Tuesday, August 22, 2017

CSX revises key service metrics

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E. Hunter Harrison E. Hunter Harrison

CSX late Tuesday said it revised the way it calculates three key service metrics – Train Velocity, Terminal Dwell and Cars Online – to “more accurately reflect the company’s operational performance.”

“CSX is transitioning to Precision Scheduled Railroading, which focuses heavily on service to customers and asset utilization,” said E. Hunter Harrison, CSX President and CEO, in a release. “These revised service metrics give us a more accurate understanding of how we are performing and where there are additional opportunities for improvement. That clarity is essential to achieving our highest potential performance, which will benefit our customers, our employees and our shareholders.”

The revised metrics, which are available on the company’s website, are defined as follows:

• Train Velocity has been revised to include a train’s end-to-end time, and accordingly, speed. The previous definition only counted time on line of road, and excluded intermediate dwell time for crew changes, freight car pick-up or set-off, or other work events at an intermediate yard. The updated definition includes intermediate dwell, reflecting the true speed of a train from origin to destination, and will help identify all opportunities to move trains faster and more reliably from origin to destination. CSX said the inclusion of additional time in train velocity has the effect of reducing speed when compared to the prior methodology.

• Terminal Dwell – CSX’s new definition has been expanded to include all car dwell time encountered on an end-to-end trip. The previous definition excluded the amount of time a car spent at a terminal during an intermediate work event if it arrived and departed on the same train. The updated definition includes intermediate car dwell for terminal work events when a car arrives and departs on the same train. This change more accurately reflects all time that a car dwells, and will help identify opportunities to improve asset utilization. The inclusion of these additional dwell events has the effect of reducing terminal dwell when compared to the prior methodology, as intermediate dwell on the same train is often less than dwell events on cars that change trains, which reduces overall average dwell time.

• Cars Online – CSX will now measure the number of active freight railcars on rail lines operated by CSX. The previous definition included all cars that were last reported on a line operated by CSX, which counted several categories of inactive freight railcars, including cars that are being repaired, are in storage, have been sold, or are private cars dwelling at a customer location for more than one day. The exclusion of these inactive car categories enables focus on movement and utilization of active cars on the system. As inactive cars become active again, they will be included in the active cars online count. The change has the effect of reducing the number of cars online when compared to the prior methodology.

The company has also restated 2016 and 2017 train velocity and terminal dwell performance data using the new definitions and is making that data along with 2017 cars online data available on its website, www.csx.com/servicemetrics. It said the new metrics differ from data reported by other U.S. railroads, and are not directly comparable.

“These new measures better reflect end-to-end railroad performance,” said Harrison. “We remain committed to meeting our customers’ business requirements throughout the transition to Precision Scheduled Railroading and into the future.”

CSX, based in Jacksonville, said it will continue its required reporting of EP 724 data to the Surface Transportation Board in the prescribed methodology on a weekly basis.

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