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'InnovatioNS' leads to positive impacts.

Browse Innovation


Norfolk Southern people are motivated by challenges. They work in interdisciplinary teams to create innovative solutions that will make a positive impact on the business -- and maybe even change the world.

A culture of innovation recognizes that the answers to a lot of the company’s business challenges are in the minds of its people. You can't spell innovations without "NS." Through InnovatioNS, the company encourages open expression of ideas.

Innovation Impact:

  • The Juniata locomotive shop is the largest locomotive repair facility in North America. In 2009, shop NS built the experimental NS 999, a first-of-its-kind battery-powered switch locomotive.
  • The mechanical department initiative “mission critical” improved the reliability of engines by changing the way NS’ diesel shops approach their work. Mission Critical has helped better quality locomotives be delivered to customers by improving routine and preventive maintenance.
  • The new “virtual” ethanol inventory system devised by NS’ eCommerce Group and Distribution Services is the first of its kind among Class 1 railroads. The high-tech software program treats all supplier cars as one virtual rolling tank, electronically tracking the amount of ethanol pumped and shipped for each customer.
  • NS employees at St. Louis designed and developed a container door tool that can close the doors of intermodal containers when employees are standing on the ground. This has helped keep freight moving and prevented potential injury from employees mounting and dismounting rail equipment.