Groundbreaking CSX Select Site Program Adds New Tools, Capabilities to Assist Growing Companies

CSX   has announced it is enhancing its groundbreaking industrial site selection program to meet growing demand for new rail-served manufacturing facilities. The enhancements will further assist companies in locating properties that meet a wide range of development criteria, including sustainability factors.

The CSX Select Site program, launched in 2012 in partnership with Austin Consulting, a global leader in site development and identification, was the first railroad-sponsored certification program to offer rigorous site due diligence and capture the essential factors needed to accommodate rail access. Since the program’s inception, Select Sites have attracted dozens of manufacturers, with capital investments projected to reach $14 billion and create nearly 11,000 jobs.

To further assist companies and communities amid increasing competition for rail-served sites, the Select Site program is introducing four levels of qualification — Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. The four levels will help companies identify sites that best align with their needs. All sites will be included in a searchable inventory, called Zoom Prospector, currently under development. Users will be able to access the inventory at

Thirteen Select Sites previously identified by Austin Consulting that remain on the market are the first sites designated as Platinum, given their size and the rigorous vetting already accomplished. In addition to meeting minimum site thresholds, Select Site Platinum candidates and designees must engage in a rigorous evaluation, while also completing standard due diligence studies. Platinum sites are 100-plus acres along CSX’s rail network that are ideal for large rail-served industrial facilities.

Under the enhanced program, the Gold, Silver and Bronze sites will be identified using two new tools — Lasso and Site Shepherd — provided through a partnership with Global Location Strategies (GLS). CSX works with landowners and county economic development organizations to capture the relevant site data in Lasso, which is imported into GLS’ customized location analytic platform, Site Shepherd. Lasso is a proprietary data collection platform built to retrieve site-specific information from program registrants, including acreage, site characteristics, utility infrastructure and more. Site Shepherd houses an analytics model custom designed to evaluate CSX-served sites for key rail-served industry siting requirements. The platform provides data-driven analytics that empower CSX and its economic development partners to optimize the marketability of these rail-served sites and identify areas of improvement. Additionally, for the first time, CSX, supported by GLS, added considerations for environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, such as those concerning renewable energy, community impacts, and brownfield site reuse.

Based on the properties’ Site Shepherd score, CSX designates top-performing sites as Gold, Silver or Bronze. All sites will receive valuable feedback regarding potential areas of improvement and are encouraged to engage with CSX on how to continually improve their score.

-via Press Release

This article was posted on: March 20, 2023