Headquarters: Three Commercial Place
Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides superior connections to western rail carriers.
Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is North America’s largest rail carrier of metals and automotive products.
The company's system reaches many individual industries, electric generating facilities, mines (in western Virginia, eastern Kentucky, southern and northern West Virginia, and western Pennsylvania), distribution centers, transload facilities, and other businesses located in its service area.
The company owns or leases 4,074 locomotives and 86,290 freight cars.
Norfolk Southern is North America's largest rail carrier of automotive parts and finished vehicles.
In 2015, the company reported revenues of $10.5 billion, down 10% from the previous year, and net income of $1.6 billion. Traffic volume was down 3% driven by a sharp decline in coal.
"We are implementing a plan to reduce costs and enhance profitable growth," said James A. Squires, Norfolk Southern's chairman, president and CEO. "This plan will enable us to achieve significant annual expense savings beginning in 2016 without compromising the company's ability to capitalize on volume and revenue growth opportunities. We are making progress despite a challenging operating environment, including successfully restoring our rail service to previous high levels, realigning resources, and completing strategic capacity investments to improve efficiency and productivity."
The company plans to reduce its workforce by 2,000 by 2020. It also plans to consolidate operating regions from three to two.
For 2016, Norfolk Southern plans to invest $2.1 billion to maintain the safety of its rail network, enhance service, improve operational efficiency, and support growth opportunities.
Norfolk and Western Railway is the product of more than 200 railroad mergers spanning a century and a half. Beginning in 1838 with a nine-mile line from Petersburg, VA, to City Point, VA, NW grew to a system serving 14 states and a province of Canada on more than 7,000 miles of road.
Southern Railway is the product of nearly 150 predecessor lines that were combined, reorganized and recombined since the 1830s. The nine-mile South Carolina Canal & Rail Road Co., Southern's earliest predecessor line, was chartered in December 1827 and ran the nation's first regularly scheduled passenger train - the wood-burning "Best Friend of Charleston" - out of Charleston, SC, on Christmas Day 1830. By 1833, its 136-mile line to Hamburg, SC, was the longest in the world.
In 1976, Conrail is created as the Rail Revitalization and Regulatory Reform (4R) Act is signed into law. Government combines bankrupt Penn Central, Lehigh & Hudson River, Erie Lackawanna, Central Railroad of New Jersey, Lehigh Valley, Reading and the ailing Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines. April 1 is CR's first day of operation. At its formation, CR is nation's largest railroad with 34,000 miles of track in 16 states, 96,000 employees, 4,600 locomotives and 152,000 freight cars.
In 1982, Norfok Western and Southern Railway create Norfolk Southern Corp.
In 1998, Norfolk Southern would acquire Conrail.
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Updated February 3, 2016