CSX announced Monday the closure of its Huntington Division administrative offices.
Delegate Matthew Rohrbach, R-Cabell, said the closure serves is a devastating blow to the community and 17th District he serves.
“Huntington was the railroad,” Rohrbach said. “But you don’t have to be railroader to know the problem is what has happened to coal.”
The company said those responsibilities are being reassigned to the Atlanta, Baltimore, Florence, Great Lakes and Louisville Divisions.
According to a news release, the closure impacts 121 management and union employees.
Rohrbach said Huntington officials and representatives worked with CSX to change its mind, but the reality of the closure is the downturn in the coal industry.
“We better do something quick because our state is rapidly getting away from us,” he said. “We just don’t have the young people for a workforce to try to recruit businesses.”
Rohrbach said the state is faced with a problem of epic proportions. Employees affected by the closure include yardmasters, train dispatchers, signal workers and clerks.
One of the state’s longest established businesses, CSX has been around Huntington since the late 1800s. Led by Collis P. Huntington, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway reached from Richmond to Huntington, also where the Ohio River town gets its namesake.