John W. Snow, 48, lawyer and one-time academic economist, was named president and chief operating officer of CSX Corp.

The new appointment makes him number two at the giant transportation, energy and technology company, and first in line to replace Hayes T. Watkins, 62, as chairman and chief executive officer.Mr. Snow, who also was named a director of CSX, is generally credited with leading CSX's successful lobbying effort two years ago against the proposed merger of Norfolk Southern Corp. with Consolidated Rail Corp.

Mr. Snow will relocate to Richmond, Va., CSX's headquarters, from Jacksonville, Fla., where he has served as president and chief executive officer of CSX Transportation since 1986. CSX Transportation, with 21,000 route miles of track, is the second largest railroad in route miles. Burlington Northern Corp. is the largest in the country.

With the depth and quality of John's experience in key executive positions with CSX and the federal government, he will play a central and highly visible role in leading the company toward its goal of becoming the premier international transportation and resource company in the coming years, Mr. Watkins said.

One of the more successful transportation executives in the country, Mr. Watkins must leave his posts at the age of 65.

Mr. Snow did his undergraduate studies at Kenyon College and the University of Toledo, earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Virginia in 1965 and received an LL.B. from the George Washington University Law School in 1967.

Mr. Snow joined Chessie System Inc., a CSX predecessor company, in 1977 as vice president-government affairs. He became senior vice president-corporate services in 1980 and executive vice president CSX in 1984.

In 1985 he was named president and chief executive officer of Chessie System Railroads. With the reorganization of Chessie and Seaboard System Railroad into Distribution Services, Equipment and Rail Transport in 1986, Mr. Snow was named president and chief executive officer of CSX Rail Transport.