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Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway

Norfolk Southern completes trackwork blitz on Pennsylvania coal line


Earlier this month, Norfolk Southern Railway completed a track maintenance blitz on a major coal line in Pennsylvania’s Monongahela Valley. Crews completed $20.5 million worth of track, bridge and signal improvements in a record seven days, NS officials said in a prepared statement.

During the blitz, 500 engineering department employees from across the railroad’s 22-state system installed more than 44,600 ties and replaced 1,091 bridge ties, laid 10 miles of new rail, resurfaced 67 miles of track and installed 18 culverts. Workers also completed maintenance projects at 28 grade crossings, four bridges and one tunnel.

The work involved 56 work trains and 32 pieces of maintenance-of-way equipment. Under normal conditions and with service disruptions, it typically would take about three months to accomplish the work, NS officials said.

The line, which extends 85 miles south from Pittsburgh to serve five coal mines, is used by 30 trains daily. To ensure coal customers in southwest Pennsylvania continue to receive consistent and reliable service, the Class I schedules a maintenance blitz each July to coincide with miners’ annual weeklong summer break, NS officials said.

“The ‘Mon’ line is critical to meeting the energy needs of businesses and homes in the Northeast and Midwest,” said NS Vice President of Engineering Tim Drake.