Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

CSXT Vice President Looks into Railroad Industry's Future

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

CSXT Vice President Looks into Railroad Industry's Future

Article excerpt

*********** CORRECTION (7/29/99)

Overnite Transportation Co. remains a subsidiary of Union Pacific Corp. Because of incorrect information provided by CSX Transportation, the relationship between the trucking company and Union Pacific was incorrect in an item on Page C-1 Saturday.

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T. Martin Fiorentino Jr., the 39-year-old vice president of corporate communications and public affairs for Jacksonville-based CSX Transportation, talked with Times-Union business writer Nicole Ostrow about what he sees for the future of the railroad industry. Q: What are the top three opportunities facing the railroad industry as it heads into the next century?

A: CSX and the industry have had dramatic gains in the areas of safety over the last 10 years. We expect to see that continue.

A greater cooperation with labor and management. What we've been doing at CSX ... is something we call a new compact with our employees. That is going to pay dividends for us in service and safety and in the way this railroad runs compared to other railroads. I bet you'll see other railroads follow suit.

Third is service. That was one of the things the merger with Conrail was about -- being able to provide customers with single-line service up and down the East Coast. Q: What are the top three problems facing the railroad industry moving into the next century?

A: I think service again -- continually improving service so we can become more truck-like in our delivery. Trucks can deliver freight door to door ... railroads have traditionally been haulers of bulk commodities, so I think that as railroads improve their service, they're going to grow and provide more transportation services.

The second would be growing revenue at a time when revenue growth has been 1 or 2 percent a year. Railroads are very capital intensive, and in order to maintain service in these vast rail networks, you've got to be able to invest in that physical plan.

The third is balancing the needs of urban communities for mass transit with the need to move freight. In order to do that, we've got to provide by and large separate systems . …

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