2015 Short Line Workshop Attracts Record Number of Participants

CSX’s popular Short Line Workshop consistently attracts an enthusiastic crowd from the short line and regional railroad industry, and this year was no exception. More than 285 short line railroad representatives attended the recent Workshop, joining more than 200 CSX employees to share feedback about the past year and plan for a successful 2015. Throughout the three-day Workshop, attendees participated in large-group presentations, break-out groups, individual meetings and a trade show.

The Workshop formally kicked off on Monday, March 3, with opening remarks by Len Kellermann, director-regional and short line development. Also presenting, Frank Lonegro, vice president-service design, spoke on positive train control (PTC), and CSX’s Executive Team members provided remarks on a range of relevant topics: Clarence Gooden and Fredrik Eliasson briefed attendees on CSX’s commercial and financial plans for the year, Cindy Sanborn provided updates on CSX’s progress on safety and service, and Ellen Fitzsimmons and Oscar Munoz addressed attendees with particular emphasis on the industry’s need for balanced regulation.

Speakers from the short line industry, Linda Darr, president of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), and Andrew Fox, president of the Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad, shared their insights on working with CSX in 2014.

“We hold this annual meeting to encourage an honest and open exchange of information with these railroad partners, who are also our valued customers,” said Kellermann. “For the first time this year, we held a panel discussion featuring operations department leaders. They outlined steps that we are taking through our Service Excellence initiatives to improve the short lines’ experiences with CSX, and sought ideas for how we can continue to reinforce lines of communication and target new avenues of profitable growth.” Cindy Sanborn, executive vice president-operations; Brian McDonald, assistant vice president-customer service operations; and Rod Logan, Florence division manager, were among the presenters on the panel.

One of the more popular sessions of this year’s Workshop was the Trade Show, where attendees visited informational booths staffed by various CSX departments that interact regularly with short lines.

“I believe our colleagues from the short line and regional railroads came away with a better understanding of the work that CSX is doing across our network to improve service to them and all of our customers,” Kellermann said.