Norfolk Southern is preparing to roll out TOP21, the railroad’s new precision scheduled railroading operating plan, to enhance customer service, increase operating efficiencies, support growth, and drive long-term shareholder value.
TOP21 is a key initiative of Norfolk Southern’s new three-year strategic plan to Reimagine Possible in all aspects of business operations. In April, the railroad announced that the first phase of TOP21 will focus on the company’s general merchandise market. Norfolk Southern already has made initial changes to its train plan for TOP21, and the railroad will make the rest of the changes starting in early July, coinciding with the July Fourth holiday.
To demonstrate commitment to a smooth transition to TOP21, Norfolk Southern has been working closely with customers, including inviting them to town hall meetings attended by train and engine crews as well as employees involved in operations, marketing, and customer service.
“As we Reimagine Possible, a hallmark of our brand of precision scheduled railroading has been and will continue to be intense customer communication and collaboration,” said CEO James A. Squires. “As we have promised, we will work closely with customers before and after we implement TOP21. Our goal is to achieve mutually beneficial results that include reliable and consistent service as well as growth opportunities. We want to grow our business and our customers’ business, all while operating more efficiently and safely.”
“TOP21 supports the five principles that are at the heart of our reimagined railroad: serve our customers, manage our assets, control our costs, work safely, and develop our people – what we call the NS Way,” said Mike Wheeler, chief operating officer. “With TOP21, the company’s goal is to serve our customers better while operating our network more efficiently and driving down operating costs.”
Norfolk Southern began developing the TOP21 plan last year using computer modeling and simulation tools to analyze data and train flows to achieve optimum network fluidity and velocity. Under TOP21, the railroad will focus on reducing circuity of freight car movements to and from customers and balancing its network flows. This will allow the railroad to run fewer trains, use its operating assets more efficiently, and create capacity for growth.
“TOP21 will improve our network fluidity and velocity, reduce our circuity and train miles, make our railroad more resilient, and give us greater capacity for growth,” said Alan Shaw, chief marketing officer. “We are engaged with our customers to talk about these changes and how we all can benefit from the opportunities that lie ahead as we fully implement the plan.”
About Norfolk Southern
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary operates approximately 19,500 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern is a major transporter of industrial products, including chemicals, agriculture, and metals and construction materials. In addition, the railroad operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a principal carrier of coal, automobiles, and automotive parts.
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. These statements relate to future events or future performance of Norfolk Southern Corporation’s (NYSE: NSC) (“Norfolk Southern,” “NS” or the “Company”), including but not limited to statements regarding future financial performance and anticipated results, benefits, and targets related to the strategic plan. In some cases, these forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words like “will,” “believe,” “expect,” “targets,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “plan,” “consider,” “project,” and similar references to the future. The Company has based these forward-looking statements on management’s current expectations, assumptions, estimates, beliefs, and projections. While the Company believes these expectations, assumptions, estimates, and projections are reasonable, forward-looking statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which involve factors or circumstances that are beyond the Company’s control, including but not limited to: general North American and global economic conditions; changes in energy prices and fuel markets; uncertainty surrounding timing and volumes of commodities being shipped; changes in laws and regulations; uncertainties of claims and lawsuits; labor disputes; transportation of dangerous goods; effects of changes in capital market conditions; and severe weather. These and other important factors, including those discussed under “Risk Factors” in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2018, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), as well as the Company’s subsequent filings with the SEC, may cause actual results, benefits, performance, or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Please refer to these SEC filings for a full discussion of those risks and uncertainties we view as most important.
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