CSX achieved this milestone despite a drop in revenues, but with a corresponding drop in operating costs. The railway withdrew its guidance for the remainder of the year.

CSX net earnings were $US 770m compared with $US 834m in the same period last year. Revenue for the first quarter decreased 5% over the first quarter of 2019 to $US 2.86bn, as growth in chemicals, agriculture, minerals, forest products, metals, and intermodal revenue was more than offset by a 25% drop in coal revenue, a 10% reduction in automotive income and a 40% drop in other revenue.

Costs fell by 7% year-on-year to $US 1.68bn, driven by continued efficiency gains, among them a 10% decline in labour and fringe benefit expenses and an 18% reduction in fuel costs.

Operating income fell by 3% for the quarter to $US 1.18bn, compared with $US 1.22bn in the same period last year.

“I am extremely proud of our outstanding CSX employees for keeping the railroad running at such a high level during these unprecedented times, and enabling the delivery of critical goods across the country,” says CSX president and CEO, Mr James Foote. “Their hard work and dedication over the past few weeks, and throughout our transformation, have put CSX on the strongest footing it has ever been heading into this period of economic uncertainty.”