LAFAYETTE — To hear CSX Corp. CEO Hunter Harrison tell it, the embattled freight railroad is on the right track.
But to Amtrak and its customers, nothing could be further from the truth.
As Amtrak's on-time performance tumbles toward record-low territory, it has placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of its partner, CSX, on whose tracks Amtrak trains run between Indianapolis, Lafayette and Dyer.
In a letter to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, Harrison told regulators that CSX is "driven to provide superior service."
That letter, which touts the railroad's commitment to safety and profitability, makes no mention of CSX's long-running operational problems.
Regulators disagree with Harrison's rosy assessment, and it has ordered CSX to appear at a public hearing in Washington on Sept. 12.
Amtrak also disagrees, pointing to on-time performance that has worsened in August.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said CSX is violating its agreements by failing to allow passenger trains to operate on-time on the Hoosier State, Cardinal and other lines on which Amtrak trains use CSX tracks.