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COVID-19 Update for Customers and Partners


Norfolk Southern Corporation
1200 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
Telephone (757) 629-2830


Alan H. Shaw
Executive Vice President and
Chief Marketing Officer

March 21, 2020


Valued Norfolk Southern Customers and Partners,

In the face of the COVID-19 challenge, Norfolk Southern remains committed to serving our customers. We are likewise steadfast in safeguarding our employees, our customers, all of our families, and the communities we serve.  

Norfolk Southern recognizes the integral role we play in supporting your business. Many of you have requested specifics regarding our business continuity plans. I want to assure you that we are prepared to continue serving you to the best of our ability as the COVID-19 situation evolves. I take this opportunity to provide additional information.  

Norfolk Southern has been proactive in our response to the coronavirus outbreak and has implemented robust business continuity plans. We have established Pandemic Planning and Preparedness Guidelines to protect our employees’ safety and maintain critical business functions.

We are carefully monitoring and proactively taking steps to mitigate risks in our company’s operations. For example, our Sourcing and Crew Management teams are in daily contact with our taxi and hotel providers to monitor potential and/or confirmed COVID-19 exposure as it relates to services provided to NS Train & Engine personnel. In addition, NS has communicated its expectation for proper sanitizing procedures to these service providers and taken steps to supplement our taxi carriers with additional sanitizing supplies. NS has secured additional sanitizing material for use by all employees, including train crews.   

Norfolk Southern is adhering to health and hygiene guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Preparedness. That includes implementing social distancing procedures for essential personnel whose job duties require them to work at office locations. Where feasible for other personnel, we are working remotely using the technology and communication infrastructure necessary to address the needs of our customers as they arise.

We have instructed approximately 1,700 NS contract service providers to remain off NS property in instances of (1) a contract employee who returned within the last 14 days from a country placed under a State Department travel advisory; (2) a contract employee who has been in close contact with or cared for someone diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days; or (3) a contract employee who experienced cold or flu-like symptoms within the last 14 days or has instead been diagnosed with COVID-19. Should this situation arise, the contract employee is instructed not to return to work on NS property until receiving clearance from a qualified and licensed health care professional. 

Norfolk Southern employees are identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as members of the “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce.” In coordination with the Association of American Railroads (AAR), NS employees and key contractors have been issued COVID-19 Access Request Letters prepared by the security lead from the AAR. The access procedure was developed in conjunction with federal officials under the Emergency Support Function #14, primarily coordinated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The documented Purpose of Emergency Support Function #14 is to support “the coordination of cross-sector operations, including stabilization of key supply chains and community lifelines, among infrastructure owners and operators, businesses, and their government partners.”

Federal, state, and local officials recognize this document as allowing for continued access to work sites, facilities, and assets to ensure continuity of rail operations. 

As always, please reach out to your Marketing or Customer Service representative if you need support or have additional questions about Norfolk Southern’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We will continue our practice of providing you with as much transparency as possible regarding our operations and management during this dynamic situation. 

I thank you for your business, the confidence you place in us, and your partnership and collaboration in this current challenge. Best wishes to you, your family, and your employees.




Alan H. Shaw


Operating Subsidiary: Norfolk Southern Railway Company