Class I Briefs: CSX, CN, NS

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
CN’s SCIO platform was recognized by the Digital Engineering Awards in the Digital Transformation of the Year category. (CN via LinkedIn)

CN’s SCIO platform was recognized by the Digital Engineering Awards in the Digital Transformation of the Year category. (CN via LinkedIn)

CSX upgrades its Positive Train Control (PTC) system. Also, CN’s SCIO platform is recognized by the Digital Engineering Awards in the Digital Transformation of the Year category; and Norfolk Southern (NS) grants $5 million to promote safety and build communities and begins construction on its East Palestine Field Office.


As CSX “focuses on advancing its strategy of transformation through technology,” the Class I railroad says it is upgrading its PTC system with next-generation hardware and software.

“PTC continues to evolve as an unprecedented system of advanced technologies to enhance safety on lines that carry passenger trains and certain hazardous materials,” said CSX, which operates between 850 and 1,100 trains a day on track enabled with PTC.

Watch the video below to see how the PTC team is helping keep employees and communities safe.

2023 CSX Upgrading its PTC System from CSX Transportation on Vimeo.


CN announced Dec. 18 via LinkedIn that its SCIO platform, CN One, has been recognized by the Digital Engineering Awards in the Digital Transformation of the Year category.

CN’s SCIO program, the Class I railroad says, “is a cutting-edge initiative that leverages the latest design practices, cloud computing, data analytics, and AI (Artificial Intelligence) to optimize the performance and efficiency of our customers’ experience.”

Over 90 global ER&D enterprises and individuals participated in the 2023 Digital Engineering Awards, with more than 35 global enterprises winning accolades for their “innovative and transformative applications of digital engineering principles and technology.”

The second annual awards program and event, which took place in Dallas, Tex., and was co-hosted by ISG, L&T Technology Services, and CNBC-TV18, celebrates organizations and individual leaders from 10 diverse sectors operating across North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. The winning organizations and individuals were recognized for “forging new paths in their respective fields and demonstrating the transformative power of digital engineering.”

The Digital Engineering Awards received more than 200 nominations, with 127 submissions from North America, “indicating the region’s robust commitment to innovation and digital transformation.” Additionally, there were 35 entries from Europe, “pointing to the continent’s growing interest in harnessing the potential of digital engineering.” Enterprises from India, Japan and Asia Pacific submitted the remaining nominations.

Winners included American Honda Motor Co. Inc., AT&T, BMW Group, Caterpillar Inc., Chevron, Collins Aerospace, CYFIRMA, Delta Air Lines, Delta Flight Products, Doosan Group, Eaton, Epiroc, ExxonMobil, GE HealthCare, Grundfos, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Honeywell, Jaguar Land Rover, Johnson & Johnson MedTech, Marelli, Microsoft, Patna Smart City Limited, Philips, Pontosense Inc, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Rockwell Automation, Samsung Electronics, Vestas Wind Systems, and Xylem.


NS announced Dec. 18 that it has distributed nearly $5 million in local grants to 330 organizations across its 22-state network as part of its Safety First and Thriving Communities grant programs.

Launched in September, the two grant programs, NS says, are designed to support organizations that “promote safe and sustainable operations, develop workforces, and build strong, resilient communities across the company’s network.”

“The Safety First and Thriving Communities grant programs underscore Norfolk Southern’s longstanding commitment to supporting our communities,” said NS Director Corporate Giving Kristin Wong. “We take pride in our ability to empower first responders, nonprofit organizations, and other community groups. Together, we can promote safe, sustainable growth in the towns where we live and work.”

Organizations received grants ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. Specifically, approximately $2.4 million in Safety First grants were awarded to 178 first responder departments and organizations across 18 states to support local and safety-focused initiatives, equipment, and services. Safety First recipient organizations include 104 fire departments and 37 police departments. Approximately $2.5 million in Thriving Communities grants were awarded to 152 organizations across 18 states.

Examples of initiatives that Safety First grant funding will support include:

  • The City of Fort Wayne Police Department’s Safety Village and pedestrian safety program in Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Hazmat training, mass casualty response equipment, and other supplies for Groton Township Fire Department in Castalia, Ohio.
  • Rescue and extraction equipment for Gordonsville Volunteer Fire Company in Gordonsville, Va.

Examples of initiatives that Thriving Communities grant funding will support include:

  • Workforce development programming for Tri-County STEMersion in Charleston, S.C.
  • Wetland restoration and the creation of a community trail for Beaver Creek Wetlands Association, Inc. in Beavercreek, Ohio
  • Funding for the Atlanta Rapid Housing Initiative for Partners for Home in Atlanta, Ga.

The application process for 2024 will open in April and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. More information about NS’s corporate giving initiatives are available here.

Separately, NS announced Dec. 18 that it has begun work on its new, permanent field office in East Palestine, Ohio.

The future office will be located at 248 North Market Street—the former Brittain Motors Chevrolet dealership, which served the community for many years. Located at the corner of Market Street and East Clarke Street, the office will be near the new regional safety training center and across the street from the historic train depot that NS is donating to the Village.

First announced in August, the office “will bolster NS functions in the region and create a central location to support residents on an ongoing basis, including housing the Family Assistance Center,” the Class I said. The office space will also feature a community meeting room to facilitate continuous dialogue with the Village for long-term support efforts.

The more thsn $1 million in building renovations to the field office will be completed by local contractor, J. Herbert. Youngstown, Ohio-based Strollo Architects developed the designs.

Plans include updating the brick façade to better match the aesthetic of the downtown district and reconfiguring the floor plan to accommodate the various functions of NS employees and community meetings. Demolition of the interior space has begun. Work on the office is expected to be completed by late Q1 to early Q2.

To date, NS says it has committed $103 million to East Palestine and the surrounding communities, including:

  • $25 million for upgrades and renovations to East Palestine City Park.
  • $1 million donation to the East Palestine School District for academics, interscholastic athletics, and long-term development.
  • $1 million for community priorities as determined by an East Palestine-based Norfolk Southern Community Liaison, informed by residents and business leaders.
  • $534,000 to fund a state-run Community Resiliency Center to address mental health issues.
  • $300,000 to support the East Palestine Community Foundation.

Through November, NS says there have been more than 11,540 family visits to the Family Assistance Center (FAC). The Class I has provided more than $20.7 million in direct financial assistance to families. More information is available here.

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