JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Nearly 1,000 CSX Transportation Engineering employees completed the annual coal route maintenance project this week. Track maintenance teams worked their way across the Appalachian coal route which includes Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Demand for coal remains strong, and on a typical day as many as 50 trains make their way across this important corridor.
During this intense maintenance operation, workers installed new rail, and more than 133,000 ties. Ties cover nearly 113 miles of main line track, plus several auxiliary tracks. Crews also re-surfaced an additional 150 miles of track, and performed maintenance on the seven tunnels and four bridges along the path – all compressed into the span of 10 days.
This $20 million project is one example of CSX continuing to significantly invest in its rail network to meet current and future transportation needs of its customers.
“This was a huge undertaking of maintenance work for our employees,” said Ricky Johnson, Assistant Chief Engineering of System Production Teams. “Our focus first and foremost was getting this enormous amount of critical work done safely. And in doing so, we ensure that our customers can count on continued safe and efficient rail service.”
This planned maintenance work keeps train reliability, safety and service high. The project is scheduled annually when many coal mines traditionally close for summer break. If the work were scheduled during normal curfew conditions, it could take up to 27 weeks to complete with significant service disruptions.