• CSX Transportation

    Annual Patch Rail Capital Planning

    Jacksonville, Florida, United States

Project Summary

    • CSX Transportation – Annual Patch Rail Capital Planning
    • Who is CSX

CSX Transportation is one of the largest transportation suppliers in the United States, with a network that spans more than 21,000 miles of railway track across North America. The organization provides rail-based transportation services and endeavored to streamline their patch rail request service system. The CSX Capital Planning department wanted to ensure accuracy of their data and apply capital expenditures to the right location as efficiently and easily as possible. The organization’s capital planning team is responsible for a USD 78 million category for capital expenses and reviews more than 5,000 patch rail requests, or a request to repair worn rail in curved sections of the railway network, annually. To evaluate the legitimacy of these requests, the capital planning committee had to review data from a variety of sources, including paper notes, emails, and spreadsheets, often with conflicting information. Evaluating this disparate data was arduous and it required time-consuming, error-prone manual review. Therefore, CSX Transportation launched a USD 56,000 capital planning project to simplify and improve this process.

CSX determined that that they needed a solution that would help them identify and prioritize patch rail jobs as well as differentiate reviewed jobs from submitted jobs pending evaluation. OpenRail Operational Analytics (formerly Optram) provided the platform to facilitate the solution to this project. CSX Transportation added new data sources, including patch rail requests, to OpenRail Operational Analytics. The organization engaged Bentley Systems to add the overlay check box feature to the application to link OpenRail Operational Analytics to CSX’s existing patch rail request system user interface. This provided many more layers of precise data for evaluation, all of which can be analyzed simultaneously as the data layers are transparent, enabling more accurate decision-making.

This project was completed in November 2016 within one month. Since the new patch rail system has been implemented, CSX Transportation has experienced a significant reduction in the time necessary (two resource months) to perform hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of annual capital planning review processes for the program. More importantly, the new system has up-to-date data readily available for users, enabling faster and more accurate decision making. CSX Transportation will replicate this project on other types of work, such as gauging and concrete pad repair because this project has been such a success. Integrating OpenRail Operational Analytics with CSX’s legacy patch rail request system saved significant time and costs, boosting analysis by 2 percent, which has equated to a cost avoidance of USD 1.5 million.

OpenRail Operational Analytics integrated data gathered from an array of sources and presented the information on one display. This data visualization ensured accuracy and enabled the organization to make decisions efficiently. The software includes customizable views, highlights, and a tabular view that allows CSX to organize and rank the submitted patch rail requests. Users can open a specific data source system’s screen related to a work order or asset and evaluate the embedded information, including any documentation or images. OpenRail Operational Analytics provided an integrated and interactive graphical view of the required data sources. This correlated view allows CSX to efficiently make approval decisions for each patch rail request.

Project Playbook: OpenRail Operational Analytics

  • CSX Transportation transformed their patch rail request system within one month by using Bentley’s application.
  • The OpenRail Operational Analytic solution is simple and cost-effective, and it has accelerated efficiency and saved millions of dollars.
  • CSX plans to expand this initiative to other capital request types in the organization based on the success of the patch rail program.
  • “This was the perfect system, we don’t need to change it a bit, it does exactly what we want, and it works quickly.”

    Ed Tubbs Director of Capital Planning CSX Transportation