CSX to close mechanical shops in Kentucky

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – CSX employees are enduring another round of layoffs, this time at the company's mechanical shops in Corbin, Kentucky.

CSX announced Tuesday that the shops will be closed, affecting about 180 active employees at the facilities. All affected employees at Corbin will receive at least 60 days of pay and benefits, CSX said in a news release.

Union employees also may have other benefits available in accordance with their labor agreements, CSX said. 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 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, CSX said. 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.

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.

"CSX remains committed to delivering strong service to customers in the region," the release said. "CSX 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."