Posts Tagged ‘Norfolk Southern’

STB Gives NS OK to Acquire D&H Line in Pa., N.Y.

May 16, 2015

Norfolk Southern on Friday won Surface Transportation Board approval to acquire 283 miles of track from the Delaware & Hudson.

The route is located in Pennsylvania and New York and known as the South Lines. That includes 267 miles of the main line between Sunbury/Kase, Pa., and Schenectady, N.Y., and 15 miles of the running track between Voorheesville Junction and Delanson, N.Y.

“In reaching its decision, the Board found that NS’s acquisition of the South Lines from D&H is not likely to cause a substantial lessening of competition or create a monopoly or restraint of trade,” said STB spokesman Dennis Watson. “The Board found this to be true, even when taking into account D&H’s planned discontinuance of trackage rights that connect to the D&H South Lines, which are the subject of a separate proceeding.”

In reaching its decisions, the STB decided that the move would not lessen competition and that any anti-competitive effects would be trumped by the public benefits of the transaction.

Those benefits include allowing NS to provide more reliable, safe and efficient service for shippers that will offer better competition with such other transportations modes as trucking and water transportation

The Board imposed some conditions, including requiring NS to enter into voluntary commercial agreements with D&H to preserve certain shippers’ access to two carriers, NS and D&H.

NS Names New Marketing Vice President

May 16, 2015

Alan Shaw has been appointed executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Norfolk Southern.

He succeeds Donald Seale, who retired after 39 years in management positions in the railroad’s marketing department. Shaw will report to NS President James Squires.

Shaw joined NS in 1994 and has held positions in the finance and marketing departments. He served as group VP of coal marketing and group VP of chemicals before being named VP of intermodal operations, his current position, in 2013.

In his new role, Shaw will oversee merchandise, intermodal and coal marketing organizations; teams that manage shipping options such as short-line connections and the transload network; real estate services; and the corporation’s industrial development services for companies that want to locate and expand rail-served businesses.

NS First Responders Tribute Locomotive Unveiled

May 7, 2015

NS911

The latest tribute locomotive of Norfolk Southern honors the nation’s first responders.

SD60E No. 911 is adorned with a livery that is based on a design submitted to NS by Shawn Leightcap, a Pennsylvania volunteer firefighter and railroad photographer.

Leightcap sought support last year for asking NS to create a “hometown heroes” commemorative locomotive recognizing those in public service.

“On average, approximately 90 to 120 firefighters lose their lives in the line of duty each year,” Leightcap told Trains magazine. “These men and women are the backbone of our communities. Many of them are employees with Norfolk Southern and volunteers with local fire companies.”

The livery chosen by NS features the firefighter Maltese Cross, the emergency medical service “Star of life,” and the police shield through a carefully designed red, white, and gold scheme.

“The concept of a first responders locomotive submitted by Shawn Leightcap came to us at a perfect time,” an NS spokesperson said. “We found a first responders honorary locomotive to be an appropriate fit for use on our Safety Train beginning next month.”

NS plans to assign No. 911 to service system wide and to the railroad’s Safety Train that is scheduled to debut in Washington, D.C., in June.

N&W 2156 to begin Ferry Move to Roanoke

May 4, 2015

Another Norfolk & Western steam locomotive is about to embark on a return journey to Roanoke, Va., but this one will not be under steam.

N&W Y6a No. 2156 is set to begin the trek from St. Louis to Roanoke on Saturday, expecting to arrive in time to mark the arrival of Class J No. 611’s return.

No. 2156 is currently housed at the Museum of Transportation near St. Louis and is being loaned for five years to the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

The expected route of the 2156 is via Union Pacific tracks from the museum site in Missouri to an interchange with Norfolk Southern in St. Louis.

Once on NS rails, the 2156 will go dead-in-town at 25 mph via Decatur, Ill., Fort Wayne, Ind., and Bellevue and Columbus, Ohio.

Railroad officials have said that the dead-head move will not adhere to a schedule and may move at any hour of the day.

The journey may take as much as a week, depending on traffic. Included in the consist will be NS office car No. 20 (Ohio), a newly painted canteen car that will accompany the 611 on excursions this year (VMTX No. 250001) and tool car No. 1407.

In exchange for the 2756, the Missouri museum will receive an FTB diesel unit.

No. 2156, a 2-8-8-2, was built in 1942 in Roanoke and retired in 1959.

No Escaping Me This Time

May 3, 2015
Norfplk Southern No. 6963 at National Train Day in Toledo.

Norfplk Southern No. 6963 at National Train Day in Toledo.

Toledo10-Go2

Toledo11-Go3

Last August during the Akron Railroad Club outing in Vermilion, I arrived just in time to watch a westbound train led by Norfolk Southern No. 6963, the GoRail tribute locomotive.

On that day it went flying past me before I could get my camera out of the bag. I was not pleased.

On Saturday I had another opportunity to catch the 6963 and this time there was not missing. No. 6963 sat on static display as part of the National Train Day celebration in Toledo.

I had not known that the SD60E locomotive had begun life as a Chicago & North Western SD60 No. 8004 in August 1986. NS acquired it from Helm in 2012 and subsequently put it through the SD60E conversion process at the Juniata shops in Altoona, Pa.

The Go Rail unit livery was designed to pay tribute to GoRail, a non-profit organization founded in 2004 with the support of the nation’s railroad and railroad suppliers to promote shipping by rail.

NS unveiled the unit in March 2014 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

In a news release, NS described the design this way: “The SD60E model features a paint scheme combining the infinity lines of the Norfolk Southern livery with the tracks of the GoRail logo. The lines end in an arrow to depict movement, and the GoRail colors carry through the modified speed lines to show the unity of GoRail and Norfolk Southern, creating the look of land as seen from above and signifying freight movement.”

In Toledo, No. 6963 was placed between a locomotive from the Ann Arbor Railroad (out of sight to the left) and the Amtrak veteran’s tribute P42 locomotive.

Toward the end of my time at the Toledo festival I encountered fellow ARRC member Todd Vander Sluis, a Vermilion resident who had suggested the club have an outing in his hometown.

I had half forgotten my missed encounter with the NS 6963 until he reminded me of it and noted I wouldn’t miss it this time. Indeed, I did not.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

3 Railroads Operate Kentucky Derby Specials

May 2, 2015

Norfolk Southern, CSX and the R.J. Corman Rail Group all operated trains to Louisville, Ky., this weekend for the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby. A previously announced Derby Special by Iowa Pacific Holdings did not operate.

Norfolk Southern sent its executive train behind an A-B-B-A arrangement of F-units.

The NS special departed Altoona, Pa., on April 25 and made its way through Northeast Ohio early last Sunday morning.

The railroad uses the train during Derby Week to entertain shippers and guests prior to the race. The CSX 17-car special departed Jacksonville, Fla., on April 27 for Lexington, Ky.

On April 30 it traveled to the capital city of Frankfort. It then departed on Derby Day for Louisville, the commonwealth’s capital city. Among the guests aboard were Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear.

Field reports indicate that the CSX special had four cars leased from the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.

R.J. Corman operated its train with four cars from its Lexington-based dinner train.

Typically, the Corman train departs Lexington around 8 a.m. on Derby day and passes through Frankfort, running to Louisville ahead of the CSX special via the former Louisville & Nashville Old Road.

All three trains are carrying on a decades-long tradition of Derby specials. Nearly all of the railroads serving Louisville used to operate their own Derby specials with Pullmans originating from points many hundreds of miles away from all over the eastern United States.

NS Reports Decline in 1st Quarter Net Income

April 30, 2015

A drop in coal revenue was instrumental in a 16 percent drop in net income for Norfolk Southern during the first quarter of 2015.

The railroad announced this week that its operating ratio – which shows the operating expenses as a percentage of revenue – rose from 75.2 percent to 76.4 percent compared with the same quarter in 2014.

Net income for the quarter was $310 million compared with $368 million during the same period of 2014. Diluted earnings per share were $1 compared with $1.17 per diluted share in first-quarter 2014.

NS said its coal revenues were $455 million, a 16 percent drop from the first quarter of 2014.

The railroad blamed a weak global export market and fewer shipments of coal utilities for the drop in volume.

“Our first-quarter results reflected weaknesses in our coal markets along with a slowdown in network velocity in part caused by severe winter weather that impacted both our expenses and our volumes,” said NS CEO Wick Moorman. “Looking ahead, while the market uncertainties remain, the resources that we are deploying are driving improved network performance, and we expect our service levels will be significantly higher in the second half.”

Railway operating revenues were $2.6 billion, 5 percent lower than the first quarter of 2014. NS attributed that to lower fuel surcharge revenues in each of its three commodity groups, lower coal volumes and lower average revenue per unit related to the mix of business

Total volume increased by 2 percent or about 40,000 units, reflecting gains in intermodal and merchandise traffic.

Railway operating expenses declined 3 percent to $2 billion, primarily due to lower fuel costs, compared with the same period of 2014.

Income from railway operations was $606 million, 9 percent lower than the first quarter of 2014.

Also Seen in Conneaut

April 23, 2015

Conneaut 1a

Conneaut 2b

I went to Conneaut recently to see black as in Illinois Central black. I got it all right, but I also photographed some Norfolk Southern and CSX action. What I saw on CSX was fairly route and most of it was intermodal traffic. On Norfolk Southern, westbound train No. 145 came into town sporting a Canadian Pacific leader.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

NS Restructures Duties of 2 Vice Presidents

April 23, 2015

Norfolk Southern has announced that Bruno Maestri and Robert E. Martίnez will assume additional responsibilities following the retirement of F. Blair Wimbush, the railroad’s vice president of real estate and corporate sustainability officer.

NS CEO Charles “Wick” Moorman said in a news release that the changes, which become effective on May 1, are part of Norfolk Southern’s ongoing program of executive development and will support the railroad’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint and expand its market opportunities.

Maestri, vice president government relations and corporate communications, will become vice president government relations, corporate communications, and corporate sustainability officer.

Based in Washington, D.C., his responsibilities include federal legislative and regulatory affairs, state relations, community affairs, and corporate communications, in addition to the new responsibilities relating to NS’ sustainability programs to improve locomotive fuel efficiency and emissions, energy use, land conservation, waste management, and water conservation.

He joined NS in 1995 and served in several positions relating to environmental management and protection, and then public affairs, before being named to his most recent position in 2005. He holds degrees from the University of Virginia.

Martίnez, vice president business development, will become vice president business development and real estate.

Based in Norfolk, Va., his responsibilities will include business development, market research, ports and international, and industrial development, in addition to his new responsibilities relating to NS’ real estate services, including purchase, sale, and development of property; natural resource management; and projects associated with wire, pipeline, and fiber optics.

Martίnez rejoined NS in 1998 and served in several marketing positions before being named to his most recent position in 2003.

Earlier, he had worked at NS for a year before serving a four-year stint as Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation. He holds degrees from Columbia and Yale.

Wimbush leaves after 35 years with NS and its predecessors and is credited with leading the company’s successful efforts to adopt an enterprise-wide, results-driven approach to moderating its effect on the environment. He became vice president of real estate and corporate sustainability officer in 2007.

NS 1st Quarter Earnings Fell $1 a Share

April 20, 2015

Norfolk Southern said that that its first quarter 2015 earnings will fall by $1 a share due to lower than expected revenue and higher than expected expenses

That will be a 15 percent drop from the company’s earnings in the first quarter of 2014.

NS said the revenue decreases reflect reductions in fuel surcharge revenue in each of its three commodity groups, continued reductions in coal volumes and lower average revenue per unit related to the mix of business.

Lower overall expenses were aided by declining fuel expense but hurt by weather and service recovery costs.

First quarter revenues are expected to be about $2.6 billion, a 5 percent drop compared with the same period last year.

NS said coal shipments continue to decline, particularly in export coal volume.

Merchandise traffic grew in volume but declined in revenue per unit. Intermodal traffic grew in volume and core pricing gains offset the effect of lower average revenue per unit due to fuel revenue reductions.

First quarter expenses will be about $2 billion, a decrease of 3 percent compared with 2014 due primarily to significantly reduced fuel expenses. Remaining costs were adversely affected by weather and service-recovery costs, and also by increased hiring and training costs, and a labor agreement-signing bonus.

NS expects volumes in nearly all traffic categories to rise in the second quarter. However, it expects coal shipments to continue to decline.


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