The $9.5-million center expands the railroad’s locomotive repair capabilities in the Chicago region. The railroad previously moved locomotives requiring extensive maintenance to other shops in its system.
Norfolk Southern also operates a shop for minor locomotive repairs at its Calumet Yard intermodal facility near Chicago.
“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, in a statement (and pictured on the locomotive). “The investment is part of NS’s 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.”
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 traction motors; a mobile, 7.5–ton overhead gantry crane, and a 77-foot-long inspection pit. It can handle four locomotives indoors at once.
At full capacity, the shop will employ 25 craft workers around the clock, among the railroad’s 600 employees in the greater Chicago area.
Chicago hosts six Norfolk Southern rail yards moving more than 100 trains each day. In Illinois the carrier counts 1,450 employees operating 1,256 rail miles in its network.