NS Head Concedes Service Not Good Now

The new president of Norfolk Southern acknowledged at a shippers convention that his railroad isn’t doing a very good job right now of serving them.

“We don’t have a good product right now,” Alan Shaw said in remarks to the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers as reported by Trains magazine on its website.

“That’s unacceptable to me, that’s unacceptable for our employees, and it’s unacceptable to our customers,” Shaw said in Chicago.

Shaw attributed the lackluster service in part to labor shortages and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the steps Shaw said NS is taking to improve service include increased hiring of new workers, offering financial incentives to existing employees in an effort to increase crew availability and having supervisors fill in on some jobs, such as ferrying crews to and from train assignments.

Among the incentives being offered to workers are buying back vacation time and paying retention bonuses. Employees can also earn a bonus by making referrals to the NS training program.

Although he didn’t offer a timeline for how long it will take to improve service, Shaw pledged that NS will get things fixed and denied that the service issues are linked to the precision scheduled railroading operating model that it adopted in 2019.

“I’m not in position to tell you when we’ll get all the pieces in place,” he said. “But we will, fairly soon, be in a position to tell you that. And then we’ll have very candid and very direct conversations with our customers. Because you need to know that.”

To read more of Shaw remarks, visit https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/new-ns-president-admits-problems-promises-solutions/

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