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CSX Corp. announced today it's reducing train operations in Erwin, Tenn., as a result of a drop in coal traffic in the region. The action will affect 300 contract and management employees.The Class I will close a locomotive service center, project shop and car shop, and eliminate switching operations at the Erwin Yard, CSX officials said in a press release. Operations in Erwin primarily served coal trains moving from the Central Appalachian coal fields. Diminished traffic levels no longer support activities performed there, CSX officials said.A combination of low natural gas prices and regulatory action has significantly decreased CSX's coal movements during the past four years, resulting in a $1 billion decline in coal revenue over that time.Affected employees in Erwin will receive at least 60 days of pay and benefits. Many furloughed employees will be eligible for jobs in higher demand areas of the CSX network. Affected management employees will be offered relocation opportunities as they become available, the company said.Remaining coal traffic, as well as as well as merchandise traffic including grain unit trains, will be rerouted efficiently across other parts of the CSX network, railroad officials said.
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