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CSX's O'Brien and Goutcher Receive Railway Age 2023 Women in Rail Recognition


October 20, 2023 – Two CSX leaders have been recognized by Railway Age in the magazine’s annual Women in Rail awards program.

Erin O’Brien, associate general counsel and head of litigation, was among 23 Women in Rail honorees, and Chantel Goutcher, head of Service Design, received an honorable mention. The honorees were chosen from among nearly 100 entries received from across the North American rail industry.

Now in its seventh year, the annual award program recognizes women “for their outstanding leadership, vision, innovation, community service involvement, and accomplishments,” according to Railway Age.

“We are proud to celebrate such leaders in rail and trailblazers with a track record of breaking down barriers and helping to create industry opportunities for women,” said Jonathan Chalon, the magazine’s publisher.

Both Erin and Chantel have contributed significantly to the success of CSX and have positively impacted the rail industry.

Erin, who joined CSX in 2002, leads a team of legal professionals who handle a wide variety of high-stakes litigation and arbitrations, defending the company’s interests and seeking to create good law for CSX and the industry. For example, she led CSX’s efforts in South Carolina to combat forum shopping through the courts, culminating in a ruling that led to a new venue statute that is fair to corporate defendants. She also worked closely with the American Tort Reform Association to pass the Trespasser Responsibility Act, which codified the common law related to landowner duties to trespassers in response to efforts to expand landowner.

In addition, Erin is active in the community and in groups that support businesswomen. She is executive sponsor of CSX’s Women’s Business Resource Group, has led efforts to raise awareness and combat human trafficking, and has volunteered at Rethreaded, a Jacksonville organization assisting human trafficking survivors. She also has led CSX’s pro bono efforts in support of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid (JALA), which provides legal assistance to low-income and special-needs groups.

Chantel, who leads a team responsible for the operating plan for the CSX system, also has established herself as a dynamic leader during her 29 years with CSX. Her contributions across many roles have improved rail operations and customer service in multiple ways, often through the strategic use of advanced information technology and data analytics.

She has been a key contributor to the transition from legacy-based car scheduling systems to the modernized systems that create trip plans for customer shipments, and while serving as director of Total Service Integration, Chantel worked closely with both the Operating and Sales and Marketing departments’ executive teams to improve the customer experience.

In the community, Chantel has been the CSX Operations team leader for the Special Olympics of Northeast Florida Race for Inclusion, and she is a board member of the Syracuse University Franklin Supply Chain Advisory Board. She previously served on the board of the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council and is a member of the Bartram Trail Boosters executive board.

Erin and Chantel will be among the Women in Rail honorees featured in the November issue of Railway Age. To see the full list of 2023 honorees and read the announcement, click here.