two trains which no longer call on Hamlet. One now runs on a completely different route and terminates at a flat yard in Florence, SC, and another now runs through Hamlet and terminates further north at a flat yard in Rocky Mount, NC.

    NS is doing the same. The bowl at Sevier Yard in Knoxville, TN is being used for car storage and the receiving yard is used for flat switching. Through train service on the former CofG main between Birmingham and Columbus, GA will come to an end, except for an occasional coal train sent that way to keep the rails polished and grade crossing signals reliably in service. Rumor has it that NS will eventually cut the line midway near Opelika, AL and serve it with locals from each end. :(
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I always wonder just how effective and cost efficient this idea is... And being severed, they usually remove tracks. So if a need arises, through use is never again possible. :(
     
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  19. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I read that CSX's Hunter Harrison is annulling several cumbersome operating rules, including relief from using "brake sticks" (poles used to turn brake wheels and uncouple cars while standing outside the rail) and eliminating the "three step protection" rule that requires engineman to set the train brake, independent brake and place the reverser in neutral before a trainman can go between cars. I wonder if allowing crewmen to mount and dismount moving equipment might be next. Perhaps a railroad employee like BnOEngrRick can appraise the changes.

    I recently retired from a long career in heavy industry and it's clear that the recent rise of safety rules now borders on the rediculous, serving mostly to inhibit work with no appreciable gain in work safety. I admire Hunter Harrison on this count at least for pushing back against the entrenched management team that put this stuff in place. It'll be interesting to see if other roads follow suit.
     
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  20. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    I agree. My assumption is that the over-population of mid-level functionaries in Washington, in order to justify their jobs, are required to continually identify events and/or actions that might cause harm to an individual, regardless of how infinitesimal the odds of them ever occurring.
     
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