Addressing a discussion theme that posited, “Once left for dead as a relic of the 19th century, railroads are emerging as the most important logistics system of the 21st century,” Moorman described several Norfolk Southern initiatives contributing to what often is called the “rail renaissance.” On the technology side, these include Movement Planner and the Unified Train Control dispatching systems developed in collaboration with GE, and the LEADER system for locomotive fuel efficiency developed with New York Air Brake. In the marketing arena, Moorman highlighted NS’s expanding services to the crude oil industry, and the export automotive trade, where the railroad handles a large percentage of vehicles destined for global markets.
“Today’s freight railroads are safe, dependable, efficient, and green,” Moorman said. “We move the raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods that move the economy. The good news is that we have the capability and desire to do much more. When you see a Norfolk Southern train, that’s our economy in motion. Our earliest predecessors were born at the end of the first Industrial Revolution, and railroads came into their own during the second Industrial Revolution. We build our infrastructure and systems for the long-term—investing $10 billion since 2010 alone. We plan to be around another 180 years, and you can count on us to do our part to usher in a new age of growth.”