Understanding Conrail with Brian Gorton
Brian Gorton and Joe Lynch discuss understanding Conrail. Brian is the President & Chief Operating Officer of Conrail Shared Assets, which serves as a contract local carrier and switching company for its owners, CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway.
About Brian Gorton
Brian E. Gorton joined Conrail in 1987 as a conductor. He advanced to the position of Assistant Terminal Superintendent before departing Conrail prior to the CSXT and Norfolk Southern acquisition of Conrail in 1998. After his departure from Conrail, he worked at the Union Pacific Railroad where he held various positions in the Transportation Department including General Manager of UP’s Houston and Gulf Coast Service Units. On April 19, 2021, Brian rejoined Conrail and was appointed President & Chief Operating Officer of Conrail Shared Assets headquartered in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, bringing with him over 30 years of railroad experience and expertise.
Conrail is an American railroad company. It operates three networks—the North Jersey, South Jersey/Philadelphia, and Detroit Shared Assets Areas, where it serves as a contract local carrier and switching company for its owners, CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway. Customers located along Conrail’s lines have access to the national rail network through either railway. As a local rail service provider, it’s Conrail’s job to make sure that customers’ freight shipments are safely and efficiently moved between their rail sidings and the long-distance freight trains operated by CSX and Norfolk Southern. CSX and Norfolk Southern handle all commercial matters for customers. However, Conrail plays a critical role in serving shippers and receivers as a service provider for our owners.
Key Takeaways: Understanding Conrail
- Brian Gorton is the President & Chief Operating Officer of Conrail Shared Assets, which serves as a contract local carrier and switching company for its owners, CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway.
- In the podcast interview, Brian explains Conrail’s capabilities, service area, history, operations, and the advantages that rail brings to high-volume shippers.
- In the spring of 1997, Norfolk Southern Corporation (NS) and CSX Corporation (CSX) agreed to acquire Conrail through a joint stock purchase. CSX and NS split most of the Company’s assets between them.
- The approved merger plan restructured Conrail into a Switching and Terminal Railroad operating about 1,200 miles of track in three regional areas. On June 1, 1999, Conrail began operating as a Switching and Terminal Railroad for its owners, NS and CSX, in the three geographical areas of Northern New Jersey, Southern New Jersey/Philadelphia, and Detroit, Michigan.
- In 2007, it expanded its operations from Northern New Jersey to Staten Island, New York.
- Advantages of rail transport:
- Cost effective. Shippers often save money by switching from truck to rail.
- Sustainability. Rail transport is more environmentally friendly and produces less greenhouse gas emissions than over the road trucking.
- Great option for high-volume shippers. A double-stacked train can move more freight than hundreds of trucks.
- Reliability. Trains run on a track and on a schedule, so traffic and weather are seldom an issue.
- Access to capacity. Many shippers use rail as an alternative to the driver and truck constrained over the road market.
- Intermodal shipping which utilizes rail transport is often the most efficient transportation mode for shippers, particularly high-volume shippers.