Design-build contracting for the CSXT B&O capacity improvement project

Since deregulation of the USA freight railroad industry in the early 1980s, railroad companies have continuously restructured their operations to obtain greater efficiencies. One of the most recent mergers came about as a result of the split-up of Conrail, a financially successful railroad in the Northeast. CSX Transportation (CSXT) and Norfolk Southern Railway (NS), two arch-rivals in the Southeast, were interested in expanding their services to New York, Boston, and other cities in the area served by Conrail. As a result of the merger agreement, CSXT's traffic from the east required an alternative route to Chicago's intermodal terminals and West Coast connections. The B&O Capacity Improvement Project involved construction of a 70 mph (110 kph) double track high capacity corridor between Chicago and Cleveland. CSXT selected Sverdrup Civil, a subsidiary of Jacobs Engineering, as its design-build contractor. The design-build contract was unique for several reasons. Although CSXT had previously contracted out large projects, including design-build work by Sverdrup, a project of this magnitude had never been performed by a contractor. This necessitated a new mindset by CSXT personnel to accept contractor forces as their own and for the contractors to work and think like railroaders. The contracting arrangement was also unique in that unionized CSXT signal workers performed under Sverdrup's supervision. Key elements of the project including the work schedule, safety considerations, environmental requirements and the performance of the finished project are outlined. For the covering abstract see ITRD E1252 E125214.


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  • Accession Number: 01011771
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-947644-43-1
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Dec 19 2005 3:30PM