Mark Hinsdale Bio

Mark Hinsdale Gallery

His dream career began 35 years ago when Mark Hinsdale got his first job at a railroad.   "I never wanted to do anything but work with the railroad from the time I learned to talk," Hinsdale said, noting that  no one in his family worked for the railroad before him. "We lived next to railroad tracks in Michigan, and my mom  always said if you lived this close to the railroad, there was no middle ground; you'd end up either loving or hating it." 

Hinsdale was clear about his lifelong passion for railroading. His parents encouraged his interest, as did the  30-some railroads he wrote to in his early teens requesting career guidance. "They all advised me to attend college  first, study business or transportation subjects, and then apply to enter a railroad management training program." Hinsdale said. He followed their advice, graduating from Michigan State University while working as  an extra board tower operator between Detroit and Grand Rapids for the C&O, a CSXT predecessor. 

Hinsdale has always worked the Operations side of the rail business, with positions in virtually every transportation job available, ranging from trainmaster to  general manager of two CSX divisions. But he says  his favorites included the Cumberland Coal Business Unit, where his entrepreneurial interest made the position challenging and fun. A second favorite was his involvement during early negotiations for the Conrail  acquisition by CSX and Norfolk Southern. He and his colleagues in the strategic planning group worked night and day for the better part of two years to dissect the respective properties from Conrail and resolve the  "enormous complexities" that the split imposed. 

Coming full circle, Hinsdale became general manager of the territory in Michigan in which he grew up. "I never dreamed I'd one day be in charge of the railroad that I'd loved as a kid," Hinsdale said. I'll always be proud of  that achievement and grateful for the opportunity to work alongside so many fine railroad people.  

Hinsdale has lived in locations all across the CSXT network. He left CSXT for a period of three years to become general manager of operations for Freight Australia, a private Australian freight railroad. He returned  in February 2004 after the railroad was sold.  

Today, Hinsdale heads Capacity Management -- a new department under the leadership of Alan Blumenfeld, senior vice president-Service Design "Formation of this department recognizes that we're not in retrenchment  any more," Hinsdale said. "Our industry is enjoying substantial traffic growth because of a number of economic factors very positive to railroad transportation. Our job is to determine how we can parcel out our precious  capacity wisely to generate the best product with the highest value feasible." 

In his spare time, Hinsdale enjoys railroad photography, a ll kinds of music, including playing the piano, travel, reading, old movies and baseball. His favorite teams, he says, are his beloved and formerly "hapless" Detroit Tigers and  the Chicago Cubs, whom he enjoys watching but are "virtually never a threat."

From CSXT News - Meet Mark Hinsdale 1/9/2006

Mark Hinsdale