Skip to main content

Pulling Together: Voices at NS

June 2020

R-3 gang: dual-rail, one mission – to keep the trains rolling

With more than 80 craft workers, the R-3 dual-rail gang is one of Norfolk Southern’s largest program maintenance gangs, and the only one in the industry with the ability to remove and replace both rails simultaneously. To ensure safe and efficient train operations, members travel the network year-round performing scheduled rail replacement projects. That’s a responsibility 21-year NS veteran Kyle Morgan takes very seriously, especially during the difficulty of a global pandemic.

“It is more important now,” said Morgan, a gauger spiker operator on the gang. “We are a part of what gets the economy rolling.”

In the latest Pulling Together: Voices at NS video, Morgan and two co-workers talk about the vital role Norfolk Southern plays in moving goods across the country.

To keep the shelves stocked in our communities, our trains have to run safely and efficiently across the entire network, and the R-3 gang is at the heart of that mission. That’s a point of pride shared by a very close-knit team.

“Being on R-3 is like family. There’s no other words,” said Billy Hurley, a spike puller operator. “I think with knowing that we are the lifeline to getting goods and services out to our customers all over the country, that we all have more sense of pride in our jobs.”

Working as a laborer on the gang, Tyson Burrell expressed admiration for his colleagues, as well as pride in the work they do each day.

“Nothing compares to the work that these men do on a day-to-day basis,” said Burrell. “It’s something to see.”

It really is something to see, and in the video, you can catch a glimpse of the team replacing rail on NS’ Detroit Line between Toledo and Detroit. The R-3 gang never lingers, though. They’re always on the move – and thanks to their great work, so is America’s freight.