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After Rambling Speech, Harrison Stands by Cuts to Conjunction Junction


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#1 Anderson

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 10:18 AM

After Rambling Speech, Harrison Stands by Cuts to Conjunction Junction
Promises Further Efficiencies; Staff Expresses Doubts, Concerns

After a recent speech, newly-minted CSX CEO Hunter Harrison announced that he was standing by his decision to reduce staffing and remove a half-dozen tracks from service at Conjunction Junction.

In Harrison's speech, he repeatedly appeared to lose his place or return to points which he had previously concluded; in one part of the speech, his remarks were said to "verge on a word salad".  "It was as if someone had randomly taken a number of sentences from throughout the speech and thrown them all together" remarked one attendee. 

Speaking on conditions of anonymity, staff at Conjunction Junction defended their conduct and planning.  "A large undertaking like that speech requires a large amount of preparation, yes, but it also requires enough room to enact that planning.  Those tracks that were made redundant would have allowed us to /not/ have to couple together unrelated sentences for storage purposes.  When the orders came down, we simply didn't have time to uncouple the ideas from one another and get locomotives into place."  Junction staff also noted that the changes had come after a brief visit by Harrison, who had spent an hour one Friday sitting in a lawn chair timing staff attaching phrases and clauses.  Based on his experience, they said that he was apparently able to figure out how many tracks he could cut on the spot.

While that accounted for most of the issues, the 'word salad' incident had a separate cause, as a separate source advised us on background: A switcher locomotive failed the night before, due to maintenance cuts, and was unavailable in the morning to bring the various clauses into position.  "When we got to the end of the speech, we had been told to make sure the yard was clear.  The conclusion train was on the farthest west track and we had this random multimodal assemblage.  Hunter said he wanted the yard clear, so we sent it out..."

There has been no comment on whether the incident will affect the Board's upcoming vote on Harrison's compensation package.


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#2 maxbuskirk

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 12:51 PM

Nice April Fool's post. "Conjunction Junction"


I have ridden Cascades #516 (SEA-STW), Coast Starlight #14 (LAX-SLO), Southwest Chief #4 (LAX-CHI), Cardinal #50 (CHI-NYP), Northeast Regional #85 (NYP-WAS), Capitol Limited #30 (HFY-WAS), Coast Starlight #14 (LAX-PDX), and many Pacific Surfliners with Amtrak. I have seen, including the previous, California Zephyr #5 at SAC (with luck), what I guess to be Crescent #19 (at WAS) and Silver Meteor #97 (at WAS), and Empire Builder #28 at PDX. I have also ridden the Hokutosei in Japan, Ueno - Sapporo (now discontinued).





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