Union Pacific has closed its Neff Yard in Historic Northeast Kansas City and transferred operations to Kansas City, Kansas, resulting 200 layoffs.
As one of the city’s largest rail yards, it was transferred to the 18th Street and Armourdale yards.
The decision is part of the Unified Plan 2020 that was announced last year. The plan implements Precision Scheduled Railroading principles that aims to help Union Pacific achieve its 60 percent operating ratio goal by 2020.
Raquel Espinoza, senior director of communications for Union Pacific, said the company is working to align their workforce in other departments to support current operating needs.
When asked what this means for the Kansas City community, Espinoza responded with a statement that Union Pacific recently released regarding the closing of the rail yard:
“Union Pacific continues streamlining operations as part of our Unified Plan 2020 operating plan. Switching operations at Neff Yard in Kansas City, Missouri, are being transferred to our 18th Street and Armourdale yards in Kansas City, Kansas.
Union Pacific will continue delivering rail cars to customers near Neff Yard. While we will reduce our workforce in this area, certain employees will have an opportunity to work at the new yards, or potentially transfer to different areas. These changes will improve operating efficiencies, helping us provide customers with safe and reliable rail service.”
The Unified Plan 2020 includes shifting the focus of operations from moving trains to moving cars, minimizing car dwell, car classification events and locomotive power requirements, utilizing general-purpose trains by blending existing train services, and balancing train movements to improve the utilization of crews and rail assets.
Prior to the layoffs, Union Pacific employed over 3,400 employees in Kansas and Missouri.