Norfolk Southern to end Chattanooga hump yard operations

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Norfolk Southern will do away with its hump yard operations at its DeButts yard in Chattanooga, the Times Free Press reports. The decision to close down its hump yard operations will result cut about 74 of the 495 jobs assigned to the facility.

The job cuts affect 42 car repair employees, 23 conductors and engineers, and nine engineering track workers, NS spokesperson the newspaper reports, citing a Norfolk Southern representative.

The representative says that even though the hump is closing, operations at the yard will continue and that the decision to close down the hump yard is a reflection of NS’ strategic business plan that constantly evaluates system operations and rail traffic patterns.

This isn’t the first time the railroad has scaled back operations at its hump yards in Tennessee. In April 2016, NS announced it would cut back hump yard operations at its John Sevier Yard in Knoxville, Tenn. The business decision resulted in the loss of 135 jobs.

Closing down hump yards is no foreign concept to East Coast railroads in recent months. Since E. Hunter Harrison took the top spot at CSX Transportation in March, the Jacksonville, Fla.,-based railroad has closed five yard humps and converted the yards to flat switching operations.

NS’ DeButts yard is a former Southern Railway yard named after Southern Railway President Harry A. deButts.

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