NS Opens New Chicago Locomotive Facility

Norfolk Southern (NS) has opened a new 16,300-square-foot locomotive maintenance and repair facility in Chicago. The company invested $9.5 million in the facility, which expands NS' locomotive repair capabilities in the Chicago region.

The shop, located at the railroad’s 47th Street intermodal facility, is equipped with a 125-ton drop table to inspect, repair, or replace locomotive traction motors; a mobile, 7.5–ton overhead gantry crane to hoist heavy engine components; and a 77-foot-long inspection pit to make repairs to the underside of locomotives. Four locomotives can be worked on indoors at one time. At full capacity, the shop will employ 25 craft workers around the clock.

Don Graab, NS vice president mechanical, stated, “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. The investment is part of NS’ 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.”

Previously, locomotives needing more extensive maintenance were transported to other repair shops on the rail system. NS also operates a locomotive shop for minor repairs at its Calumet Yard intermodal facility in Chicago, where mobile rapid-response crews inspect and service outbound locomotives.