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Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway

NS closes hump yard in Virginia, eliminates 140 jobs

Norfolk Southern Corp. yesterday ceased regional rail-car classification operations at its Roanoke, Va., hump yard, eliminating about 140 carmen, train crew and track maintainer positions.

The terminal will continue to provide service to local customers and serve as a hub for through-train operations, NS officials said in a press release.

The Roanoke yard has registered a steady decline in merchandise carloads; volume has dropped about 30 percent since 2006, they said. At the same time, system-wide improvements have freed up network capacity so classification operations now performed at Roanoke are no longer necessary, NS officials added.

"The geographical location and layout of the hump yard make it not only expensive, but redundant within our network," said Vice President of Transportation Terry Evans.

NS plans to continue operating its Shaffers Crossing locomotive and car shops, East End locomotive shops and Roanoke material yard in the area. In addition, the Class I will maintain headquarters for the Virginia Division and a corporate presence at an office building in the region.

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