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NS recognizes employees for safety and service


Norfolk Southern held its 2015 Safety and Service Expo and Awards Ceremony on March 17-18 at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta to recognize operations employees for their achievements in workplace safety and customer service during 2014.

Among work groups recognized were 16 Engineering Department, seven Transportation Department, two Mechanical Department, and 12 non-operations groups supporting operations that completed 2014 without a single reportable injury. That translates into thousands of employees achieving millions of hours of injury-free service.

Around 1,100 employees attended the ceremony, which included introduction of a new company safety message, “I am coming home.” The power of home – family, friends, and loved ones – is the inspiration behind this recommitment to workplace safety.

“When we were crafting this message, we asked ourselves, ‘What is the number one reason why I would want to be safe?’ Because I am coming home,” said Mark Manion, executive vice president and chief operating officer. "We're excited about this message because we're serious about its meaning. We want to make sure that each and every one of you gets home safe, every day."

Below are NS work groups recognized for safety and service at the awards ceremony.

Harrisburg RiDD team picked for Safety Leadership Forum

The Harrisburg RiDD Steering Team will represent Norfolk Southern at the 2015 Safety Leadership Forum, an industry conference hosted by the Association of American Railroads to discuss best safety practices. The team’s selection was announced Wednesday during the Safety and Service Awards ceremony in Atlanta.

Launched in 2014, the Harrisburg RiDD initiative – an acronym for Railroaders Identifying Digital Distraction – is an example of NS’ peer-to-peer efforts to promote safe workplace behaviors. In this pilot initiative, a group of Harrisburg locomotive engineers developed a campaign raising awareness among train and engine crews about restrictions on use of smartphones and other electronic devices while on duty. The Federal Railroad Administration provided funding for the effort.

NS’ Operations Division Safety and Service Committee, chaired by Mark Manion, EVP and chief operating officer, selected the Harrisburg RiDD team to represent NS. Other finalists included the Sheffield Safety and Service Committee; the Portsmouth, Ohio, and Norfolk coal car “retub” group; and the Chicago Terminal Safety and Service close-call experience subcommittee.

38th Street, Portsmouth car shops are Chairman’s Award winners

For their innovative work on Norfolk Southern’s Top Gon coal car “retub” initiative, employees at NS rail car shops in Portsmouth, Ohio, and 38th Street in Norfolk, Va., earned the Chairman’s Award. The award is not presented every year, but is reserved for employees who demonstrate exceptional achievements that merit special recognition.

The project, started in summer 2014, involves replacing the metal bottom – known as a tub – of the coal cars to extend their useful working lives by up to 15 years. The effort demonstrates how employees are integrating sustainable business practices into operations by reusing cars that otherwise would have been sold for scrap. New coal cars run about $85,000 each, and installing a new tub costs a fraction of the price. The result has been significant cost savings for the company while meeting customer and market demands.

This was the first time the company has scaled up to retub cars on a large production scale, and employees took the lead to develop safe, efficient processes for doing the work, in many cases devising new tools and methods. The project also showcased the Mechanical Department’s NSight program, the railroad’s version of Lean, a process improvement system popularized by Toyota. Employees have used NSight, introduced to the workforce about three years ago, to spark innovation, streamline work processes, engage employees, increase productivity, and reduce costs.

The Portsmouth shop’s 116 craft employees achieved 1 million employee hours of injury-free service in March 2014, while the 38th Street’s 135-member crew was working on six years of injury-free service.

“These two shops worked tirelessly under the principles of NSight to achieve admirable levels of productivity and production, exceeding their 2014 goals,” CEO Wick Moorman said in presenting the award. “More importantly, these substantial work groups have done it all injury-free for an extended period of time consisting of thousands of labor hours. Along the way, they developed even safer ways for getting the job done.”


Safety awards

Engineering Department

Overall Best Safety:

Communications & Signals employees

Best Safety Performance:

Employee work groups achieving best safety performance completed 2014 with zero reportable injuries.

Communications & Signals

Division: Harrisburg, Lake, Pocahontas, Central  

Communications & Signals Construction

Chief Engineer PTC, Western Region, Lines East Gang, Lines West CGA, Northern Region Group 1

Maintenance of Way and Structures

Region:  Maintenance Equipment – Charlotte Roadway Shop

 Division: Lake

Production Gangs: Ft. Wayne, Roanoke Material Yard

Shops: Equipment Maintenance North, Equipment Maintenance South, Charlotte Roadway Shop

Outstanding Safety Performance:

Groups earning outstanding safety performance completed 2014 at or below the corporate safety ratio goal.

Communications & Signals

Division: Pittsburgh, Dearborn, Virginia, Piedmont, Alabama.

Communications & Signals Construction

Northern Region

Maintenance of Way and Structures

Division: Piedmont, Harrisburg, Central, Alabama

Production Gangs: Harrisburg


Transportation Department

Best Safety Performance

Operating Division

Group 1: Lake

Group 2: Illinois


Group 1: Kansas City, Norfolk. Employees at both terminals completed 2014 with zero reportable injuries.

Group 2: Ft. Wayne, Allentown, Sheffield, Linwood, Ashtabula. Employees at each terminal finished 2014 with zero reportable injuries.

Operating Region


Outstanding Safety Performance


Group 1: Chattanooga, Harrisburg


Mechanical Department

Overall Best Safety:


Best Safety Performance

Mechanical Operations Territory

Group 1: Lake

Group 2: Pocahontas/Virginia. Employees in this group had zero reportable injuries in 2014.


Group 1: Conway Locomotive

Group 2: Elkhart Locomotive. Shop employees worked 2014 with zero reportable injuries.

Outstanding Safety Performance

Mechanical Operations Territory

Group 1: Harrisburg, Georgia

Group 2: Dearborn, Alabama, Mechanical Piers and Docks


Group 1: Shaffers Crossing Locomotive Shop, Juniata Locomotive Shop, Chattanooga Diesel Shop

Group 2: Enola Locomotive Shop


Best Safety Performance

Employees in each of these work groups finished 2014 without a reportable injury.

Engineering Miscellaneous, Miscellaneous Group Mechanical Other, Intermodal Operations, Accounting Operations Atlanta, Accounting Operations Roanoke, Miscellaneous Group Marketing, Mail Room and Reprographics, Team Offices, Real Estate and Facilities, Sourcing, Treasurer, Police

Service awards

Below are groups recognized for customer service in 2014.

Best Hump Yard

Northern Region: Elkhart Terminal

Western Region: Sheffield     

Eastern Region: Linwood       

Best Regional Flat Switching Yard

Northern Region: Cleveland  

Western Region: Decatur      

Eastern Region: Hagerstown

Best Region Award

Northern Region employees, for handling very large, unexpected increases in traffic volume during 2014

Outstanding Service Award

Northern, Western, and Eastern region employees, for outstanding UPS peak season service during an extremely challenging environment in 2014

Best Shop for Handling Mission Critical Troubles

System: Enola

Division: Birmingham

Best Management of Car Repair Tracks


Best Terminal with Effective Inbound Inspections


Best improvement in Loaded Bad Order Dwell


Best Improvement in Outbound Train Reliability


Best Overall System Production Gang

R-3, the only dual rail gang in the industry, installed 280.54 track miles of rail in 2014    

Best Super Tie Gang

TS-1, installed 404,977 crossties in 2014 with zero reportable injuries       

Best Standard Tie Gang

TS-33, installed 240739 crossties in 2014 with zero reportable injuries      

Best Surfacing Gang

S-11, surfaced 512.5 miles of track in 2014 with zero reportable injuries   

Best Single-Sided Rail Gang

R-6, installed 34.81 track miles in 2014 with zero reportable injuries         

MW&S Best Group Performance

Northern Region: Lake           

Western Region: Alabama     

Eastern Region: Piedmont     

C&S Outstanding Service Support Project

Northern Region Construction, for the Toledo interlocking project, which improved speed and reliability through one of NS’ busiest routes

N&W Construction West, for safely and efficiently completing the Bellevue Yard expansion project ahead of schedule      

N&W Construction East, for the Randolph Street project, which doubled train speeds through Roanoke, Va., at the intersection of the Heartland and Crescent corridors