"Times are hard and change is coming no matter what we do, but what we can do is be good to those around us. Our neighbors need good neighbors more than ever..."

Those were well written words by our friends at KXGN Radio & TV in Glendive, Montana as they shared the news that BNSF Railway would be shutting down a major facility in Eastern Montana.

KXGN obtained a copy of a letter from a BNSF Railway vice president announcing the changes:

In an official letter sent by Gary Grissum VP of Mechanical of the BNSF Railway Company to effected employees the reason for closure was outlined. In the letter Gary indicated the closure was due to the current business environment with the decline in crude oil shipments and to the structural decline in coal demand. Along with the Glendive Diesel shop several locations across the BNSF system including locations in Kansas, Minot, and Mandan among others have been affected.

 

Click here for KXGN's full report.

Maia LaSalle is the Director of Public Affairs for BNSF Railway in Montana. She tells me that 85 jobs will be impacted by the closure. The shop at Glendive will on July 7th of this year. She also shared this press release from BNSF:

BNSF Railway has made the decision to close the maintenance facility in Glendive, Montana in response to our customers’ changing business conditions and projected lower demand for rail cars to ship commodities.

Similar to the size of our train, yard and engine workforce, our mechanical teams must match the demand for traffic moved by our railroad. With volumes lower than anticipated due to several factors, including changes in the coal and energy sector, the number of rail cars and locomotives moving on our network and thus repairs needed, have decreased.

We understand the significant impact this has on our employees and the communities of Glendive. We are working diligently to connect them with available resources, while also offering the option to potentially transfer to a number of open positions at other locations in our network.

Employees accepting a job in other locations will receive a relocation package to assist with the move. Some impacted employees can exercise their seniority for these jobs as part of their collective bargaining agreements.