Roanoke’s rail shops sit dormant as Norfolk Southern has no concrete plans for the future

In early 2020, Norfolk Southern announced it was scaling the Roanoke operation back

No plans to sell Norfolk Southern property
No plans to sell Norfolk Southern property

ROANOKE, Va. – It’s been more than a year since Norfolk Southern announced it would be shuttering major operations in Roanoke and laying off workers.

They did just that a few months later and now much of the historic, highly visible railroad property sits idle.

The East End Shops in downtown Roanoke are where the railroad got its start back in the day, and where the daily whistles heard throughout the city sounded until the plant shut down.

Local leaders speculated the railroad may sell the property but Norfolk Southern CEO Jim Squires said there are no concrete plans.

“We’re continuing to look at how we might use some of that property, and we’ll keep our eyes and ears open on possibilities there, it would be wonderful if that property could contribute to Roanoke’s prosperity in the future as well that will be our goal,” Squires said.

Last year the company said about 650 employees remained in the Roanoke Valley.


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