Potential layoffs at Birmingham Southern Railway

Birmingham Southern Railway (BSR) which services US Steel in Fairfield has been sold.

Watco Transportation Services (WTS) out of Pittsburg, Kansas announced the move December 1st.

WTS specializes in short-line railroads and already operates three other lines in Alabama.

The move came as a surprise to 200 BSR employees who learned of the sale upon arriving at work Friday morning.

Several angry employees called CBS 42 after attending a mandatory meeting.

WTS held several meetings throughout the day to inform BSR employees that contracts would not be extended. Anyone wishing to continue to work would have to reapply and complete a physical.

Employees exiting the 4-o-clock meeting tell CBS 42 that only 88 positions will be filled leaving 112 people without work.

Robert Boyd has worked with BSR for the last seven years. He described the news as devastating.

"It hurts man. Because, I believed in the company and I was going to make a career. And so now I've got a lot of big decisions to face. I've already talked to my wife. It may be where we may have to move."

Representatives with Watco Transportation Services declined to comment to CBS 42 and asked reporters to leave the meeting room.

In a press release WTS announces that once the sale is complete BSR will be renamed Birmingham Terminal Railway. Rodney Gordon will serve as General Manager.

Source: CBS42