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Norfolk Southern Corporation profile

By | April 2, 2020

Railroad holding company has long history with and connections from New York to Georgia and west to Missouri and the Mississippi River

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A black and white painted Norfolk Southern locomotive leads a train along NS tracks through a slightly foggy winter afternoon.
A black and white painted Norfolk Southern locomotive leads a train along NS tracks through a slightly foggy winter afternoon.
A Norfolk Southern train storms eastward through Otis, Indiana.
Trains staff


Norfolk Southern summary

Norfolk Southern Corporation is a railroad holding company incorporated in Virginia. The company’s corporate headquarters are in Norfolk, Virginia. Operations headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia. Norfolk Southern Railway, a large subsidiary of NSC, operates a network of rail lines in the Eastern United States and primarily moves traffic on East-West routes. Its main competitor is CSX Corporation, and it connects with CSX and four other Class I railroads in Chicago. Norfolk Southern and its subsidiaries employed an average of 24,587 people in 2019. The railroad hauled freight over about 19,500 route miles between Midwest rail hubs in Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, and other places such as New Orleans; the New York City region, and Atlantic Ocean ports such as Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; and Norfolk.

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Norfolk Southern history
Norfolk Southern is the product of the June 1, 1982 merger of Norfolk & Western and Southern Railway. The two railroads operated as separate subsidiaries under parent company Norfolk Southern Corporation until December 31, 1990, when Norfolk & Western became a subsidiary of the Southern Railway, and the Southern Railway changed its name to Norfolk Southern Railway.

Norfolk & Western, whose name dates from 1881, ran west from its namesake Virginia port to Detroit; Chicago; Des Moines, Iowa; St. Louis; and Kansas City, Missouri; places reached in N&W’s 1964 consolidation of its Norfolk — Cincinnati/Columbus system with the Nickel Plate Road and Wabash railroads.

Southern, whose first predecessor dates from 1833, blanketed the Southeast from Washington to New Orleans, and from Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, and Memphis through Birmingham, Alabama, and Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia, and Jacksonville, Florida. One of the dozens of Southern’s predecessors was the original Norfolk Southern Railway, from Norfolk, to Charlotte, North Carolina, absorbed in 1974.

On August 22, 1998, Norfolk Southern, along with CSX Transportation, purchased and divided the assets of the 10,797-mile Consolidated Rail Corporation, better known as Conrail, giving NS its long sought-after gateway to the lucrative consumer markets of the northeast United States.

Norfolk Southern industrial mix
In 2019, Norfolk Southern told the SEC that intermodal traffic comprised 56% of traffic volume on the railroad, followed by coal, 12%; metals and construction, 10%; agriculture products, 7%; chemicals, 7%; automotive traffic, 5%; and forest and consumer products, 4%.

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James Squires, Norfolk Southern CEO
Norfolk Southern
Norfolk Southern executive officers (as of December 2019)
•James A. Squires, 58, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
•Ann A. Adams, 49, Executive Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer
•Mark R. George, 52, Executive Vice President – Finance and Chief Financial Officer
•John M. Scheib, 48, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer
•Alan H. Shaw, 52, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
•Michael J. Wheeler, 57, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
•Jason A. Zampi, 45, Vice President and Controller

Norfolk Southern selected 2019 financial details (totals may not balance due to rounding)
Balance sheet:
Total assets: $37.9 billion
Total liabilities: $22.7 billion
Total shareholders’ equity: $15.1 billion

Income statement:
Total revenues: $11.3 billion
Total operating expenses: $7.3 billion
Total operating income: $4.0 billion
Total net income: $2.7 billion

Information taken from a Securities and Exchange Commission filing and made available on Norfolk Southern’s website. History provided by Matt Van Hattem.

8 thoughts on “Norfolk Southern Corporation profile

  1. It’s worth mentioning that NS extended its reach into the Northeast US with its 2008 partnership with Pan Am and the 2015 acquisition of the D&H South lines from CP.

  2. If there such a good #1 railroad why are they shutting down repair shops closing Roanoke VA. shop , laying off tons of people that run the trains the shops and maintance facilities , but yet they keep hiring the pencil pushers that have no experience in running a RAILROAD.

  3. Glad to be a stockholder on this fine business.Live less then a mile from double track NS main line.Love all the Heritage Units.Love the fact that I can watch NS trains via Youtube west of Altoona on the Horseshoe Curve & up in Elkhart

  4. As a young boy in north-central Pennsylvania, I would watch the PennRR’s freight and passenger trains go through my small town of Milton, Pa. Now, I see Norfolk Southern trains follow the same route and wonder how a “southern” train follows the same pattern reaching up in to the same northern route?!

  5. liked their recent commitment to steam, with #611. Rode with friends in ’15 on one of the excursions and it was awesome. Sorry to hear they have decided not to continue this program.

  6. The last n.s. CEO that knew how to run a railroad was wick moreman. This clown in charge

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