Class I Briefs: CSX, CN, KCS

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
CSX President and CEO Joe Hinrichs (right) and CSX Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Diana Sorfleet (left) with Drive to Succeed winner Bridge and Building Foreman, Engineering David Zorn (middle).

CSX President and CEO Joe Hinrichs (right) and CSX Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Diana Sorfleet (left) with Drive to Succeed winner Bridge and Building Foreman, Engineering David Zorn (middle).

CSX announces winners of its third Drive to Succeed attendance campaign. Also, CN’s EcoChampions improve their efficiency by 30%; Kansas City Southern’s (KCS) Holiday Express attracts more than 6,700 visitors and announces challenge grant to benefit The Salvation Army.


CSX announced on Nov. 23 announced via a Twitter post the winners of its third Drive to Succeed attendance campaign, which awards craft employees who deliver great attendance with major prizes.

President and CEO Joe Hinrichs, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Diana Sorfleet, and Executive Vice President of Operations Jamie Boychuk presented campaign winners Bridge and Building Foreman, Engineering David Zorn of Walbridge, Ohio, and Track Inspector, Engineering Jameson Fults of Nashville, Tenn., with new vehicles.

“All I really want to say is thank you, thank you for what you do for us every day,” said Hinrichs in a video on the Class I’s Twitter feed.

“There’s a lot of things I get to do with my job,” added Boychuk. “Probably the best thing I get to do is give away a truck.”

The full video is available here.


CN EcoChampion Marco Lebel, Inventory Maintainer, Lead Hand, who is on the Work Equipment team at Joffre Yard in Charny, QC, across the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City, after receiving the go-ahead from his boss Pierre-Luc Dumas, Supervisor, Work Equipment, worked with Lead Field Maintainer and Shop Foreman Sylvain Duff, Material Coordinator Dany Guay, and Field Maintainer Bobby Rossignol to improve the spare parts inventory in the work equipment warehouse.

Together, Lebel, Duff, Guay and Rossignol acquired more shelving and reorganized all the parts in the warehouse logically, putting similar ones together and raising everything off the ground. “We also now use labels and barcodes to make finding the correct part much easier and cut down on needless reordering, which helps the environment,” said Lebel, whose job is to keep the Champlain Region’s track repair equipment running safely efficiently. “We’re also extending the life of equipment that used to be stored outdoors, exposed to the elements.”

According to CN, the result of the improved housekeeping is more efficient repairs, reduced machine downtime, less waste, and mechanics waiting less for parts. Safety is also improved by eliminating tripping hazards. “The project is still in progress,” said Lebel, “but working as a team, we’ve already improved performance by more than 30%. The response from employees has been very positive. They feel a sense of pride working in a well-organized shop.”

Mickey Ernst, Senior Manager, Work Equipment, praised his team’s ongoing efforts. “They have taken on several safety initiatives similar to shop stores that include standardizing and improving storage in mobile parts trailers. They are setting the example for safety and organization in the workplace.”

CN’s EcoConnexions Employee Engagement program, in partnership with Earth Rangers, “drives sustainability across CN’s network by empowering employees and their families to conserve energy, reduce waste, and improve housekeeping.”

“…it wasn’t always easy to keep spare parts organized,” explained Lebel. “Maintainers would waste a lot of time searching for the right part like a transmission or cylinder. Sometimes it was easier to just order a new one only to find the part later while looking for something else. I knew we could do better.”


KCS on Nov. 28 via a Twitter post announced that the 2022 KCS Holiday Express train’s return to the rails is “off to a tremendous start” with more than 6,700 visitors turning out for the free events in Monroe, La., and Vicksburg and Pearl, Miss.

In addition, the KCS Holiday Express project, which to date this year, has raised almost $150,000 for The Salvation Army, is issuing a challenge grant to raise even more.

“On this Giving Tuesday, I am proud to announce that KCS will donate $2 for every $1 raised by the Holiday Express project, up to an additional $100,000, between Nov. 29 and Dec.16, 2022,” said KCS president and CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. “Please consider a gift to help The Salvation Army help families in need.”

According to KCS, the funds raised will support The Salvation Army in the 20 communities in eight states where the 2022 KCS Holiday Express train will stop. See the full schedule here.

“Special thanks to the major sponsors to date, including Bartlett, a Savage Company; Deanne Porter and Patrick Ottensmeyer Family Foundation; Haverty Family Foundation; Husch Blackwell; Kansas City Southern Historical Society; KingdomBuilding Leadership, Inc.; Precision Waste Solutions; RailPros; The Kansas City Southern Charitable Fund; Virginia Vollrath Hertenstein; Watco; and ZA Construction,” said KCS in a release. The complete list of sponsors can be found here.

Over 21 years, the KCS Holiday Express project has raised more than $2.6 million. Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to the 2022 KCS Holiday Express fundraising effort may donate here.

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