JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Michael Ward, chairman and chief executive officer of CSX Corporation, has assured Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Boardman that CSX Transportation will move promptly and aggressively to address safety concerns, through heightened inspection standards and other special initiatives in response to a FRA inspection report.
“Safety is our top priority, and we welcome the FRA’s inspections and insights,” Ward said. “We are committed to working closely with FRA on all safety issues.”
Company officials reported that CSXT promptly took corrective action on the defects identified in the FRA focused inspection in January, many of them before the inspection concluded. In addition to several initiatives under way in New York State, CSXT also plans to tighten standards for geometry car track inspections to exceed FRA thresholds.
The track geometry inspection compares the track profile to standards for safe operation.
The FRA released its findings from the January inspection on Tuesday, and is currently conducting a track geometry inspection on the company’s lines in New York State.
In 2006, CSXT reduced train accidents 24 percent. While the company’s overall progress continues this year, serious derailments in New York, Kentucky and West Virginia have prompted both the FRA’s action and the company’s re-assessment.
In New York, CSXT is taking several independent steps to address safety.
CSXT is operating three rail test cars that use ultrasound technology to search for internal defects in rails on all main lines in New York State. This additional testing began March 14 and will conclude by the end of April.
On March 10, CSXT began conducting additional weekend inspections of its track between Erie, Pa., and Selkirk, N.Y., addition to the normal twice-weekly inspections already conducted.
CSXT will run track geometry cars on all CSXT main lines between Erie and Bergen, N.J., via Selkirk, beginning on April 2 after the FRA geometry cars conclude testing. These tests will be conducted at least three times annually.