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CSX Transportation, Inc.
500 Water Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 22, 2011 – CSX Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward told the Surface Transportation Board (STB) today that partial deregulation under the 1980 Staggers Act has enabled a rail renaissance marked by record infrastructure investments, new jobs, traffic congestion relief and new business development on rail lines.
He urged the STB to preserve railroads’ economic and environmental benefits that have resulted from balanced regulation. These benefits, he said, are important to helping solve some of the nation’s most pressing problems.
“We’ve got to get this right by adhering to the tenets of the Staggers Act and its principles of balanced regulation,” Ward said during a hearing on competition in the railroad industry. “To demand that the freight rail industry take on unprecedented feats of transportation, economic and environmental performance – and then to impose new mandates, and the reassertion of onerous, hands-on regulations – is to attempt to go forward and backward at the same time.”
He cited competitive forces resulting from partial deregulation that have spurred gains in safety, investment and productivity while keeping rail rates affordable. “Over my career, I’ve only seen competition grow stronger,” Ward said. “What is being sought here is not more competition, but rather lower rates for a limited group of shippers.”
Ward cited CSX’s plan to invest a record $2 billion into its track, locomotives, rail cars, terminals and technology in 2011, coupled with the recent announcement that the company would invest, on average, 18 percent of revenues through 2015 into both maintenance and expansion of freight capacity. The Federal Highway Administration has forecast a more than 60 percent increase in freight demand across all transportation modes by 2040.
“We continue to hear from federal, state and local governments, from customers, and from the communities we serve that there is a real need to get more freight off highways and onto the rail system,” he said. “That means less traffic on our roads, less pollution in our air, less wasted energy and safer highways.”
Economic development and railroads are closely linked, he told the commissioners. “Since 2006, more than 600 new or expanded businesses have located on CSX or connecting short lines. That represents more than $18 billion of customer investment and more than 21,000 new jobs.”
Increased hiring has been another result of the improving health of railroads. “CSX will hire about 3,000 people this year,” Ward said. “That’s even more than the 2,500 people we have hired each year, on average, since 2005. The nation is desperately seeking new jobs, and we’re producing them.”
“In closing, I’d like to ask you to remember two important numbers: 500 and 18,” he said. “We can carry a ton of freight almost 500 miles on a single gallon of fuel, and we will spend 18 cents of every revenue dollar on America’s transportation infrastructure through 2015.”
CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is one of the nation’s leading transportation companies, providing rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services. The company's transportation network spans approximately 21,000 miles, with service to 23 eastern states and the District of Columbia. CSX’s network connects more than 240 short line and regional railroads and more than 70 ocean, river, and lake ports. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com.
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