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CSX announced yesterday that it would lay off employees and trim costs in Russell, Ky., in response to declining coal volumes, a spokeswoman for the Class I said yesterday.CSX will lay off 101 union and management employees in the transportation and mechanical departments at the rail yard and mechanical car shop in Russell, Ky., CSX spokeswoman Melanie Cost said in an email. About 430 employees work in Russell.Some yard operations will continue in Russell. The locomotive shop and engineering employees are not affected by the decision to streamline operations there, Cost said."This decision was made only after a thorough review and careful consideration of all other possible options," she said.The Russell location primarily serves coal trains from the Central Appalachian coal fields. Low natural gas prices have significantly diminished CSX's coal movements from the region, which means traffic levels no longer support the same employment at the site.Union workers will be offered relocation opportunities and other benefits according to their bargaining agreements. Some furloughed union employees will be eligible for jobs in higher-demand areas on CSX's network, Cost said.Affected management employees will be offered relocation or severance.
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