CSX dispatchers to soon return to Jacksonville

CSX wants to recentralize more than 350 dispatchers, get rid of divisional dispatching
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An eastbound CSX coal train passes a refinery near Catlettsburg, Ky., on the railroad's Big Sandy Subdivision. The eastern Kentucky route was once dispatched by Huntington Division dispatchers in nearby Huntington, W.Va., but is now managed by the railroad's Louisville Division offices in Kentucky. Soon, this route will be managed by Jacksonville-based dispatchers.
Chase Gunnoe
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — CSX Transportation is in the early planning stages of re-centralizing all of its train dispatchers to Jacksonville. The decision would relocate approximately 355 train dispatchers from nine offices to one single office near the railroad’s headquarters in Jacksonville.

“We did receive notice from CSX of its intent to relocate all train dispatchers back to Jacksonville and we have started the meeting process with the company in an effort to achieve in implementing an agreement if we can,” says American Train Dispatcher Association Vice President Rory Broyles in an interview with Trains News Wire.

Broyles says the labor union received notice from CSX that outlined its intentions to have all dispatchers back in Jacksonville before the end of October 2017.

The business decision would not result in any furloughed dispatchers based on the information supplied by CSX to the union, Broyles confirms.

When asked about the re-centralization, CSX spokeswoman Laura Phelps said the railroad is undertaking a comprehensive of the company’s operations and is making changes across its entire network.

“While CSX CEO Hunter Harrison mentioned in a conference call with financial analysts on April 20 that the number of dispatching offices CSX operates would be under review, CSX has not announced any specific plans to date,” Phelps said in a prepared statement to Trains News Wire in early June.

“If changes are made, the company will communicate them to employees, customers and other stakeholders who may be impacted,” she added.

CSX operates nine major dispatching centers categorized by its divisional territories. The centers include the Jacksonville Division in Jacksonville; Atlanta Division in Atlanta; Louisville Division in Louisville, Ky., Florence Division in Florence, S.C.; Nashville Division in Nashville, Tenn.; Baltimore Division in Baltimore; Chicago Division in Chicago; Albany Division in Albany, N.Y.; and the Great Lakes Division in Indianapolis.

According to a copy of the railroad’s notice obtained by Trains News Wire, CSX would remodel its dispatching center at 3019 Warrington Street in Jacksonville to accommodate all of the dispatching offices.

“After the relocation, offices will continue to be responsible for dispatching the separate territories that they dispatch today,” reads the notice.

The document states the relocation will occur in stages.

“CSXT expects the relocation to begin in or around August 31, 2017 and be completed on or about October 15, 2017,” according to the document.

Ten years ago this month, CSX management announced it would decentralize its dispatching operations in favor of a more efficient operation.

In June 2007, then CSX spokesman Gary Sease told the Florida Times-Union that the relocation would improve the productivity and efficiency of train-dispatching operations.

"We're taking these dispatching functions out of headquarters," Sease said in 2007, "and putting them into field offices, closer to where the train operations occur."

At the time, CSX management said the realignment would result in more effective and efficient decision-making, improved system reliability, and improved train performance.

It was soon thereafter that CSX began retrofitting its divisional offices with technology and infrastructure to accommodate the realignment. CSX dispatchers have since been dispatching trains from those divisional offices.

In January 2016, CSX announced it would dissolve its Huntington Division in Huntington, W.Va., and relocate dispatchers and other union employees to adjacent divisions. The decision affected more than 120 management and union employees.

Many of those dispatchers were relocated to adjacent territories governed by offices in Indianapolis, Baltimore, Atlanta, and a small dispatching center near Cincinnati.

It is not yet clear whether CSX may look to sell the commercial properties that house their current dispatching centers or if the railroad could re-use the buildings.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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