Feature | Foundr MAGAZINE


Logistics giant CSX is leading an exciting journey for the railroad industry 

Railroads have been moving the American economy for nearly 200 years, and CSX traces its  history to the birth of the industry. From mapping uncharted territory to expand the nation  to delivering the freight that powered American industries, railroads were essential to the  growth of the nation. Today, they continue to be as vital to the nation’s transportation  challenges as they were two centuries ago.More efficient, safer, and more sustainable than  over-the-road transportation, freight rail decreases traffic congestion by reducing the  number of trucks on the nation’s highways, lowers fuel consumption and saves on  transportation costs. These sustainability advantages,


combined with the adoption of advanced technologies to improve safety and efficiency, are  the core of CSX’s vision to significantly increase the amount of freight that moves by  rail.Formed by the consolidation of many heritage railroads, starting with the Baltimore and  Ohio Railroad founded in 1927, CSX today is a modern transportation company with a rail  network covering approximately 20,000 route-miles in 26 states, the District of Columbia,  and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. A Fortune 300 company, the  transportation giant serves all major markets in the eastern part of the U.S., which contain  nearly two-thirds of the  

A new strategic partnership between CSX and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is as securely  connected as railroads are to global economic success. TCS, a multinational consulting and  business solutions leader, is fast becoming the partner of choice for top-tier freight rail  companies, passenger rail, rail infrastructure providers, and OEMs who are looking to  increase service reliability, efficiency, safety, and productivity. The company is leveraging 25  years of railroad industry experience to support over 16 major railroads, freight operators as  well as passenger rail, across the globe as they work to reinvent themselves in the digital  age.As the leading Class I freight railroad operating in the eastern U.S. and the Canadian  provinces of Ontario and Quebec, CSX has positioned itself on the forefront of new  technology adoption and is relying on TCS to help create newer efficiencies and enhancing  their operational excellence as they move freight to a growing customer base. In April 2022,  TCS inked the multi-year agreement, which encompasses application development,  maintenance, infrastructure support, cybersecurity, transformation, and OCM. CSX’s core  objectives will be met with the creation of a flexible operating model with built-in scalability  that focuses on enterprise standardization, intelligent automation, financial clarity, business  reimagination, and investing in the right support system of people, tools, and frameworks.  With transition successfully completed, the relationship is now moving into its next phase,  as TCS attends to deliver the operations with complete transparency and visibility and  ensures services are reliably and securely available to CSX customers. As a part of CSX’s  transformation road map, TCS is set to standardize operations with the objective to  maximize automation and security product capabilities. The scope includes the  management of end-to-end security for CSX within their security operations center,  including managed detection response, vulnerability management, network security  


services, access provisioning, and governance risk and compliance services. Innovation at  scale is a key aspect of the TCS-CSX engagement. TCS will leverage its multifaceted  innovation ecosystem to meet that critical need. The group includes TCS Research and  Innovation Labs, solution specific Robotics and IoT Labs, TCS Pace™ with connections to  academia and Co-Innovation Network (COIN™) partners. They are also calling on curated  startups to source ideas that can be converted into highly customized and innovative  solutions to address CSX’s unique challenges and opportunities. TCS will also apply its Agile  Innovation Cloud and Innovation as a Service framework to align with CSX’s goals and  objectives for strategic purpose-led innovation. 

Together, TCS and CSX are on track to create a more efficient, profitable, and secure way of  hauling freight 

Ranked among the top three global IT service providers, TCS operates in 49 countries. Their  excellence in people practices translates to the lowest attrition rate in the industry. Not only  are 35.6% of its 616,171 employees women, they’ve been a Global Top Employer for seven  consecutive years. What truly sets the enterprise apart is its purpose-driven worldview – for  every $1 returned to shareholders by TCS, $0.47 goes back to the community – backed by a  150-year tradition of commitment to business ethics and corporate social responsibility set  by its parent company, the prestigious TATA Group. 

“Our deep domain expertise, contextual knowledge, and technology prowess uniquely  position us to deliver new-age solutions for the travel and logistics sector. We call it ‘The  TCS Advantage,’ and we are proud to partner with CSX in an engagement that is rooted in  growth and transformation with service excellence as our top priority.” 

Sowmya Rajagopalan,Unit Head for Travel, Transportation, and Hospitality Americas“We are  proud to be chosen by CSX to help transform their cybersecurity posture. As a part of this  partnership, we manage Integrated Cyber Defense for CSX and will accelerate their pursuit  of assured cyber resilience. By improving threat visibility and the ability to proactively detect  and respond to evolving risks, TCS’ end-to-end security capabilities will help CSX tackle  emerging cybersecurity threats and empowers the company to grow with cyber confidence. 

Santha Subramoni,Global Head of TCS Cyber Security Practice 

Tata Consultancy Services: Making a meaningful difference through technologyAt TCS, we  never lose sight of the fact that the work we do makes a difference to the lives of millions of  people. To the way they live, work and play. It is why we play such an ac�ve and  collabora�ve role with our clients, to build for the future through innova�on and collec�ve  knowledge. Because we believe progress is only possible through real partnership. By  working as true partners over the long term we deliver the most sustainable and successful  results.  

We are proud to support the leading names from travel, transporta�on and hospitality to  banking,life sciences, manufacturing, retail, insurance, educa�on, communica�ons,  


healthcare and more, from across the globe. 

American population. The company also has access to over 70 ocean, river, and lake port  terminals along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes, and the  St. Lawrence Seaway. Connections with Western railroads give CSX access to Pacific ports as  well. The Class I rail freight carrier serves a wide range of markets, including energy,  automotive, consumer goods, and industrial products, and provides intermodal service that  combines long distance rail with short-haul trucking.In recent years, CSX has undergone a  transformation that has dramatically improved the efficiency of its operations and the  reliability of its service. Among its major points of emphasis has been leveraging technology  to improve all aspects of the company’s operations. In addition to taking a modern  approach to the fundamentals, including order collection, tracking, scheduling, and other  logistical aspects, the company has focused on improving traditional railway operations,  such as tracking how fast trains are moving, how timely they are, and detecting equipment  and track defects. Process improvements have helped CSX vault into a leadership position in  the freight transportation industries here and around the globe. 

As part of an overall modernization push, CSX is taking an end-to-end logistical approach,  from building its own storage facilities with direct access to its rail lines, to sharpening its  focus on “last-mile, first-mile” trucking services that enable dock-to-dock deliveries. The  company is also aggressively marketing rail-served development sites to both new and  traditional rail customers. For example, CSX has been successful in landing new business  from a number of companies in the electric vehicle battery industry, which have chosen to  build manufacturing plants on rail-served sites.  

Just as CSX locomotives are essential to keeping goods moving safely and customers  satisfied, the information security team has an important role to play in the company’s  efforts to differentiate themselves from other Class I railroads. 

CSX’s foundational operating technologies, such as those that support train movement,  terminal operations and the like, are separate from traditional IT. The accurate transfer of  information has always been fundamental to the company’s success and is at the heart of a  five-year digital transformation journey designed to speed these critical processes.  Automation will ultimately make it easier for customers to interact with the company. In  turn, this will significantly improve CSX’s competitive position versus trucking transportation  providers. 

The challenge ahead is finding the best way to move data freely while ensuring its security.  Alex Borhani, the company’s Deputy Chief Information Security Officer, is in charge of  ensuring that the transition from legacy technologies to the cloud is secure. He likens his  role to laying down the train tracks that keep rail cars moving safely and efficiently. “We are  laying the groundwork that allows CSX information technology to build those digital  high speed trains,” he explained.  

The groundwork for the transition is set, including the construction of modern infrastructure  3

to support DevOps and the Agile methodologies that will make the transformation possible.  The effort includes a shift away from mainframe technology to a hyper-converged  microservice architecture; work on migrating applications is ongoing.A pair of critical  partnerships are involved in the successful migration to the cloud. In addition to leveraging  Fortinet’s renowned network security solutions, CSX has partnered with Tata Consultancy  Services (TCS) for operational, maintenance, and support services for the company’s IT  systems. The alliance will shift the maintenance of legacy IT solutions to TCS, enabling CSX  to focus on building its future-forward information technologies.  

According to a company statement, “This strategic decision will ensure CSX remains a  transportation industry leader in both technology performance and innovation, as we  pursue our goals for safety, service, reliability, and business growth.” With 25 years of  railroad industry experience, TCS provides services to more than 16 major railroads  worldwide, including freight as well as passenger operations. As a part of CSX’s  transformation roadmap, TCS is standardizing operations to maximize automation and  security product capabilities. The scope includes the management of end-to-end security for  CSX within their security operations center, including managed detection response,  vulnerability management, network security services, access provisioning, and governance  risk and compliance services. 

Innovation at scale is another key aspect of the CSX-TCS relationship, and TCS will leverage  its multifaceted innovation ecosystem to advance CSX’s goals for strategic, purpose-led  innovation. Adding to its already robust capabilities, TCS is reaching out to select startups  for ideas that can be converted into customized, innovative solutions to address CSX’s  unique challenges and opportunities. 

Organizationally, information security is central to the CSX culture, taking as critical a role as  physical security and safety. There are stakeholders at every level of the organization, from  the board level to the C-suite and the leadership teams that oversee every kind of  technology they use. “We have a really big culture around safety, and information security  falls within that safety culture,” Borhani said.  

Borhani pointed out that not all enterprises share CSX’s inclusive information security  posture. “Even though they may have a culture around safety, there’s still pushback from  technology and technologists in many organizations,” he said. 

When it comes to technology adoption, CSX has taken steps to be on the leading edge,  especially in IT. The information security team is the first within the CSX environment to  migrate to cloud service for a production resource in anticipation of the organization-wide  digital transformation. “We had to be the first ones to adopt the cloud to enable other areas  of the company to make that transition themselves,” he said. 

That leap enabled the wider technology department to see information security as not just a  component of the transformation but a leader of the effort. The influence of such a robust  infosec group has also been instrumental in gaining the trust and support of their  


technology partners, who appreciate CSX’s security culture, and their dedication to creating  frictionless experiences for their customers as well as their internal stakeholders. 

The CSX approach to modernization has lessons that transfer to all industries. According to  Borhani, all transformation and modernization projects require consistent, progressive  efforts, and there’s no such thing as an overnight sensation. “You must take every effort,  every learning opportunity to make improvements, to iterate on those improvements and  make small little investments and continue to perform your core business the best way you  can. Eventually, that’s what makes the transformation.”

Scroll to Top