Norfolk Southern marks its 30th anniversary today, acknowledging the people and organizations who have made possible the company's growth.
"The Norfolk Southern of 2012 is safer, more customer-focused, and more successful by every measure than it ever has been," said CEO Wick Moorman. "We are highly competitive, environmentally conscious, and constantly seeking new opportunities. The future of our business looks very bright.
"For this we thank our employees and their families, customers, shareholders, suppliers, and communities. They have made NS what it is today, and they will carry us forward," he said.
Norfolk Southern was created June 1, 1982, with the consolidation of Southern Railway and Norfolk and Western Railway, which trace their lineages to the 1820s. The combination proceeded so smoothly that it was called "one of the most successful mergers in the transportation industry - perhaps in any industry."
SR and NW had been successful railroads, and the new combination created an organization greater than the sum of its parts. The new NS developed a diversified traffic base among the energy, manufacturing, and finished goods sectors. It became international in its vision, and it built a nascent intermodal program into a key business segment.
On June 1, 1999, NS acquired a large portion of Conrail, increasing market reach and returning rail competition to the Northeast for the first time since the 1970s.
Now NS is the leader in developing public-private partnerships and corridor strategies to improve the nation's freight transportation network, environmental initiatives to reduce railroad and freight shipper carbon footprints, best practices to improve safety, and technology to enhance service.
The new NS is a job creator. In the last decade, the railroad helped locate and expand 1,053 facilities, representing an investment of $30 billion by NS customers and generating more than 46,000 jobs by those customer companies.
NS itself hired 4,000 new employees in 2011 and plans to hire 2,800 more in 2012 to address attrition and the growing need for freight transportation service.
More of the NS story is reflected in statistics. In 2011 compared with 1982, NS:
- reported an injury ratio of 0.75 per 200,000 employee hours worked, vs. 9.18
- operated 2,060 freight trains a day vs. 1,070
- handled 191.7 billion revenue ton miles vs. 92.6 billion
- generated $11.2 billion in railway operating revenues vs. $3.36 billion
- owned assets of $28.5 billion vs. $7.8 billion
- achieved an operating ratio of 71.2 percent vs. 80.4 percent
- employed 4,100 locomotives in customer service vs. 2,900
- planned coming-year capital improvements of $2.4 billion vs. $180 million
"We have achieved a great deal in 30 years, but in many ways we have only just begun," Moorman said. "The coming decades will see the economy's dependence on railroads grow dramatically, and the Thoroughbred of Transportation will set the pace."
In recognition of its 30 years, NS is painting 20 locomotives in the schemes of selected predecessors, sponsoring a public "family portrait" session of these heritage units July 3-4 in Spencer, N.C., and working with museums in three states on community observances.
NS officers will ring The Closing Bell® on the New York Stock Exchange June 5, and the company is publishing a book, "Eat Steel and Spit Rivets," about railroad culture as lived by employees.
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) 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 efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products.
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