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Norfolk Southern Lamberts Point Coal Terminal Sets Two-Month Volume Record



July 5, 2024 - Norfolk Southern’s Lamberts Point Coal Terminal in Norfolk, Va., set a two-month tonnage record after the collapse of the Key Bridge shut down an export facility at the Port of Baltimore.

NS diverted coal trains to Norfolk for CONSOL Energy, whose Baltimore terminal was blocked on March 26 after a container ship struck the Key Bridge and sent it plunging into the Patapsco River.

“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,” NS Chief Operating Officer John Orr said in a statement. “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.”


A ship takes on coal at Pier 6, the heart of Norfolk Southern’s Lamberts Point Coal Terminal in Norfolk, Va. NS

More than 40 engineers and conductors from across the NS system were deployed to Norfolk to help handle the shift of coal volume to Lamberts Point, including cycling cars through the Lamberts Point dumper for unloading and switching the empty cars into outbound trains.

Lamberts Point handled 3.8 million tons of coal in April and May — a new two-month record. The terminal handled 2 million tons in May, the first time the monthly volume mark had been reached since April 2013.

“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,” Terminal Superintendent Tom Novitske said in a statement.

The Lamberts Point terminal is the Northern Hemisphere’s largest for loading coal. Baltimore, the No. 2 coal port on the East Coast, handles coal mined primarily in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

CONSOL’s Pennsylvania Mining Complex, in the southwest corner of the state, includes three mines, a preparation plant, and train loadout. The mines produce both thermal coal used in electricity generation and metallurgical coal used in steelmaking.

The coal mining company was able to resume shipments through Baltimore on May 21.