Norfolk Southern to eliminate 140 jobs in Roanoke

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Norfolk Southern Corp. will eliminate 140 jobs at its Roanoke beginning today.

The Norfolk-based transportation company said it is discontinuing regional railcar classification operations at its Roanoke Terminal hump yard, a railroad yard used to separate cars to one of several tracks.
The terminal will continue to provide service to local customers and to be a hub for through-train operations.

Since 2006, hump operation has seen a steady decline in the volume of general merchandise cars it handles. At the same time, system-wide improvements in the railroad’s operations have freed up network capacity so that classification operations now performed at Roanoke are no longer necessary. 

Most of the affected employees are carmen, who inspect and repair railcars, and train crews, who conduct switching operations in the yard. Some track maintenance positions also are affected.
Systemwide, Norfolk Southern expects to hire 850 to 1,150 employees in 2013 to keep up with attrition. These positions will first be offered to employees affected by the Roanoke change and employees furloughed at other locations.

Norfolk Southern, which currently employs about 1,870 in Roanoke, said it will continue its presence in the area.

In addition to the remaining terminal operations, Norfolk Southern employs workers at its Shaffers Crossing locomotive and car shops, its East End Locomotive Shops, the Roanoke Material Yard, its Virginia Division headquarters and its office building on Franklin Road.

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