NS to close former Conrail coal pier in Ohio

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ASHTABULA, Ohio – Norfolk Southern will consolidate operations of its coal docks located on Lake Erie in Northern Ohio. The railroad plans to idle its Ashtabula Coal Pier, east of Cleveland, and shift operations to its Sandusky Dock, located between Cleveland and Toledo. 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,” says David Lawson, NS vice president for coal marketing.

The consolidation will help NS achieve efficiencies by reducing capital investment requirements and employee headcount, the company says. A total of 21 positions will be affected as part of the transition. Earlier this month 13 employees at Ashtabula were furloughed due to coal market conditions. Six employees will continue to oversee security and environmental systems at Ashtabula.

Norfolk Southern has owned and operated the former Conrail Ashtabula coal pier since 1999. The facility primarily serves the thermal coal market, transloading coal from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to Canada and U.S. destinations by ship.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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