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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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Norfolk Southern posts revenue, income, OR records in Q2

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 7/28/2021 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Norfolk Southern Corp. today reported second-quarter 2021 financial results, which included second-quarter records for net income and diluted earnings per share, and all-time quarterly records for operating ratio (OR) and income from railway operations. The company’s net income rose 109% to $819 million, or $3.28 diluted earnings per share (EPS), from $392 million, or $1.53 diluted EPS, in the same quarter a year ago. Income from railway operations climbed 91% to $1.2 billion. The Class I's OR improved to 58.3% in the quarter — a new record — from 70.7% a year ago. Q2 railway operating revenue of $2.8 billion increased 34%, driven by a 25% increase in volume and a 7% increase in revenue per unit. Railway operating expenses totaled $1.6 billion, an increase of 11%. "Our team met the challenge for the second quarter head-on, delivering another solid performance of sequential operating ratio improvement, driving meaningful productivity into our business as revenue and volume rebounded from last year," said NS Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer James Squires in a press release. 

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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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