CSX Atlanta Downsizing Continues

BNSF FAN Jan 18, 2018

  1. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Report and photo from another source showed that the hump tower at CSX's Tilford Yard was has now been demolished (within the last week I believe). The hump itself is supposed to be the next thing to go. It appears the once main yard for CSX in the Atlanta area will retain some flat switching work and just be a stop and go crew change point for most trains now.
     
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around knowing a once major rail terminal such as Atlanta is shrinking. Unreal...
     
  3. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    It seems to be a CSX thing. Not that long ago, it was the hump at Hamlet NC, now Atlanta. Wonder which one in the south may be next? Birmingham AL, Nashville TN, Waycross GA? Who knows. NS seems to be going strong in this area. I also think that it may have a lot to do with the business in the areas CSX serves. More and more rail shippers in the area have closed, moved, or turned to intermodal. While intermodal may make good business sense because it allows manufacturing and distribution centers more flexibility in where to locate, it sure doesn't help a major metro area that has an already overstressed highway system. Just my two cents worth.
     
  4. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Yep, CSX's new CEO James Foote put his stamp on operations by bulldozing Tilford's hump in Atlanta. I think this was a former L&N yard. He stated that the “Atlanta hump yard today is flat. There is no turning back.” CSX has lost 7% of its intermodal traffic, but has stated that they will not seek to regain it because the lanes lost don't fit their new operational strategy. CSX wants intermodal, but only if it rolls on the proper routes. Total CSX jobs eliminated in 2017 was 4,700.

    You're right Box, Tilford was a big yard. If CSX sells a portion of the real estate, they'll make a fortune. The larger yard below it is NS's Inman Yard. The smaller yard to the right is CSX's Howells Yard for serving local industry. CSX also owns Hulsey Yard (not shown), which I think is for intermodal.

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    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  5. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    That is a good map of the area. Yes, this CSX yard is the former L&N yard. Hulsey (Downtown) and Fairburn (Southwest of town) handle all the CSX Atlanta Intermodal traffic. Howell is the former Seaboard yard and most all locals work out of there now.

    I guess the real corporate take away here is CSX stands to make a huge amount on property sales so shareholders will be happy.
     
  6. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Right on. Kind of reminiscent of PRR's sale of the land above Penn Station after the facility was demolished in the mid-60s to build Madison Square Garden.
     
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  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    A very informative map. I had no ideas as to how that place was all situated.
     
  8. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Read this morning that CSX will study the sale of 8,000 Miles of line, including:
    • The B&O from Greenwich, OH to Baltimore, MD
    • Most of the B&O between East St. Louis, IL and Cincinnati, OH
    • The Boston & Albany (NYC) in MA
    • The L&N main connecting Cincinnati, OH and Atlanta, GA
    • Many coal routes, including segments of the Clinchfield
    • PM lines in MI
    • Lines in Canada
    • Large portions of Florence Division in the Carolinas
    • The Dothan Subdivision in Alabama and Georgia.
    • The Auburndale Subdivision in FL
    • Random lines and branches all over the system
    From what I hear, other significant routes are included. It's important to note that these will be studied for sale, not necessarily sold. Stay tuned. Wouldn't it be interesting if BNSF, UP, CN or even KCS was interested in the B&O to line to Cincinnati and the L&N on to Atlanta?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
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  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Those lines have some significant histories. Some interesting thoughts come into mind. If they do more than just studying....

    Also, any sale may raise cash in the short term. But longer? And what might it do for increasing competition, which could overpower CSX in part, or altogether? Will we eventually, or even sooner than imagined, see CSX presence in railroading downsized so much as to be a regional/Class II..... Or not even in railroading at all?
     
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  10. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Interesting questions Box. Sometimes I think that the future is a distant concern in the upper floors in Jacksonville, that selling of routes with future potential is of no concern when a willing buyer awaits. If CSX itself slims down to a skeleton of lines and is eventually sold, it'd merely be an extension of maximizing shareholder value. Illinois Central Gulf did this on a smaller scale and when it was in fighting trim, CN made its move.

    The whole thing makes my head spin. The next few years will be interesting .....
     
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  11. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    I saw this last night as well. If one of the big roads takes the old L&N from Cincinnati to Atlanta (the K&A sub), that could be really interesting to see how it plays out. Especially since the last 35 miles or so is joint K&A sub and W&A sub (Nashville to Atlanta). Traffic on the K&A has been way down since the coal traffic coming out of eastern KY is all but gone but there is still a fair amount of traffic on the W&A.

    I may be a little bias but I would love to see BNSF take that on. BNSF probably hands off enough east west Atlanta/southeast coast intermodal and PRB coal traffic to NS and CSX that it could be justified.
     
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  12. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    It's been many years since I railfanned north of Atlanta along the W&A, but your appraisal on coal traffic is sadly accurate I'm sure.

    We must wonder too about the CSX routing logic that prevails today. For instance, through tonnage moving between New Orleans and Jacksonville moves not on the obvious former L&N/SAL route across the Florida panhandle, but instead is moved circuitously north via Birmingham and LaGrange, thence to Waycross! Using this kind of operating wisdom, all sorts of through line segments can be identified as surplus.
     
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  13. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    CSX made that move after KCS and NS spent $350M to upgrade the Meridian Speedway between Shreveport, LA and Meridian, MS. Once the Speedway was completed, it cut almost a day out of Dallas-Atlanta traffic by not having to navigate New Orleans, i.e. Avondale yard, Huey P. Long bridge, the Black Belt, and Gentilly yard, followed by Mobile, AL. I personally have suffered from this rerouting. Prior to the Speedway, the Crescent's time-keeping was spot-on between New Orleans and Washington. I could guarantee being in my Arlington, VA office for 9:30 meetings every trip. Now I'm lucky if it's only an hour down in both directions. I've been up to five hours down. I've been sitting in every passing siding between Meridian and Birmingham, half the time sharing them with freights.

    I hadn't thought about Jacksonville traffic using the Speedway, but it makes sense because of the mess getting through New Orleans. I had noticed that traffic on the New Orleans/Mobile line (ex-L&N NO&M Div.) had reduced from 12-15 a day to 3-4, and this explains it.
     
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  14. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I am surprised too that the Boston & Albany main is being reviewed. NS and Pan Am (former B&M) recently combined resources to expedite and increase business in the New England market where NS was at a disadvantage. I'm not sure if the venture has been successful or not, but that CSX has lost interest in this lane might show that NS/Pan Am have done well.
     
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  15. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Your observation has caused me to reflect on routing. Whereas the old B&M Fitchburg Division (my home rails as a youth) was twisty and steep in places, Hoosac Tunnel comes to mind, the terminals in NY and MA were easy to navigate. B&M interchanged with the NYC (CSX) at Rotterdam Jct., 30+/- west of Schenectady, and with the Atlantic Ocean in Portland, ME and other yards well outside Boston. Whereas the old B&A terminated in NY at multi-entry Selkirk just outside Albany, and in a yard within the tentacles of metro-Boston. So I suppose CSX is losing the battle due to lack of convenience and efficiency.
     
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  16. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    It's been a while since I have done much serious railfanning along this route as well even though it is the closest main line to my house and runs right behind my office. Used to be if you went an hour without seeing at the least a train or two, something odd was up. Now days, seems like the traffic comes in little waves of two or three trains and then it's hours before another comes along. Guess that says a lot about the reduced traffic. Hard to send a lot of time along the line when I can drive an extra 10 miles to the NS and see much more traffic.
     
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  17. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    An interesting summary Hytec and with good insight on these lines.

    The sale contracts for CSX lines would make interesting reading, especially provisions regarding interchange. If I were a buyer, I'd never agree that CSX would be my sole interchange venue if others might exist. If interchange options are allowed, CSX could lose carloads if new owners open interchange with other partners like NS.

    I wonder too if the law would allow CSX to selectively refuse bids from large rail carriers like NS, BNSF, UP, CN, CP, etc. who might want to buy certain lines that could be severely detrimental to CSX business? Given that CSX is short on experienced senior managers, I'm dubious that the result of the line sales will create the optimized system they expect. Who knows .....
     
  18. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I used to hang out at Cartersville, GA and it was a great spot. Before reading your posts, it hadn't occurred to me how much rail traffic has since changed on this line. :(
     
  19. Virginian Railway

    Virginian Railway TrainBoard Member

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    I've heard from a CSX engineer that they may sell the former L&N CV Sub and NS may buy it.
     
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  20. wpsnts

    wpsnts TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ahh railroad rumors. A great scource for grins and giggles. It’s no different here on the BNSF.
     

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