CSX responds to coal traffic downturn with cutbacks at shops in Corbin, Ky.

As CSX Transportation continues to evaluate network resources and match them to demand in a changing business environment, parent CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX) on Oct. 20 announced the closure of the mechanical shops in Corbin, Kentucky. 

The shops at Corbin were primarily used to maintain, inspect and service locomotives and rail cars for coal trains moving from Central Appalachia to the Eastern consumption regions. The decision to close the locomotive and car shops and a locomotive service center is the result of reduced need for locomotive and car maintenance there because of the significant decline of the region’s coal traffic, CSX noted.

Approximately 180 active CSX employees who work at the facilities and in support roles will be affected. All affected employees at Corbin will receive at least 60 days of pay and benefits. Many furloughed employees will be eligible for jobs in higher-demand areas on CSX’s network.

Mechanical management employees at Corbin will be offered relocation opportunities as they are available, or will be eligible for severance benefits.

The Corbin rail yard will remain open and train operations will continue. Approximately 100 engineering and transportation employees will remain at Corbin to support and manage the yard traffic. A small number of mechanical employees will also remain to support train operations. Corbin continues to be an important part of the CSX network for the movement of automobiles, consumer products and other freight.

The combination of low natural gas prices and regulatory action has significantly decreased CSX’s coal movements over the past four years, with more than $1 billion in coal revenue declines during that time, the railroad noted. It and Norfolk Southern are the primary railroads serving the eastern U.S.

CSX remains committed to delivering strong service to customers in the region. CSX said it also remains committed to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, with more than 2,900 miles of track in the state, an automotive distribution center in Louisville and the new Casky rail yard in Hopkinsville.

CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, through its subsidiaries, provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation’s population resides. It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and farming towns alike.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.