Norfolk Southern will consolidate operations of its coal docks located on Lake Erie in Northern Ohio in order to streamline operations for customers while improving network efficiency and reducing operating costs for Norfolk Southern.
The company plans to idle its Ashtabula, Ohio, Coal Pier and shift operations to the railroad's Sandusky, Ohio, Dock.
Norfolk Southern has owned and operated the Ashtabula coal pier since 1999. The facility primarily serves the thermal coal market, transloading coal from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Canada and US destinations by ship. CSX also has rights to use the Ashtabula dock.
Ashtabula will continue to operate until all coal inventories have been transloaded, which is expected to be completed by May 2016. The facility will remain idled until and if market conditions warrant reopening.
"Norfolk Southern is committed to providing shippers with an efficient transportation network and we are actively addressing the industry-wide decline in coal volumes by streamlining operations and positioning our railroad for long-term success," commented David Lawson, Norfolk Southern Vice President of Coal Marketing.
The company has indicated that the consolidation will help it achieve efficiencies by reducing capital investment requirements and employee headcount. 21 positions will be lost as part of the transition, but it is reported that these employees can apply for other positions at the company. Six employees will continue to oversee security and environmental systems at Ashtabula.
"Coal has been – and continues to be – a significant part of Norfolk Southern's heritage of service and success," stated Mike Wheeler, Norfolk Southern Senior Vice President of Operations. "Our customers depend on us to provide a high-performing, 21st Century transportation option that is safe, efficient, and reliable. Norfolk Southern is adapting to evolving market conditions by realising efficiencies and optimising our infrastructure to support long-term growth.”
Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/handling/23122015/norfolk-southern-streamlining-to-position-railroads-for-long-term-success-3336/