As part of ongoing efforts to enhance customer service and improve operating efficiencies, Norfolk Southern (NS), Norfolk, Va., announced plans to consolidate its Central division headquarters operations in Knoxville, Tenn., into three surrounding divisions.

The consolidation, effective on or about Nov. 1, will reduce the number of operating divisions on NS’ system to nine from 10. Dispatching responsibilities now handled from the Central division, which includes track primarily in Tennessee and Kentucky, will be divided among operating divisions headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., Decatur, Ill., and Fort Wayne, Ind.

The move will affect a total of about 50 employees who work at the Central division headquarters in management, dispatching and clerical positions.

Current yard and field operations on the Central division will not be affected by the headquarters closure, but will be reassigned among the other three divisions. More than 250 employees will remain in Knoxville to support the yard’s role as a hub for through-train operations.