NS Acknowledges Closing Hump in Bellevue

Norfolk Southern acknowledged this week that it is ending hump operations in its Bellevue yard and will use the facility for flat switching.

The move comes as NS continues to see a slump in its carload traffic.

An NS spokesman told The Blade of Toledo that some workers would be furloughed but did not say how many.

“This alteration will allow for greater efficiencies and customer service that achieves the goals set forth in the company’s strategic plan,” said NS spokesman Jeff DeGraff.

DeGraff said those furloughed would be given the opportunity to apply for positions elsewhere at NS.

NS had told shippers recently that it was reviewing operations at yards throughout its system in part in response to lower traffic volume and in part as it moves to the precision scheduled railroading operating model.

Thus far in the second quarter of 2020 NS merchandise traffic volume is down 32 percent.

The carrier had earlier closed the hump at its Linwood yard in North Carolina.

The yard in Bellevue, which is named for retired NS CEO Charles “Wick” Moorman, was expanded in eight years ago during a $160 million project that added another hump and classification bowl.

Moorman was the head of NS when the yard was expanded.

The hump in Bellevue was built in 1966 by Norfolk & Western.

Although NS has declined to say how many workers in Bellevue will lose their jobs, a social-media post from a private Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen said it was 26 carmen.

Moorman Yard is the largest classification yard on the NS network and second largest classification yard in the United States behind Bailey Yard on Union Pacific in North Platte, Nebraska.

For now NS will continue to operate hump yards in Elkhart, Indiana, and at Conway Yard north of Pittsburgh.

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