IRONDALE, Ala. – Norfolk Southern’s Norris Yard in Alabama receives a 24 hour renovation that includes a new speed controller and scale.
In a news release from Norfolk Southern, the Class 1 announced the success of its Norris Yard enhancement project. In June, over 24 hours, it worked to complete two enhancements to infrastructure regarding the “yard’s primary speed controller and scale” as both “had reached the end of their useful life requiring replacement.” With these enhancements, both the speed controller and scale are expected to last several decades.
In preparation for these enhancements, Norfolk Southern had to divert inbound traffic for the 24 hours. Then, over 200 employees worked with cranes, excavators, trucks, material handling trucks, and bulldozers to first install the new speed controller. In helping control the railcars’ speed as “they descend into the hump yard”, the new speed controller also prevents the equipment and customer freight from becoming damaged. Four cranes removed and replaced the existing controller, and over the span of 18 hours, the “ground leading from the speed controller was excavated and backfilled with fresh asphalt and ballast.”
The second enhancement was the scale bridge that was seventy years old. Norfolk Southern replaced it in three sections, and “the new USDA certified scale weighs within 0.2% accuracy and helps ensure customer’s goods are measured correctly.” Additionally, employees worked to replace the track that leads up “to the hump with a 425-foot track panel, as well as track switches, while elevating the hump’s grade.” Three turnouts were also replaced between the north end and the hump.
Vice President of Engineering, Ed Boyle, commended the engineer department’s efforts and its success as “ONE TEAM and that was fully demonstrated by our Line Maintenance, Program Maintenance, Bridges and Structures, Design and Construction, Maintenance Equipment and Engineering Planning and Technology groups planning, preparing, and executing this critical outage to meet our in-service commitment. We also utilized the Team of Teams approach by bringing Engineering, Communications and Signals, Transportation, the NOC, NPO, and other groups together to complete this project in a very tight timeline. . . We had multiple contingency plans so that nothing was left to chance and maximized our planned outage. This project proved once again that we can overcome every challenge by working as ONE TEAM.”