BNSF trims management, realigns operations
BNSF Railway Co. eliminated 62 management jobs last week and realigned its operations organization from three regions to two as of June 1. Two major factors drove the changes: a reduction in coal traffic as well as "significant capital investments" made to increase efficiency and safety, according to a company statement. The management positions were eliminated across the transportation, engineering and mechanical departments. Employees affected by the changes were offered severance packages. As a result of the capital investments, BNSF's rail network "is now in the best shape it has ever been, generating consistently strong service levels," according to the statement issued by BNSF spokesman Michael Trevino. "These service improvements, along with productivity measures, mean the company is operating safer, more efficiently and better, utilizing its equipment and resources," Trevino said. "At the same time, we are seeing a fundamental, structural shift in the coal industry, with double-digit volume declines in the first quarter of 2016 alone and no expectation for a return to previous levels," he said. Realigning operations in response to the changing business environment will help the railroad better align resources with customer demand for freight service, as well as position the company for growth and new business opportunities, Trevino added. BNSF has been cutting back due to lower traffic volumes in coal and oil. Earlier this year, BNSF Executive Chairman Matt Rose said the Class I furloughed about 4,600 employees, or about 10 percent of its workforce, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.