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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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Transition to new operating plan was 'smooth,’ NS says

Norfolk Southern Railway yesterday announced the transition to its new TOP21 operating plan earlier this month went smoothly.

The phase one roll out in July's first week in the merchandise network resulted in a seamless changeover with minimal impacts to customer service and network operations, NS officials said in a press release. The first phase focuses on the carload and automotive networks.

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Norfolk Southern kicks off TOP21 operating plan

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 6/28/2019 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image The new plan is designed to improve service performance for customers and provide network efficiencies.Photo – nscorp.com

Today, Norfolk Southern Railway will begin rolling out its new precision scheduled railroad operating plan known as TOP21, the Class I announced yesterday in a customer service alert.

The new plan is designed to improve service performance for customers and provide network efficiencies, NS officials said in the alert.

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NS recognizes 58 chemical customers for safe hazmat practices

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 5/24/2019 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image The award is part of an NS initiative to promote safe rail-shipping practices.Photo – nscorp.com

Norfolk Southern Railway has recognized 58 of its chemical shipper customers with the Class I's 2018 Thoroughbred Chemical Safety Award.

The award is part of an NS initiative to promote safe rail-shipping practices in communities the railroad services, according to an NS press release.

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Norfolk Southern's strategic plan is producing results, Squires says

Norfolk Southern Railway in 2019 is "reimagining possible" in all aspects of its business to improve customer service, increase efficiency, drive growth and create shareholder value, President and Chief Executive Officer James Squires Squires said today at the company's annual shareholders meeting.

"We are moving full speed ahead with a new plan for the future that provides a clear path to continued success — success that benefits our customers, our employees, and our shareholders,” said Squires in a press release.

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