If you’ve ever wanted to own a railroad, here’s your chance. CSX is selling off its mainline between Jacksonville and Pensacola that also passes through Tallahassee.
The sale was reported in the April edition of “Trains” magazine, considered a credible news source for the nation’s rail industry. Last year under Hunter Harrison, a cost-cutting CEO who died in December, Jacksonville based CSX began laying off workers, idling locomotives and freight cars and running fewer but longer trains. Current CEO Jim Foote insists the expense slashing will go on. That may include selling off several routes, including the Tallahassee division, which was quietly put on the market in mid-January.
On Wednesday afternoon (3/7), WFSU received this statement from CSX spokesman Christopher Smith:
"Consistent with the tenets of our scheduled railroading strategy, CSX is continuing to evaluate every aspect of the company's network and operations to be sure that all assets are maximized for efficiency and add value to out company's long-term business needs. Based on an initial review of our network, the company has decided to solicit bids on the Tallahassee and PA Subdivisions in the Florida Panhandle. Bids are still being considered at this time. Meanwhile, CSX has been communicating with its customers on this rail segment, as well as union representatives and employees. Throughout this process, CSX is committed to working closely with regulatory agencies reviewing and approving transactions, and we will coordinate with prospective buyers to facilitate a safe, smooth service transition that minimizes impacts to customers and allows for long-term growth."