Posts Tagged ‘NS Bellevue Yard’

NS to Close Enola Hump

September 24, 2020

Norfolk Southern will end hump operations on Sept. 25 at Enola Yard near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The carrier said Enola will change to flat switching. A railroad spokesman said some jobs will be curtailed by the change, but no jobs will be lost in the diesel shop.

The closing of the Enola hump is the fifth hump that NS has closed this year. Earlier it shut down the hump in Bellevue, which is NS’s largest railroad classification yard in the East.

NS also shut down hump operations in Allentown, Pennsylvania; Sheffield, Alabama; and Linwood, North Carolina.

The NS spokesman sought to frame closing the Enola hump as a service improvement, saying it would reduced the amount of time that rail cars wait to be processed.

Shuttering humps has been a part of NS adopting the precision scheduled railroading operating model in which use of hump yards is de-emphasized in favor of pre-blocking more traffic at point of origin and engaging in block swapping en route.

NS to Change Operations at Moorman Yard

June 5, 2020

NS trains classify cars at the hump in Bellevue in August 2015.

Norfolk Southern is planning to change operations later this month at Moorman Yard in Bellevue but has yet to say what those changes will entail.

The changes are part of a larger review the railroad is undertaking of yard operations throughout its system Chief Marketing Officer Alan Shaw said in a letter to shippers.

The letter indicated that NS has completed its review of Moorman Yard, which is the largest classification yard in the East and second largest in the country behind Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard in North Platte, Nebraska.

NS may idle hump operations in Bellevue and convert it to flat switching.

Since 2008, NS has closed five humps including two in the past year as part of its transformation to the precision scheduled railroading operating model.

Closed were humps in Sheffield, Alabama, and Allentown, Pennsylvania. More recently, NS changed operations at Linwood Yard in North Carolina by taking the hump out of service and furloughing 85 workers.

NS Chief Financial Officer Mark George said during an investor conference last month that those moves would save $10 million to $15 million annually.

Aside from the move to PSR, NS is also being motivated by falling carload traffic, which has declined 33 percent to date in the second quarter.

In his message to shippers, Shaw said there will be service modifications later this month pertaining to Bellevue and that shippers would be notified of those changes.

“We are reaching out to affected customers directly over the next two weeks to discuss the planned changes,” Shaw wrote.

“We are especially mindful of first- and last-mile changes, and we plan on working closely with you as we implement these steps.”

Bellevue was a major terminal for the former Nickel Plate Road and its successor, Norfolk & Western, built a larger classification yard there in 1967.

NS expanded the yard in 2014 to add a second hump and classification bowl that doubled the yard’s maximum classification capacity to 3,600 cars a day.

Earlier this year NS Chief Operating Officer Mike Wheeler said NS was looking at its yard and terminal network with an eye toward determining what it can live without.

He did not officer specifics as to which terminals and yards must be closed or trimmed in size.

Although NS has suffered the largest decline in carload traffic among Class 1 railroads, its management has said that was because it is more closely tied to industrial sectors that have been hard hit by the economic downturn, including the auto industry and steel mills.

Shaw noted in his letter that NS was conducting a review of its network before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

“The current economic disruption is a challenge for all of us, but we are using this time to find additional ways to streamline our operations,” Shaw said.

He said NS is seeking to make its network more efficient while “providing a platform for growth.”

This includes routing shipments more directly to their destinations with fewer handlings and classifications along the way.

Look What I Found in Bellevue

March 22, 2016

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On Sunday I drove out to Bellevue to catch the Rio Grande tunnel motor pair. While driving by the Norfolk Southern yard on Ohio Route 4, I spotted a strange sight.

I turned around to park and got these photos of NS 8509 a GE C40-8.5 just out of the rebuild program. It and several sisters are testing in road service, most without a full paint job.

Unlike the SD60e program, which has been fairly successful, this rebuild program is not going so well. The other day 8505 was leading a train and failed on the road.

Currently, just the engines that have been finished will remain in use but further rebuilds have been canceled.

Article and Photograph by Todd Dillon

Bellevue Yard to be Named in Honor of Moorman

June 8, 2015

Bellevue Yard is being named after Norfolk Southern’s recently-retired CEO Charles W. “Wick” Moorman.

Moorman retired June 1 after a 45-year career and assumed the position of executive chairman of the NS board of directors.

Wick

Charles W. “Wick” Moorman

After the completion of an expansion earlier this year, Bellevue Yard became the largest classification yard in the NS system.

NS President and CEO Jim Squires said that Moorman is being honored “for his leadership in support of freight railroads and their investors, customers, and employees. Wick’s incredible talent has been to bring the entire Thoroughbred team forward in the same direction—always forward, always with enthusiasm and the right intent, always with the sense that we can do great things. Shareholders, employees, business partners—all are better for it. This is timely and well-deserved recognition for a railroader who thinks big, who thinks long-term, and who does the right things in the right ways.”

Moorman began his career in 1970 with the Southern Railway as a co-op student.

He began as a track worker and worked his way up to various senior-level management positions before being appointed chairman, president and CEO in 2006.

The $160 million improvement of Bellevue yard doubles the size of the facility that was built in 1966 by the Norfolk & Western. Previously Bellevue had hosted a smaller yard and shop facilities for the Nickel Plate Road.

Bellevue is one of 11 primary classification yards at NS. Five NS routes converge on Bellevue and the yard handles about 3,200 carloads daily.

Between 100 to 110 trains a day pass through Belleveue with 20 to 30 trains originating there.

Most of the trains carry automobiles and parts, agricultural products and consumer products.

NS Cites Progress in Latest Service Update

November 19, 2014

If you’re looking for something to do after stuffing yourself during Thanksgiving Day dinner and are tired of watching football, consider going trackside along a Norfolk Southern line.

NS said this week that it plans to operate through the Thanksgiving holiday in order to keep traffic moving.

The revelation was contained in the railroad’s monthly service update for customers that said it has made good progress in hiring conductors and bringing additional locomotives into service.

The report said that more than 90 percent of the scheduled maintenance of way work has been completed on its Northern Region.

NS said that it has recently made the following improvements:

• Increased the number of active train and engine employees by approximately 400 over the past two months of 2014, with most of them concentrated in the Northern Region between Chicago and New Jersey.

• NS expects to increase the number of active train and engine employees by 700 to 800 in 2015, with an emphasis on adding as many employees as possible in the first half of the year.

• Will place the remaining 50 of the 75 new locomotives planned for purchase this year into service by the end of December.

• Will have taken delivery of 40 used locomotives by the end of 2014, with an additional 60 used locomotives scheduled to arrive in early 2015.

• The new classification yard in Bellevue will be phased in starting in December with full operations underway in the first quarter of 2015. The expanded yard will provide additional capacity for the Northern Region and improve the fluidity of its network by reducing car handling, car miles and transit times.

• NS will complete this month the rehabilitation of several yard tracks at Conway yard near Pittsburgh, which will provide additional staging capacity across the Northern Region.

• Rerouting some loaded and empty trains via alternative gateways to better manage interchange in Chicago, particularly during the winter months.

NS to Webcast Cleveland Investor Conference

September 23, 2014

Norfolk Southern has announced plans to conduct a webcast of today’s conference for investors and financial analysts that is being held in Cleveland. The conference will feature a train ride on the NS executive train from Cleveland to Bellevue and return.

While in Bellevue, attendees will view the expansion work being conducted of the Bellevue classification yard. The train is expected to depart Rockport Yard at 11:30 a.m.

Conference events in Cleveland will be presented between 7:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. The Bellevue event will be webcast between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The webcast can be heard by calling 877-869-3847.  Webcast and presentation materials will be posted on the company’s website at www.nscorp.com under the Investors section.

An audio replay will be available for 60 days by calling 877-660-6853 and using the access number 13591242.

The replay will be archived on the NS website and available for download to a portable audio player or computer as an MP3 (or podcast) file. Both the archived replay and the MP3 file will be located under the Investors section of the website.

Sanders Article on Bellevue Published in Trains

February 7, 2014

An article written by Akron Railroad Club President Craig Sanders about the expansion of the Norfolk Southern classification yard in Bellevue appears in the March 2014 issue of Trains magazine.

Trains magThe article appears on Pages 38-45 and includes eight photographs that Sanders made in Bellevue, including images made inside the yard, and from Ranger and the hump towers.

Also included in the package are two sidebar articles. One is about the Mad River & NKP railroad museum in Bellevue. The other sidebar is about how to railfan in the city of 8,200 in north central Ohio.

Norfolk Southern began a $160 million expansion of the Bellevue terminal more than a year ago. The project involves building 38 new classification tracks and making other improvements that will make Bellevue the largest of NS’s 12 classification yards.

Currently, Elkhart, Ind., is the largest NS hump classification yard with 72 tracks. When the expansion project is completed, Bellevue will have 80 classification tracks.

Bellevue will be the only NS classification yard capable of humping two trains simultaneously.

The project is expected to be completed in early 2015. The article explains what prompted the expansion and the role that Bellevue plays in NS’s Northern Region.

In part, the expansion was made possible by the foresight of Norfolk & Western planners when they built the current Bellevue classification yard after merging with the Nickel Plate Road in 1964. N&W allocated space to expand the Bellevue yard, but that expansion did not occur until now.

Sanders gathered information for the article by interviewing key NS executives and visiting the yard in early August 2013 to meet with railroad officials and to tour the yard and construction site.

NS to Expand Bellevue Yard

April 17, 2012

A Norfolk Southern train rounds the curve on the approach to Bellevue Yard on Oct. 30, 2011. The train is on the Toledo District and will soon enter the Center Street interlocking. (Photograph by Craig Sanders)

Norfolk Southern announced recently that it will launch a $160 million project to expand its Bellevue yard, a project that will double its capacity.

“Bellevue is already an important terminal for the classification and movement of freight, and this investment will expand and modernize Bellevue, contributing to the fluid movement of long-distance freight across our rail system,” said Mark Manion, Norfolk Southern’s chief operating officer in a news release issued by the company. “This project will help us improve asset utilization and efficiency, enhance customer service, strengthen our entire 22-state system, and further confirm Ohio’s importance to freight rail transportation.”

NS expects to add about 275 new railroad jobs to the 700 positions currently based in Bellevue. NS employs about 3,600 people across Ohio and plans to hire another 60 in the state by the end of 2012 to address attrition and shipper needs.

Other key elements of the project include:

§ 38 new tracks, bringing the total number of classification tracks to 80.

§ 38.5 miles of new rail, which will allow NS to increase the number of cars classified from about 1,800 to as many as 3,600 a day.

§ 145 miles of underground cable for communication and signal systems.

§ 140 new automated switches to direct train traffic to the proper tracks.

§ 11 upgraded control points, signals that will make train access to the Bellevue facility more efficient.

Bellevue is one of 12 NS classification facilities. When completed in 2015, Bellevue will be the largest classification yard on the NS system.

The Norfolk & Western opened Bellevue Yard in 1966. However, for many years Bellevue was a key terminal for the Nickel Plate Road.

Today, 100 to 110 trains pass through Bellevue daily, while 20 to 30 trains originate in the area and a like number terminate there. The trains carry vehicles, vehicle parts, agricultural products, and consumer products.