CSX announces move from Southpoint to Downtown Company plans to move 550 employees

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – CSX corp. announced that the company is consolidating its operations and seeking to shift at least 550 employees from its Southpoint facilities to a Southside or Downtown site, according to a report in the Daily Record.

The location would provide a “safe, comfortable accessible workplace that promotes collaboration in the best, most cost-effective facilities available,” CSX spokeswoman Melanie Cost said in a statement emailed late Monday.

If “all else were equal,” she said, that would mean bringing those employees to about 120,000 square feet of vacant space on the Northbank of the St. Johns River.

Cost said the employees work in the company’s finance, technology, labor relations and corporate real estate organizations.

According to a city report, the Downtown Investment Authority could offer a grant of more than $271,000 a year for five to seven years from its Northbank Tax Increment Financing Fund to the landlord CSX selects.

The incentives would have a $1.9 million maximum indebtedness to the Northbank Community Redevelopment Area, which operates the fund.

Such a deal would be contingent on CSX relocating a minimum of 550 employees Downtown and the company would have to provide written notice that it wouldn’t seek other city incentives for the move.

“They are sincere about looking Downtown,” DIA CEO Aundra Wallace said Tuesday morning.

“And with that sincerity, we are very sincere in bringing them here,” he said.

Wallace said CSX was adamant that a Downtown relocation be to the Northbank, where a few buildings could accommodate its need for 120,000 square feet of vacant space.

Wallace said those buildings include One Enterprise Center, the Bank of America Tower and the SunTrust Building, but he declined to say which buildings the DIA was reviewing for a move.

He said the authority was approached in mid-October about helping to facilitate a possible move. Wallace said he hopes to secure a deal in the first quarter, but is willing to work with the company for however long it takes.

In the statement, Cost said a move would be part of the company’s continued effort to help revitalize Downtown, where the company is based and owns two large structures.

One is the 17-story riverfront headquarters office building a predecessor company built in 1962 at 500 Water St. The other is the 14-story 550 Water St. building it bought two years ago.

Combined, they provide almost 690,000 square feet of space.

Cost said the company seeks to operate more efficiently and reduce overhead costs, which has led to the reconsolidation effort of two adjacent Southpoint buildings the company has occupied for more than 25 years.

Colliers International Northeast Florida represents the two properties, and principal Chuck Diebel said Monday the CSX lease expires in March 2018.

The 6735 Southpoint Drive facility is four stories at 135,404 square feet and the 6737 Southpoint Drive facility is three stories at 139,825 square feet.

CBRE real estate senior vice president Mike Harrell is representing CSX in the site relocation and said Monday the company was looking at buildings around the city for the functions.

“We’ve covered the gamut,” he said.

Source: http://retiredcsx.com/csx-announces-move-from-southpoint-to-downtown.html

Job Opportunity: Railroad Apprenticeship-Florida East Coast Railway

Position Available:  Railroad Apprenticeship  

COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) operates 351 miles of mainline track along the east coast of Florida with direct rail access to South Florida’s ports. FECR also serves five intermodal terminals and provides full service drayage for our customers. With connections to CSX and Norfolk Southern in Jacksonville, FECR is your fast, reliable, affordable solution to moving intermodal loads and carload commodities from pulp and paper to aggregate and automobiles.

Responsibilities: JOB SUMMARY 

FECR is offering a 12-month Apprenticeship Program for our Jacksonville and Miami locations. This program provides High School or Trade School graduates the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge in mechanical, signal and maintenance of way rail operations.

Mechanical: inspecting, rebuilding, and repairing freight cars and locomotivesSignal: installing, inspecting, testing, and maintaining train control and grade crossing systemsMaintenance of Way: routine maintenance and construction work on railroad tracks, bridges and right-of-way

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: High School diplomaMechanical aptitude18 years of age or olderValid Driver’s LicenseExcellent communication skills,Verbal comprehension, reasoning and basic math skillsJOB REQUIREMENTS: Work safely to prevent on the job accidents and injuriesHeavy work, lifting up to 70 pounds occasionally and up to 100 pounds on rare basisStoop, bend, kneel, crouch, balance, climbAbility to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manualsMust pass a post-offer background screening, physical and drug test. Passing results must be received prior to start date in new positionMust maintain and excellent attendance record10% travel requiredWORK CONDITIONS: Wear protective equipment such as hearing protection, safety-to boots, or safety glassesWork outside in all weather conditionsWalk long distances over uneven surfacesSafety sensitive work environmentWork hours may include a nonstandard workweek, overtime, and various shift workSAFETY:

Comply with company and federal safety rules, policies and procedures to include wearing required safety equipment, responding to safety concerns and taking appropriate action. May be required to handle hazardous materials.

Qualified applicants will be considered for vacancies without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by prevailing state and federal laws, regulations and ordinances.

Apply on line @

https://careers-fecrwy.icims.com/jobs/1369/railway-apprenticeship/job

Rail market remains steadfast in turbulent times

Written by  

THE global rail market continues to demonstrate its resilience to economic shocks and turbulence, and while the rate of growth may have slowed a little, the market is still growing at a respectable 2.3% according to SCI Verkehr’s bi-annual study of the world railway market. While another more regular survey by SCI of attitudes among 100 leading railway companies is more ambivalent, the continuing expansion of InnoTrans, the world’s largest trade show which opens in Berlin later this month also points to sustained growth.

The size of the global railway market for equipment and services has increased from €162bn in 2014 to €169bn although the annual rate of growth has slowed from 3.4% in 2014 to 2.3% this year. A notable development which emerged in 2015 is that the after-sales market with a share of 53% is now larger than the original equipment market (OEM). This reflects the heavy investment in rolling stock and network expansion which has taken place in the last few years, with much equipment now due for overhaul. The after-sales market is set to surge ahead of OEM as its annual rate of growth is only 1.3%.

There has been a significant change in growth rates around the world during the last two years. While annual growth in the €44.4bn Western European market remains unchanged at a healthy 3.2%, the slowdown in the freight market in North America has cut growth from 3.3% in 2014 to 1.4% this year. Central and South America is performing particularly badly where a 1% annual growth rate has switched to a contraction of 2%. The €51.6bn Asian market has also seen a reduction in annual growth from 4% in 2014 to 2.6% in 2016. Conversely the rail market in Africa and the Middle East is growing the fastest at 7%, although this is less than the 10% growth rate recorded in 2014.

The main line passenger and freight markets are of similar size, each worth in excess of €40bn, but the passenger market is growing at 2% a year compared with an annual growth rate of just 1% for freight which has been affected by the global reduction in demand for minerals, the mainstay of many rail freight operators. While the urban passenger rail market is worth less than €20bn it is growing at 4% a year, twice that of main line passenger, due to the steady expansion of urban rail networks as cities strive to reduce road congestion and pollution.

The structure of the global rail market is changing as we enter another period of consolidation through mergers and acquisitions, which SCI Verkehr believes is likely to accelerate. Two component suppliers, Knorr Bremse and Wabtec, have both expanded rapidly due to a policy of acquiring smaller companies to extend their product portfolios. These companies currently rank seventh and eighth in the top 10 railway equipment suppliers, while Wabtec is set to become even bigger with its imminent takeover of Faiveley, a major competitor to Knorr Bremse in the braking market.

SCI’s company survey is a little harder to interpret than its study of the global rail market as there are a number of conflicting forecasts by senior managers. However, there are some concrete pointers such as employment which, after 18 months of decline, has shown a healthy increase in the second half of this year, although 27% of managers expect employment to decline compared with 19% who think it will continue to increase.

As far as the current business situation is concerned, the number of managers who describe business as good has dropped from 40% last quarter to 31% this quarter, while the number of negative assessments has almost tripled to 23%. Nevertheless, the outlook on balance is still positive.

Conversely, demand is perceived as growing steadily during the last year and appears to be gaining momentum at the beginning of the second half. This is encouraging what SCI describes as moderate optimism among top rail industry managers. While 62% of companies do not expect any change in business, 14% are more confident about the future.

The survey also highlights some of the obstacles to growth which are currently confronting the industry. Factors of increasing concern which are squeezing profit margins include fluctuations in exchange rates, pressure on prices due to increasing competition, and regulatory restrictions and in particular complex certification procedures. Conversely, rock-bottom interest rates appear to have lost their effect in helping to stimulate investment.

Due to its sheer size, InnoTrans is also a bellweather for the health of the railway market. This year it will be bigger than ever. The number of exhibitors has increased from 2700 from 51 countries in 2014 to 2940 from 60 countries this year, with around 200 companies exhibiting for the first time.

While there are always uncertainties in the world, overall the railway industry is in better shape than many others as it is protected somewhat from major economic fluctuations due to the long-term nature of investment, and the growing perception that investing rail is good for environment. Rail has also come to the attention of the huge pension funds looking for somewhere stable to invest, which bodes well for the future.

 

Source: http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/blogs/david-briginshaw/rail-market-remains-steadfast-in-turbulent-times.html