CSX reopens hump at yard in Nashville

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Nashville's Radnor Yard.
CSX Transportation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – CSX Transportation has resumed hump operations at Radnor Yard in Nashville, Tenn., which was among the eight classification yards converted to flat-switching facilities last year under then-CEO E. Hunter Harrison.

Radnor’s layout ultimately proved cumbersome for flat switching. So in June the railroad began work on retarders and other infrastructure necessary to reopen the hump at the former Louisville & Nashville yard. [See “CSX Transportation preparing to re-open hump at Radnor Yard in Nashville,” Trains News Wire, June 29, 2018.]

“We just turned the Nashville hump back on. So that should give you a sense of our willingness to revisit things over time,” Chief Financial Officer Frank Lonegro told an investor conference this week.

“It was absolutely the right decision to make.”

CSX will revisit other hump-yard decisions if merchandise traffic grows significantly in certain areas, Lonegro says. The railroad’s merchandise traffic is up 4 percent this year, though it remains well below levels of a decade ago.

The Radnor hump was idled in July 2017 as part of the broad operational changes made by Harrison.

In 2016, Radnor was CSX’s third-busiest hump — behind only Waycross, Ga., and Selkirk, N.Y. — as it classified an average of 1,477 cars per day. That’s within the range that Harrison said was sufficient volume to justify the operating costs and capital expense of a hump yard.

CSX would not disclose current volume at the yard, which remains among the railroad’s top 10 busiest terminals. Officials have said they expected to increase employment at the yard by 40 to 50 positions to support hump operations.

CSX operating officials are looking for opportunities to reduce car handling and out-of-route miles and to boost compliance with trip plans. The plans set strict schedules for every car’s movement across the network.

“We’re really getting down to chasing every single car at every aspect of its trip,” Lonegro says.

Efficiency gains allowed CSX to store an additional 100 locomotives in August as the railroad handled more tonnage by operating longer trains.

Lonegro spoke on Sept. 5 at the Cowen & Co. Global Transportation Conference in Boston.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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