NORFOLK, Va. — Earlier this month, Norfolk Southern’s Maintenance of Way and Structures Department completed $21 million in track, signal and bridge work in seven days on one if its primary coal lines in southwestern Pennsylvania.
The Mon Line extends approximately 85 miles from Pittsburgh to coal mines in Washington and Greene counties. In 2009, almost 42 million tons of coal was transported over this rail line. Approximately 20 trains daily use the Mon Line.
“Because the Mon Line is critical to Pennsylvania’s coal industry, every year in early July we undertake an intensive effort to maintain and improve the rail infrastructure to ensure that the mines continue to receive consistent and reliable service,” said Tim Drake, NS’ vice president engineering. “It is a testament to the commitment of our employees that they are able to work under extreme conditions, during one of the hottest weather periods in recent years, safely and productively.”
Scheduled to coincide with the coal miners’ annual summer break, between July 4 and July 10 nearly 600 NS engineering employees from across the railroad’s 22-state system installed more than 56,000 crossties, laid almost 19 miles of new rail, rehabilitated and repaved 23 public at-grade railroad crossings, resurfaced the entire line, replaced one bridge and performed substantial work on two other bridges.
Six work trains, along with more than 100 pieces of large machinery were utilized. Under normal curfew conditions it would take approximately three months to accomplish this work, with significant disruptions in service.