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Murray subsidiaries file new round of complaints alleging poor service from CSX

Subsidiaries of Murray Energy Corp. say CSX Transportation Inc.'s service has worsened after lawsuits against the railroad and the U.S. Surface Transportation Board's, or STB's, attempt at mediation to improve performance.

In new complaints Aug. 11 filed with the STB, Foresight Coal Sales and Consolidation Coal say CSX walked away from daily communications initiated by the STB and service "can only be described as abysmal and a complete and total failure."

CSX did not respond to requests for comment.

After fielding multiple complaints from U.S. coal producers, the STB met with CSX officials in mid-July and requested the railroad hold weekly service calls to provide an overview of operations, establish a service hotline for customers and provide frequent operation updates directly and via website postings.

Foresight and Consolidation Coal say CSX participated in daily calls but within weeks the railroad "demonstrated a complete and total lack of cooperation and effort by refusing, without explanation, to continue participating in the calls."

Murray and some of its subsidiaries filed lawsuits against CSX on Aug. 1, and in the latest STB complaints say CSX service worsened the first week of August.

Foresight says in its filing that CSX had failed to provide about one out of every five trains scheduled from the start of the year through June, but during the first week of August the railroad failed to provide eight scheduled trains. Consolidation Coal says CSX failed to provide nine scheduled trains through July 20.

The STB said Aug. 14 that it would review the filings but would not comment because it is an ongoing matter.

Jim Levesque is a reporter for S&P Global Platts, which, like S&P Global Market Intelligence, is owned by S&P Global Inc.