Squires Pleased with NS PSR Implementation Thus Far

Norfolk Southern CEO James Squares told a conference recently that implementation of the NS version of precision scheduled railroading is going well.

Speaking to the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers, Squires said the operating plan, known as TOP21, has seen a seamless transition for most shippers.

“More than 80 percent of carloads in our merchandise network have different trip plans” compared with before the new operations plan.

Squires said that has enabled NS to to do more with less and he wishes the carrier has gone to PSR sooner.

NS had the benefit, Squires said, of observing PSR being implemented at other railroads and therefore was able to learn from the experiences of those carriers so it could “do PSR right, do it our way.”

Squires said freight cars on line are down 18 percent, shipment consistency is improved by 71 percent, terminal dwell times are down 39 percent and customer volumes are up 77 percent for customers served six days a week or more.

NS now needs 30,000 fewer freight cars than it needed in 2018. Squires said the resulting car surplus could be used to support traffic growth, which he expects to occur in the second half of the year.

In the past six month, NS has mothballed more than 600 locomotives.

The carrier is reviewing its demurrage policy after receiving shipper customer complaints.

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