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Norfolk Southern Opens New Maintenance Facility In Chicago, Illinois

02/14/2017
Norfolk Southern opened a new locomotive maintenance and repair facility in Chicago, Illinois. The facility will be used to enhance operational efficiency for trains moving through the nation's largest rail hub.

According to company officials, company's $9.5 million investment expands Norfolk Southern's locomotive repair capabilities in the Chicago region. Previously, locomotives needing more extensive maintenance were transported to other repair shops on the rail system.

The 16,300-square-foot shop, located at the railroad's 47th Street intermodal facility, is equipped with a 125-ton drop table to inspect, repair, or replace locomotive traction motors; a mobile, 7.5–ton overhead gantry crane to hoist heavy engine components; and a 77-foot-long inspection pit to make repairs to the underside of locomotives. Four locomotives can be worked on indoors at one time.

At full capacity, the shop will employ 25 craft workers around the clock. Across the greater Chicago area, NS employs about 600 people in all aspects of rail operations.

In addition to the new facility, NS in Chicago operates a locomotive shop for minor repairs at its Calumet Yard intermodal facility and mobile rapid-response crews inspect and service outbound locomotives.

"The new facility is strategically located on Norfolk Southern's primary rail line serving Chicago, and it will allow NS to rapidly make repairs to locomotives moving freight to our major terminals," said Don Graab, Norfolk Southern Vice President Mechanical. "The investment is part of NS' commitment to provide timely and reliable service and will enable us to move goods even more efficiently across the Chicago gateway and benefit intermodal customers shipping freight to East Coast markets."

As the nation's largest rail center, Chicago plays a vital role in Norfolk Southern's rail network. NS operates six rail yards in the city, moving more than 100 trains daily to connect Chicago and Illinois businesses to markets throughout the nation and world, company officials said. In Illinois, Norfolk Southern employs 1,450 people and operates a network of 1,256 rail miles.

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