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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Revamped Pennsylvania yard last link in NS' redesigned merchandise network


Norfolk Southern Railway in mid-February completely implemented Thoroughbred Operating Plan (TOP) across its network.
And the last area to roll out the railroad's redesigned operating plan — designed to reduce merchandise-train transit times and car handlings — was Enola Yard, near Harrisburg, Pa., according to NS' monthly newsletter released March 8.
NS spent $9.8 million to more than quadruple the yard's daily switching capacity from 125 cars to 600, enabling the Class I to streamline routings between certain origins and destinations, and improve asset utilization.
The project, completed in late January, involved constructing nine track miles, rehabilitating nearly 13 track miles, replacing 10 miles of wood ties, renovating an unused office building and installing 12 light towers.
"This project symbolizes NS' aggressive pursuit of freight business moving between the Northeast and the South, and further solidifies Harrisburg's position as a major freight hub for the Mid-Atlantic," said David Brown, NS general manager, northern region.
Enola Yard, which was built in 1905 by NS predecessor Pennsylvania Railroad, at one point was the nation's largest rail freight-classification yard. The yard's traffic peaked in the 1940s, but its role as a major classification facility ended in 1993, when Conrail ceased hump operations.

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More News from 3/11/2002