Money Matters: Amtrak gives 'host railroad' CSX a 'C' grade

Train company says passengers often delayed by freight service partner


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville-based freight carrier CSX received a "C" grade from Amtrak in its most-recent "host railroad" report card.

Of six Class I railroads graded in the 2017 report card of freight carriers, CSX was ranked fourth, behind Canadian Pacific (A), BNSF (B+) and Union Pacific (B-). 

CSX was graded ahead of Norfolk Southern and Canadian National, which each received an F.

Amtrak uses CSX lines along the East Coast and into the Midwest. Amtrak uses "host" railroad tracks and does not own most of the tracks its trains use.

In the report, which looks at service, cooperation and operations of its host railroads, Amtrak analyzed the CSX Cardinal line as a sample.

The company said half of passengers traveling on the Cardinal service arrived late by an average of one hour and 27 minutes.

Amtrak said part of CSX's "average" performance stemmed from passenger trains being forced to sit on side tracks because CSX gave its own freight trains priority.

The report found 85 percent of Cardinal trips in 2017 were delayed by CSX freight trains. 

To read the full report on all Amtrak host railroads, click here.