Norfolk Southern Completes Infrastructure Improvements to Decatur Terminal

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Courtesy of Norfolk Southern

DECATUR, Ill.– Norfolk Southern has completed improvements to its Decatur Terminal in central Illinois.

Norfolk Southern has completed improvements to its Decatur Terminal in central Illinois, it announced in a news release. The terminal is “the largest flat yard in North America” at 3.6 miles long and serves “major agricultural customers such as Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and is key to the world’s food supply chain.” Over a period of 40 hours on August 23rd and 24th, the Class I paused traffic over a switching ladder in order to complete repairs. 90 Engineering craft employees and 16 supervisors completed the improvements to the Decatur Terminal.

Courtesy of Norfolk Southern

Crews worked on an 1,800 feet stretch of track that “showed signs of wear after years of heavy tonnage across it.” For the first six hours of work, MoW and Structures crews “surfaced the entire North Lead track, taking advantage of the down-time deeper in the yard.” During the outage, crews installed 12 panel turnouts and 800 track feet of panels. Additionally, they removed old track and excavated the ground below the ties to remove “all grain-spills from years of traffic out of the roadbed.” Then, a “geogrid fabric was placed at the sub-ballast layer and a ballast pad was installed and compacted on grade to support the track and switches.” Norfolk Southern estimates these turnouts to last more than 30 years.

Courtesy of Norfolk Southern

VP of Engineering, Ed Boyle, stated that Norfolk Southern is “making strategic investments throughout our railroad and the Decatur Terminal improvements are a significant part of this effort. . . We worked together for over a year as ONE TEAM to plan for this project. As a result, we minimized disruptions to our customers, and we will be able to grow with them over the long term.” 

As part of its five year improvement strategy to “modernize” the Decatur track infrastructure, “future work will also be bundled to minimize the frequency of service outages and will be performed primarily during the summer months when construction conditions are optimal.”

Courtesy of Norfolk Southern

“The Decatur Terminal improvements are part of Norfolk Southern’s $1 billion annual investment in infrastructure throughout our 22-state network. These strategic investments in our railroad ensure that we can continue to deliver safe, reliable, and resilient service to our customers.”

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