CSX Corp.

CSX Corp.

Chairman, president and chief executive


To me, it's not difficult to identify the biggest changes occurring in the rail industry - cooperation and a keen focus on serving the customer. These healthy developments are evident among all rail carriers and, increasingly, with local, state and federal agencies and transportation planners.

I do not recall a time, certainly in my 27 years of experience, when rail carriers have cooperated more with each other. There are literally dozens of joint rail industry projects that have been implemented or are on the drawing board to expand service, increase productivity and reduce costs. When CSX was hit by a computer virus last summer that slowed our dispatch and signal operations, Norfolk Southern offered to run some of our trains over their tracks to ease congestion. We accepted and will return the favor when we have the opportunity. I thank David Goode and his team for their help. That's the kind of cooperation we are seeing across the entire rail industry. Our customers and the communities we serve are better served as a result.

As we continue this cooperation, we also must strive to make government agencies a rail ally. If we are smart, we will work more closely with government planners and truckload carriers who increasingly want to maximize the many benefits of rail. Projects like the Alameda Corridor in California and local government involvement in the improvement of the interchange structure in Chicago are two examples and herald an important trend. We must seize the opportunity by working cooperatively - where possible - to help ease congestion on the highways by shifting more freight to rail.

I'm convinced the American public supports a stronger rail infrastructure. We owe it to them, our customers and the communities we serve to maximize the opportunities we have before us. Cooperation and better service are the keys.