Lamberts Point team sets coal processing record

Earlier this year, crew members at our Lamberts Point Coal Terminal in Norfolk, Virginia rapidly came together to meet the needs of a key customer following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. In addition to assisting our customer at a critical moment, the team set a record for loading coal that helped to ensure Norfolk Southern could meet global energy demand.

CONSOL Energy needed a new way to export their product overseas after the closure of the Port of Baltimore. The company approached NS to find a temporary solution until the port reopened. Working together, NS and CONSOL made plans to divert coal through Lamberts Point.

“Our craft and non-craft colleagues at Lamberts Point demonstrated great flexibility to come together and successfully meet the service needs of one of our most important customers,” said John Orr, Chief Operating Officer. “The team’s efforts had an enormous impact on the world’s energy supply and demonstrated that NS can be counted on as a transportation partner of choice.”  

The plan required tight coordination with multiple teams throughout April and May to accommodate the diverted traffic without adversely affecting existing coal volumes. These efforts included:

  • Over 40 conductors and engineers from across NS were deployed to Norfolk to assist with the expanded production needs.
  • Every opportunity to load vessels was maximized.
  • Craft colleagues worked around the clock to arrive trains from CONSOL’s mines, cycle cars to the dumper for unloading, and switch empty cars into outbound trains. 
  • Our Mechanical team serviced and maintained machinery and locomotives.
  • Our Communications & Signals team maintained tracks and systems to support the overall flow of traffic.

By collectively pulling together, the team loaded over 3.8 million tons of coal over a two-month period, a record for the facility. This achievement included over 2 million tons in May, the first time this benchmark had been reached since April 2013. This also marked only the seventh time 2 million tons has been exceeded in a month since 2000.  

“Our teams rallied together to effectively handle our customer’s needs. What we were able to accomplish in such a short period of time was phenomenal,” said Tom Novitske, Terminal Superintendent.

Our success at Lamberts Point to meet global energy demands was made possible due to a Team of Teams approach. Transportation, Mechanical, Engineering, Communications and Signals, along with our Marketing, Network Operations Center, and Network Planning and Optimization teams each contributed to help us increase production.