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NS donates Southern Railway archives to Atlanta museum

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 10/26/2021 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Norfolk Southern Corp. has donated the full Southern Railway company archives, as well as $500,000, to the Atlanta History Center. The archives, which include hundreds of thousands of pages of documents — from photos to construction plans and reports — show the history of Atlanta’s transit growth from the 1840s to today. The $500,000 will help the museum digitize and preserve the collection. Southern Railway merged with Norfolk & Western in 1982 to create the present-day Norfolk Southern Railway. NS Chairman, President and CEO James Squires said the archives belong to Atlanta because of the history they represent. "The history of Southern Railway is inseparable from the history of this region," Squires said in a press release. Decades of rail history is ultimately the reason Atlanta has grown into the city it is today, said Sheffield Hale, president and CEO of the Atlanta History Center. "This collection is crucial to uncovering the many stories behind the city's transformation," Hale said. "We're excited to have the opportunity to preserve this history and make it publicly available for students and teachers, researchers, and those who are simply interested in Atlanta."

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Norfolk Southern donates funds to food banks

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 9/10/2021 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Norfolk Southern Railway yesterday announced $400,000 in grants awarded to 31 food banks located across the states it serves. The funds will support local efforts to combat food insecurity, as well as other assistance initiatives supporting children, families and senior citizens. This latest set of grants builds on NS’s longstanding commitment of giving to these critical community organizations, NS officials said in a press release. "Food insecurity impacts every community in our country and disproportionately children and senior citizens. Our role as a company is to move the goods that power the economy, and while a recovery is underway, many are still feeling the economic impact of the pandemic. Norfolk Southern is proud to partner with these food banks as a way to help make a difference by feeding and assisting those in need," said LaSandra Boykin, NS director of corporate giving. The complete list of food banks that received grants can be found on the donations can be found on the NS website.

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NS to reopen Pennsylvania intermodal facility

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 8/16/2021 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Norfolk Southern Railway late last week announced plans to reopen its intermodal facility in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, to create capacity to support economic growth and help ease supply-chain congestion that has slowed the flow of commerce across all modes of the U.S. transportation sector. Effective Sept. 10, the railroad plans a gradual phase-in of business at the Franklin County Regional Intermodal Facility, starting with domestic intermodal traffic that currently moves between NS intermodal facilities in Memphis, Tennessee, and Rutherford in south-central Pennsylvania. Greencastle will provide additional terminal capacity and help to improve service as demand continues to grow, NS officials said in a press release. "With strong growth in volume driven by e-commerce and a recovering economy, we believe the timing is right to bring our Greencastle facility back online," said Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Alan Shaw. NS opened the Greencastle facility in January 2013 as part of its Crescent Corridor initiative, a public-private partnership designed to convert freight from highway to rail to ease congested roadways and reduce carbon emissions while creating opportunities for jobs and economic development. Under the initiative, the railroad also constructed intermodal terminals in Birmingham, Alabama; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Memphis. The railroad idled the Greencastle terminal in 2019 for business reasons, while leaving open the possibility of resuming operations if market conditions changed, NS officials said.

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NS issues newly renamed corporate responsibility report

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 8/10/2021 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Norfolk Southern Corp. yesterday released its 14th annual corporate responsibility report, which now is named the environmental, social and governance (ESG) report to better reflect the company’s holistic commitment to sustainability. The Class I ramped up its sustainability efforts in 2020, in part by becoming the first major North American railroad to issue green bonds — which totaled $500 million — and establishing a science-based target for a 42% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions intensity that’s consistent with the Paris Agreement on climate change, NS officials said in a press release. “At Norfolk Southern, sustainability is in our DNA — a part of everything we do as a company. From environmental stewardship to the safety and development of our entire team, we are in the business of a better planet, committed to bold leadership and deliberate action,” said NS Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer James Squires. Some of the the milestones listed in the ESG report include: • spending $166 million with diverse suppliers; • making $13.1 million in total corporate contributions across the company’s 22 state footprint; • nearly doubling renewable energy usage to 18% in deregulated markets as of May 1, 2021, and establishing a new goal of using 30% clean energy by 2030; • diverting 81% of waste from landfills; • recycling 100% of old wood ties and more than 90% of steel ties; • recycling all 400 miles of rail replaced each year; and • reclaiming more than 6,200 tons of used oil. For more information about NS’ sustainability efforts, read this cover story in Progressive Railroading’s August issue.

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NS unveils science-based target to reduce GHG intensity

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 7/27/2021 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Norfolk Southern Corp. yesterday announced its science-based target to achieve a 42% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) intensity by 2034 from a 2019 base year. The commitment is another step in the company’s ongoing journey to build a more sustainable future, NS officials said in a press release. The Class I’s emissions reduction target has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and aligns with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Validation from the SBTi confirms that the company’s target is consistent with reductions required to keep warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, NS officials said. "Achieving our target will require continued investments in our locomotive fleet along with supplier engagement," said Josh Raglin, chief sustainability officer. "Our implementation of innovative technologies, sustainable operating practices and locomotive modernizations are part of our efforts to build a more sustainable transportation network." Locomotive fuel accounts for more than 90% of the railroad’s carbon emissions. NS set a fuel-efficiency goal as part of its 2015 strategic plan, targeting an 8.6% improvement by 2020. The company exceeded that goal with a 9.4% improvement, which resulted in savings of more than 130 million gallons of diesel and avoidance of about 1.3 million metric tons of emissions. NS' efforts to lower GHG emissions across the company include:
• $500 million of green bonds that recently were issued by the company to fund eligible green projects
• more than 700 locomotives that were retired in 2020, targeting older, less fuel-efficient models 
 
• a locomotive modernization program that involves converting older DC traction models to more reliable and efficient AC units, providing more pulling power with fewer locomotives

 • a program to equip locomotives with smart energy management technology that automatically matches horsepower to trailing tonnage and track terrain, maximizing fuel efficiency while using minimum horsepower 

 • a public-private partnership program to recycle older locomotives into low-emission “Eco” models to reduce emissions in urban communities on NS' network and enabling them to meet their Clean Air Act obligations 

• an initiative to replace diesel-powered overhead cranes with hybrid and fully electric cranes at intermodal facilities that's projected to reduce emissions at those terminals by approximately 75%.

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NS adjusts Chicago intermodal site to accommodate record demand

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 7/22/2021 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image NS has reconfigured its Landers footprint to increase stacked container capacity by 60%. Photo – nscorp.com

In the wake of recent record demand, Norfolk Southern Railway is making several changes and upgrades at its Landers intermodal terminal in Chicago, the Class I announced in a customer advisory.

To increase capacity, NS has reconfigured its footprint to boost stacked container capacity by 60%. Reach-stackers — with three in service and three more coming — are being added to increase lift capacity by 40% an hour and reduce driver dwell for pickups, the NS advisory stated.

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NS honors chemical shippers for safe hazmat practices

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 6/22/2021 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Norfolk Southern Railway has recognized 43 chemical customers who earned the Class I's 2020 Thoroughbred Chemical Safety Award for safely handling products regulated as hazardous materials. The companies are being honored for safely shipping or originating at least 1,000 carloads — a combined total of more than 156,000 carloads — over NS’s network without a single incident in 2020. As common carriers, NS and other U.S. railroads have obligations to provide transportation for companies that manufacture or use hazardous materials in their businesses, according to a new release. Typically, these products move in tank cars owned or leased by customers, who are responsible for maintaining the cars and ensuring they are properly secured for transit. "Against the many challenges posed by a global pandemic in 2020, their safety achievement is even more commendable," said NS Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer James Squires in the release. "It is a testament to their ongoing commitment to ensure the safety of employees, the communities we serve, and the environment." For more than 25 years, NS has recognized chemical manufacturers and plants who safely handle products that are vital to U.S. consumers and businesses, but also are regulated as hazardous materials. The Chemical Safety Award aims to promote safe rail-shipping practices. A list of this year’s winners is available here.

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Norfolk Southern elects board directors

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 5/14/2021 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image NS Chairman, President and CEO James Squires Photo – nscorp.com

Norfolk Southern Corp. shareholders yesterday elected 13 directors for one-year terms expiring in 2022.

The following individuals were elected to the board, according to preliminary results: Thomas Bell Jr., Mitchell Daniels Jr., Marcela Donadio, John Huffard Jr., Christopher Jones, Thomas Kelleher, Steven Leer, Michael Lockhart, Amy Miles, Claude Mongeau, Jennifer Scanlon, James Squires and John Thompson.

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NS issues green bonds to fund sustainable business initiatives

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 5/13/2021 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Last month, NS committed to establish a science-based target to lower its carbon emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement on climate change. Photo – nscorp.com

Norfolk Southern Corp. yesterday closed a $500 million green-bond offering to fund investments to reduce the company’s carbon emissions and help customers reduce their supply-chain emissions.

NS is the first Class I in North America to issue green bonds, according to the railroad.

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NS posts higher Q1 profit, names Voyack VP of government relations

Norfolk Southern Corp. today reported first-quarter 2021 net income rose to $673 million, or $2.66 earnings per diluted share, compared with $381 million, or $1.47 per diluted share, for the year-earlier period.

Railway operating revenue of $2.6 billion increased 1%, or $14 million, compared with Q1 2020, driven primarily by a 3% increase in volume, NS officials said in a press release.

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NS: Impairment charge to help lower Q3 operating expenses, ratio

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 10/9/2020 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Norfolk Southern Corp. expects to have an approximately $99 million impairment charge in the third quarter, which is expected to lower operating expenses, according to an Oct. 7 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In the filing, NS said it expects to report Q3 operating revenue of $2.5 billion, operating expenses of $1.666 billion and an unadjusted operating ratio of 66.5%. Excluding the non-cash impairment charge, for the third quarter, NS' adjusted railway operating expenses are expected to be about $1.567 billion and its adjusted operating ratio is expected to be 62.5%, the filing states. NS will provide full third-quarter financial results on Oct. 28.

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NS unveils 2020 sustainability report

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 9/25/2020 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Norfolk Southern Railway outlined its 2019 efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and take other sustainability measures in its 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report, released yesterday. Among initiatives detailed in the report, the Class I noted that customers who ship with NS helped avoid almost 15 million metric tons of carbon emissions last year by choosing rail for their transportation needs instead of highway shipping. That equates to saving about 1.5 billion gallons of diesel fuel, NS officials said in a press release. "It's a substantial reduction," said Josh Raglin, NS chief sustainability officer. "As companies continue to set climate goals around lowering their emissions, rail can be part of that solution." Among initiatives detailed in the report, NS:
• invested $2 billion in its rail network to promote safe and efficient operations, modernize technology and support economic growth activities;
• tapped into Waze, a mobile navigation app, to provide alerts to motorists approaching grade crossings;
• transformed a stretch of eroded shoreline on the Elizabeth River at the railroad's Lamberts Point terminal into a green oasis for oysters and wildlife; and
• joined the Operation Clean Sweep Pledge aimed at eliminating plastic pollution with a goal of zero loss of plastic resin into the environment. NS also has posted its 2020 filing with CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project.    

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Squires: NS adapting to pandemic's challenges

Norfolk Southern Corp. is well-positioned to "safely and successfully" weather the unprecedented situation presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, NS President and Chief Executive Officer James Squires said last week at the company's annual meeting of shareholders.

Squires addressed shareholders May 14 during the company's first virtual-only annual meeting, a board decision made in response to public health concerns and social distance guidance for the pandemic.

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NS to record charge related to disposal of 300 locomotives, puts up another 400 for sale

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 4/17/2020 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Norfolk Southern Corp. advised yesterday that it will have take a $385 million charge in first-quarter 2020 related to the disposal of about 300 locomotives and the designation of another 400 locomotives for sale. NS attributed the move to its introduction of precision scheduled railroading measures in 2019, which "continues to provide significant benefits to the network operations and has resulted in excess capacity," company officials said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The non-cash charge will reduce Q1 2020 diluted earnings per share by $1.11, they said. NS is scheduled to report Q1 results on April 29, when it also will provide an update on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Sound Transit completes Connect 2020 construction

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 3/24/2020 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Sound Transit completed its project to connect the existing Link light-rail system to the East Link in Seattle.Photo – Sound Transit Facebook

Sound Transit this week completed Connect 2020, an 11-week project to connect the existing Link light-rail system to the 14-mile East Link extension in Seattle. 

The agency’s existing rail tunnel is now configured for East Link in preparation for extended service to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond, Washington, via 10 new stations in 2023.

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Norfolk Southern reports environmental, economic growth

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 10/17/2019 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Norfolk Southern achieved an all-time best operations ratio of 65 percent in 2018.Photo – Norfolk Southern Railway

During 2018, Norfolk Southern Corp. decreased its greenhouse gas emissions by 2.6 percent year over year and achieved an all-time best operating ratio of 65 percent, according to the Class I's 12th annual Corporate Social Responsibility report.

Released yesterday, the report details NS' environmental, economic and social impacts during 2018 and early 2019.

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Norfolk Southern EVP, CFO Earhart to retire, George named successor

Norfolk Southern Corp. announced yesterday that Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Cynthia Earhart will retire on Nov. 1. She will be succeeded by Mark George.

Earhart joined NS in 1985 in the accounting department, where she held positions of increasing responsibility, including assistant VP, before transitioning to information technology.

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NS names Allen Sutherland, Farrell to new exec roles

Norfolk Southern Corp.'s board yesterday approved new responsibilities for Michael Farrell and Vanessa Allen Sutherland effective tomorrow.

As senior vice president of operations and mechanical, Farrell will assume responsibility for the railroad's transportation and mechanical functions.

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For Norfolk Southern, growth is predicated on a new TOP21 operating plan

Last year, NS' network planning and optimization group began developing TOP21 using computer modeling and simulation tools to analyze data and train flows, and to determine optimum network fluidity and velocity.Photo – Norfolk Southern Railway

By Jeff Stagl, Managing Editor

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NS posts record Q2 earnings, operating income

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 7/24/2019 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image NS Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer James Squires noted that the company's "strong financial and operational performance" in the quarter was achieved while the railroad finalized its preparations for its new operating plan known as TOP21.Photo – nscorp.com

Norfolk Southern Corp. today reported second-quarter 2019 net income rose 2 percent year-over-year to $722 million as the result of a 4 percent increase in railway operations income.

NS posted diluted earnings per share of $2.70, up 8 percent over the same period a year ago and a second-quarter record, the company announced in a press release.

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