CSX 660, a GE AC6000CW, westbound at Point of Rocks, Maryland. Click to enlarge.

(Mark Levisay from Ruckersville, VA, USA, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)


CSX "boxcar" logo.


CSX Transportation (reporting mark CSXT), known colloquially as simply CSX, is a Class I freight railroad company operating in the Eastern United States and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The railroad operates on approximately 21,000 route miles (34,000 km) of track. The company operates as the leading subsidiary of CSX Corporation, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.

CSX Corporation (the parent of CSX Transportation) was formed in 1980 from the merger of Chessie System and Seaboard Coast Line Industries, two holding companies which controlled a number of railroads operating in the Eastern United States. Initially only a holding company itself, the subsidiaries that made up CSX Corporation were gradually merged, with this process being completed in 1987. CSX Transportation formally came into existence in 1986, as the successor of Seaboard System Railroad. In 1999, CSX Transportation acquired approximately half of Conrail, in a joint purchase with competitor Norfolk Southern Railway. Later, in 2022, it acquired Pan Am Railways, extending its reach into much of Northern New England.

CSX and its chief competitor, the Norfolk Southern Railway, have a duopoly on the transcontinental freight rail lines in the Northeastern and Southern United States (South Atlantic and East South Central states).


CSX original logo design.

Original logo for the CSX Corporation, emphasizing the "multiplication symbol" X.

(Unknown graphic designer under contract to CSX Corporation, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


CSX Transportation Building in Jacksonville, Florida. Click to enlarge.

(Excel23, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)



Early years

CSX Corporation was formed on November 1, 1980, as a merger between Chessie System and Seaboard Coast Line Industries.

The name came about during merger talks between Chessie System and SCL, commonly called "Chessie" and "Seaboard". The company chairmen said it was important for the new name to include neither of those names because it was a partnership. Employees were asked for suggestions, most of which consisted of combinations of the initials. At the same time a temporary shorthand name was needed for discussions with the Interstate Commerce Commission. "CSC" was chosen but belonged to a trucking company in Virginia. "CSM" (for "Chessie-Seaboard Merger") was also taken. The lawyers decided to use "CSX", and the name stuck. In the public announcement, it was said that "CSX is singularly appropriate. C can stand for Chessie, S for Seaboard, and X, which actually has no meaning." However, an August 9, 2016, article on the Railway Age website stated that " ... the 'X' was for 'Consolidated' ". A fourth letter had to be added to CSX when used as a reporting mark because reporting marks that end in X means that the car is owned by a leasing company or private car owner.

The originator of SCL was the former Seaboard Air Line Railroad, which previously merged with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1967 to form the Seaboard Coast Line. In later years, it merged with the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, as well as several smaller subsidiaries such as the Clinchfield Railroad, Atlanta & West Point Railroad, Monon Railroad and the Georgia Railroad. From the late 1970s onward, these railroads were known collectively as the Family Lines. In 1982, they were merged into a single railroad, the Seaboard System Railroad.

The origin of the Chessie System was the former Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, which had merged with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and the Western Maryland Railway.

Despite the merger in 1980, CSX was a paper railroad (meaning no CSX painted locomotives or rolling stock) until 1986. In that year, Seaboard System changed its name to CSX Transportation. On April 30, 1987, the B&O merged into the C&O. With the Western Maryland having already merged into the C&O, this left the C&O as the sole operating railroad under the Chessie System banner. Finally, on August 31, 1987, C&O/Chessie System merged into CSX Transportation, bringing all of the major CSX railroads under one banner.


CSX system map (Pan Am Railways not included, trackage rights in purple). Click to enlarge.

(No machine-readable author provided. NE2 assumed., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Conrail acquisition

On June 23, 1997, CSX and Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) filed a joint application with the Surface Transportation Board for authority to purchase, divide, and operate the assets of the 11,000-mile (18,000 km) Conrail, which had been created in 1976 by bringing together several ailing Northeastern railway systems into a government-owned corporation. On June 6, 1998, the STB approved the CSX–NS application and set August 22, 1998, as the effective date of its decision. CSX acquired 42 percent of Conrail's assets, and NS received the remaining 58 percent. As a result of the transaction, CSX's rail operations grew to include some 3,800 miles (6,100 km) of the Conrail system (predominantly lines that had belonged to the former New York Central Railroad). CSX began operating its trains on its portion of the Conrail network on June 1, 1999. CSX now serves much of the Eastern United States, with a few routes into nearby Canadian cities.

In actuality, not all of Conrail was eliminated. There were a few parts of Conrail that both CSX and NS wanted, and neither wanted to allow the other to have total control over. Those small pieces remained owned by the renamed "Conrail Shared Assets," (later "Conrail Shared Assets Operations") so that the pieces were effectively owned and operated by a separate railroad owned by both railroads, thus neither railroad would control those pieces.


A CSX Image Gallery. Click image to enlarge.


CSX Locomotive 4316, a GP 39-2, at Deerfield Beach, FL, March 29, 2013. (Phillip Pessar from Miami, USA, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

CSX Locomotive 204, an AC4400CW at Worcester, Massachusetts. (Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

CSX 415, a GE AC4400CW, June 2017. (Dan from PQ, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

CSX 628, a GE AC6000CW at South Shore, Kentucky, 2005. (Don O'Brain, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

CSX No. 116 leading the northbound Road Railer train at Falmouth, KY. June 1988. (Bruce Fingerhood from Springfield, Oregon, US, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)


An eastbound CSX freight train with CSX 4 (GE AC44CW) and CSX 5340 (GE ES44DC) at New Lenox, IL, October 16, 2012. (Milan Suvajac, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

CSX 9969 (ex-Marc 69) sits idle in Deshler, OH with a two car geometry train, May 7th, 2016. (John Mueller, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Eastbound CSX freight  on May 12 2018 at Marion Station, Ohio. The leading is CSX No. 212, a GE CW44AC built June 1996. The 2nd unit is CSX No. 761, a GE ES44AC-H built December 2007. (James St. John, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)


CSX 6606, a GP40, at Danville, IL, October 1988. (Gary Todd from Xinzheng, China, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)

CSX 6366, a GP40-2 at Danville, IL, April 9, 1988. (Gary Todd from Xinzheng, China, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)

CSX 5511, a rare B30-7, at Danville, IL, July 27, 1986. (Gary Todd from Xinzheng, China, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)

CSX Business Car 10, "West Virginia", in Montgomery, AL on June 9, 1987. (Roger Puta courtesy Marty Bernard, railfan 44, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

CSX 118 with the Road Railer, Livingston, KY on April 24, 1988. (Roger Puta courtesy Marty Bernard, railfan 44, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

CSX Road Railer, Livingston, KY on April 24, 1988. (Roger Puta courtesy Marty Bernard, railfan 44, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Two CSX trains meet in Orleans, WV on CSX's Cumberland Sub. Note the crews giving each other a friendly wave. May 21, 2011. (jpmueller99 from Columbus, OH, USA, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Into the 21st century

The company introduced its current slogan, "How Tomorrow Moves", in 2008.

In 2014, Canadian Pacific Railway approached CSX with an offer to merge the two companies, but CSX declined, and in 2015 Canadian Pacific made an attempt to purchase and merge with Norfolk Southern, but NS declined to do so as well.

In 2017, CSX announced Hunter Harrison would become its new chief executive officer; a settlement with activist investor Paul Hilal and Mantle Ridge. CSX added five new directors to their board, including Harrison and Mantle Ridge founder Paul Hilal. Mantle Ridge owns 4.9% of CSX. Harrison quickly moved to convert CSX rail operations to precision railroading. On December 14, 2017, CSX announced that Hunter Harrison was on medical leave. Two days after the announcement, Harrison died, one day after being hospitalized for complications of an ongoing illness. CSX initially saw a 10% drop in its stock price, but turned around to hit a new 52-week high less than a month later (January 2018). Harrison's successors have continued the shift to precision railroading, with most hump yards converted to flat yards, low volume shipping lanes eliminated and reductions in rolling stock and work force.


Pan Am Railways acquisition

On November 30, 2020, CSX Transportation's parent company CSX Corporation announced on social media that they had come to an agreement with Pan Am Systems to purchase New England based Class II Pan Am Railways, pending regulatory approval from the Surface Transportation Board. The STB approved the purchase on April 14, 2022. As part of the acquisition, Norfolk Southern Railway will gain trackage rights over several CSX lines, and Pan Am Southern, 50 percent owned by Pan Am Railways, will be operated by the Berkshire and Eastern Railroad, a new Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary formed explicitly for this purpose. CSX completed the purchase on June 1, 2022.


The Coke Express rolls through a level crossing. Hopper cars display both the CSX logo and the words "Coke Express". Click to enlarge.

(The Master Shake Signal, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Unit trains

CSX operated the Juice Train which consisted of Tropicana cars that carried fresh orange juice between Bradenton, Florida, and the Greenville section of Jersey City, New Jersey. The northbound train was originally designated on CSX as K650 during the 1990s, and Q740 in the 2000s. The Juice Train has previously been studied as a model of efficient rail transportation that can compete with trucks and other modes in the perishable-goods trade. The train was abolished in 2017 north of Tampa, Florida, and now mixed freight trains deliver the cars to their respective destinations. It still operates between Bradenton and Tampa however, but is designated as local O823.

CSX operates Coke Express unit trains. They carry coke for steelmaking, power generation and other various uses, running between Pittsburgh and Chicago, and other places in the Rust Belt.


A new CSX ES44AC in the YN3 paint scheme. Click to enlarge.

(jpmueller99 from Shenandoah Valley of VA, USA, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)



CSX has rebuilt a significant number of locomotives. Some of the EMD GP38-2, GP40-2, and SD40-2 have been rebuilt to Dash 3 standards with updated Wabtec Electronically Controlled Air Brakes, air conditioning, automated starting controls, a crash safe cab, a new electronic control stand, and Positive Train Control (PTC). In 2019, 25 SD70AC locomotives were rebuilt at the CSX Huntington Heavy Repair Facility, with rebuilt prime movers, in-cab electronic and comfort improvements, New York Air Brake CCB II airbrake systems, and new Mitsubishi drive controls. CSX has also partnered with Wabtec to rebuild GE locomotives at their Fort Worth facility with prime movers upgraded to the FDL Advantage spec and new electronic controls such as the Wabtec Trip Optimizer Zero-to-Zero system.

CSX has also obtained a few EMD F40PH-2s—nos. 9992, 9993, 9998, and 9999 (All locomotives except 9999 have been renumbered to CSX 1, 2, and 3 and were repainted into a heritage Baltimore and Ohio Railroad scheme)—that were retired from Amtrak for executive office car service and geometry trains. Another locomotive, ex-MARC GP40WH-2 no. 9969 was acquired for the same purpose.

With the arrival of Hunter Harrison, CSX began to store many locomotives. Following Harrison's death, his replacement James Foote largely continued his policies. The company had over 900 locomotives in storage in January 2018.

CSX ordered ten SD70ACe-T4s in August 2018, which were delivered in July the following year. They are classified as ST70AHs. CSX also has a contract with Wabtec for modernizing their fleet of CW44s. The modernized locomotives, nearly thirty in number as of June 2020, are being classified as CM44AC.

On April 30, 2019, CSX unveiled locomotives 911 and 1776, two locomotives created to honor the first responders and veterans. Another special unit, CSX 3194, was unveiled on August 22, 2019, in honor of the law enforcement.



In 1995, CSX started a new liability insurance requirement of $200 million to introduce their official policy, "no steam on its own wheels", banning the operation of steam locomotives and other antique rail equipment on their trackage due to safety concerns, and increased risk. Unfortunately, accidents have continued.

List of accidents and incidents

  • 1986 Miamisburg train derailment near Miamisburg, Ohio
  • 1993 Big Bayou Canot rail accident, near Mobile, Alabama
  • 1996 Maryland train collision, in Silver Spring, Maryland
  • 1997 West Virginia train collision; one killed
  • 2000 Tennga, Georgia bus–train collision; 3 killed, 4 injured
  • 2001 CSX 8888 incident, in northwest Ohio, 1 minor injury. This was the inspiration for the 2010 action film Unstoppable
  • 2001 Howard Street Tunnel fire, in Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2007 Brooks derailment, in Brooks, Kentucky
  • 2011 Mineral Springs, North Carolina, train wreck-fire involving 2 (Union Pacific) units and its train of fuel tankers at the back, 2 killed
  • 2012 Ellicott City, Maryland, train derailment, two killed
  • 2013 Spuyten Duyvil derailment
  • 2014 Midnight Rider train incident
  • 2015 Mount Carbon train derailment, Mount Carbon, West Virginia
  • 2015 Tennessee train derailment, Maryville, Tennessee
  • 2017 Biloxi, Mississippi collision with tour bus stuck on tracks; 4 killed, 44 injured
  • 2017 Pittsburgh suburb coal cars derailment
  • 2017 Hyndman, Pennsylvania derailment, chemical release and fire
  • 2017 Atlanta derailment destroys occupied home
  • 2018 Cayce, South Carolina, train collision involving Amtrak Silver Star and a CSX autorack train (Q210-03). 2 dead, 116 injured.
  • 2018 Worcester, Massachusetts, derailment – On July 21, 2018, a CSX Intermodal train from Worcester, Massachusetts, hits a low overpass, causing 12 cars to derail. One car nearly crashed into a car full of toxic chemicals, engineer injured.
  • 2021 Barnsley, Kentucky, tornado – On December 10, 2021, a tornado struck and derailed a CSX train, throwing several cars uphill, including one that landed on a house.
  • 2023 Rockland County, New York, wildfire - On April 14 and 15, 2023, a multitude of wildfires broke out in suburban Rockland County, New York. Several firefighters suffered heat exhaustion battling the flames, and the fires inflicted some damage on property and structures. An investigation into these incidents is underway, with local officials claiming that a CSX train passing through several towns lit sparks, which then ignited on an unseasonably dry day with record-high temperatures upwards of 90°F.


Headquarters: CSX Transportation Building, 500 Water Street, Jacksonville, Florida
Reporting mark: CSXT
Locale: Northeastern, Southern, Midwestern United States and Eastern Canada
Dates of operation: July 1, 1986; 36 years ago–present
Chessie System
Seaboard System Railroad
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
Chesapeake and Ohio Railway
Western Maryland Railroad
Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad
Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad
Georgia Railroad and Banking Company
Pan Am Railways
Track gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length: 21,000 miles (34,000 km)
Website: csx.com


See Also:

Railroads A-Z