Thursday, March 31, 2016

NS CEO highlights past accomplishments, looks ahead in annual report

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Norfolk Southern Corporation on March 31, 2016 posted its 2015 Annual Report online, highlighting early accomplishments of a recently announced five-year strategic plan to drive growth, streamline operations, improve network performance and deliver enhanced shareholder value.

In his first annual report letter to shareholders since becoming CEO in 2015, NS Chairman, President and CEO James A. Squires writes that the company “has taken decisive and deliberate action to capitalize on significant growth opportunities within our unique network.”

Over the past year, NS has implemented several cost control initiatives and network improvements, including:

• Closing the Roanoke, Va., office building and consolidating or relocating approximately 500 positions;

• Restructuring the company’s Triple Crown Services subsidiary;

• Reducing capital spending;

• Expanding track rationalization in the coalfields;

• Idling a major lake coal terminal; and

• Consolidating two operating divisions.

Importantly, while implementing these initiatives, NS has maintained its commitment to providing superior customer service. “During this time, we achieved near all-time best service levels,” Squires said. In addition, the company expanded its ability to serve markets in the Northeast by acquiring the Delaware & Hudson Railway Company’s line between Sunbury, Pa., and Schenectady, N.Y.

Looking ahead, Squires notes in the letter, “This year we expect to achieve productivity savings of $130 million through disciplined cost control and asset utilization. Annual savings will grow to more than $650 million by 2020. The projects we accomplished in 2015, together with the initiatives we are undertaking over the next five years, will position Norfolk Southern to achieve our long-term financial goals.”

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