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Norfolk Southern: Q2 revenue down 29 percent on lower volume

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 7/29/2020 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Norfolk Southern Railway today reported 2020 second-quarter railway operating revenue fell 29 percent to $2.1 billion driven by a 26 percent decline in total freight volume compared with second-quarter 2019 results. NS posted Q2 net income of $392 million, down 46 percent, and diluted earnings per share of $1.53, down 43 percent from a year ago. Like other Class Is that have reported Q2 financial results in recent days, NS officials cited the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on volume as a major factor in the company's performance during the quarter.  At the same time, NS continued to make progress on implementing its new operating model, executives said in a press release. NS reported Q2 railway operating expenses of $1.5 billion, down 21 percent from a year ago. The decrease was driven by lower fuel, compensation, benefits and purchased services expenses, NS officials said in a press release. "Underscoring our commitment to shareholder value, we forged ahead with our ongoing transformation by further reducing our hump-yard footprint, achieving fuel efficiency gains and increasing train size," said Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer James Squires. "These are astounding achievements while managing the unprecedented economic disruption and public health crisis."  Income from railway operations was $610 million, down 43 percent. The railroad's operating ratio for the quarter was 70.7 percent compared to 63.6 percent a year ago. "We are mobilized and driven to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and we will continue to create collaborative change and relentlessly pursue increased productivity as a leading supply chain partner throughout the economic recovery and beyond," Squires said.    

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Norfolk Southern to idle Bellevue hump yard

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 6/17/2020 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Norfolk Southern's Bellevue yard is located in northern Ohio.Photo – nscorp.com, BizNS Winter 2015 issue

Norfolk Southern Railway has notified workers that it will close its Bellevue hump yard operation in northern Ohio, The Toledo Blade reported yesterday.

"Due to declining car volumes, NS will idle the yard's hump and begin flat switching rail cars," NS spokesman Jeff DeGraff told the newspaper. "This alteration will allow for greater efficiencies and customer service that achieves the goals set forth in the company's strategic plan."

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Volume decline prompts NS to pursue rail yard efficiencies

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 6/5/2020 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image NS aims to streamline oprtations due to slumping traffic.Photo – NS

In a service update to customers, Norfolk Southern Railway announced earlier this week that the railroad is examining its individual yards for ways to streamline operations.

The review is part of the Class I's strategic plan launched last year to create a more efficient and responsive railroad, but also is in response to lower volumes resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

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Norfolk Southern announces financial personnel moves

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 5/19/2020 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image The personnel moves were made as part of the company's strategic plan to improve performance.Photo – nscorp.com

Norfolk Southern Corp. today announced organizational changes in its finance division as part of the company's strategic plan to improve performance and push toward a 60 percent operating ratio.

Jason Zampi, currently vice president and controller, will become VP of financial planning and analysis, a new department in the finance division. Zampi has worked for NS for nine years, serving in leadership roles in finance, treasury and accounting.

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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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