NS Names Another Yard After Retiring Executive

Norfolk Southern is naming another yard after a retiring high-level executive.

A classification and intermodal yard in Memphis, Tennessee, will be named Harris Yard after Executive Vice President Planning and Chief Information Officer Deborah Harris Butler, who is retiring Oct. 1, 2015.

“Consistently during her 37-year career, Deb envisioned and championed systems and technology that keep the freight moving,” said NS President and CEO Jim Squires in a statement. “Her name on a key yard that handles important segments of our business—in her own hometown—is apt and well-deserved recognition. Deb’s contributions in technology, the environment, and employee development have made a lasting difference. Our board, officers and employees are grateful for her vision and leadership.”

Butler joined the Southern Railway in 1978 as a customer account auditor. She was subsequently named assistant vice president transportation customer services (2000) and vice president customer service (2002) before assuming her current post in 2007.

NS said in a news release that Butler has been recognized for her expertise in car management and distribution.

“Early in her career, she oversaw modernization of many of NS’s core transportation systems, such as ITMS for transportation information sharing, TYES for yard management and inventory, RIT for remote work orders, and the Pacesetter customer portal,” NS said. “More recently, her tenure saw implementation of the optimized dispatching system to improve network velocity, significant progress toward installation of Positive Train Control systems, successful negotiation to purchase 282 miles of Delaware & Hudson Railway Co. lines [from Canadian Pacific] to support rail service in the Northeast, and a growing commitment to sustainable business practices.

“Butler also is known for her work in mentoring new railroaders: She helped start WiNS (Women in Norfolk Southern), the railroad’s first official employee resource group.”

Harris Yard is located on the Birmingham-Chattanooga main line near the midtown area of Memphis.

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