The company, which is privately owned by Berkshire Hathaway, said the decision comes amid an overall volume loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the softening economy and declining energy sector activity in particular.
“Due to lower freight volumes and a significant reduction in locomotives and railcars required on our network, BNSF Railway has made the difficult decision to reduce 104 positions at our Topeka Locomotive Shop. The reduction in force will take effect on Nov. 6,” BNSF said.
The company continued, “We understand the significant impact this has on our employees, their families and the local community. We value our people and these decisions are not made lightly. We are working diligently to connect impacted employees with available resources and they will be offered the opportunity to apply for a transfer to open positions across our network.”
Earlier this year, BNSF reduced headcount at its Topeka facility by 36 employees.
According to data submitted to the Surface Transportation Board, employee headcount in mid-September totaled 36,932 people, down 12% from 42,030 people in September 2019.
Although BNSF is privately held, Berkshire Hathaway is expected to release its third-quarter financial results sometime in November. The results will likely include BNSF’s revenues.