September 7, 2017 1:45 PM, EDT
Hurricane Irma Forces Postponement of Hearing Into CSX Service Woes
CSX train CSX Corp.

Due to the threat of Hurricane Irma, the Surface Transportation Board postponed a meeting scheduled for Sept. 12 to discuss CSX’s rail service woes this summer. A new date has not been announced.

“The board understands that CSX and many rail shippers are currently focused on hurricane-preparedness efforts in areas that could be affected by the storm,” the federal agency wrote in a statement. “The board does not want to divert attention or resources from those necessary activities, nor does the board believe that it would be appropriate to require CSX’s senior management team to be in Washington, D.C., and away from its Jacksonville, Fla. headquarter.

In recent months, railroad shippers implored lawmakers and agency officials to investigate delays up to four weeks. In some cases, petrochemical shippers decided to move their loads to tank trucks to avoid plant shutdowns.

CSX was forced to lower its earnings guidance for the third quarter, due in part to the service problems.

However, Hunter Harrison, CEO of CSX, delivered a positive outlook in a Sept. 6 statement.

“CSX has made very good progress in the last 60 days in transitioning its operating model to precision scheduled railroading, and I’m confident that many of the challenges we and our customers have recently faced are behind us,” he said in a statement. “The railroad is now returning to a normal operating rhythm, and our performance metrics are improving. … Fluidity in our terminals largely has been restored, and we are appropriately resourced to continue making progress.”

CSX also announced Sept. 7 that it opened an intermodal terminal in McKees Rocks, a suburb of Pittsburgh.