Thelen retired March 31 as vice president operations planning and support, NS said.
Schnautz (pictured) joined NS in 1993 as a management trainee in the Engineering department. He progressed through a variety of engineering positions and most recently was director advanced train control until his appointment to his present position. He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Penn State University.
Thelen began his railroad career as manager quality control materials for Conrail in 1977. He held several positions of increasing responsibility in mechanical engineering, quality assurance, and engineering before joining Norfolk Southern in 1998 as assistant vice president research and tests. He became vice president mechanical in 2004 and vice president operations planning and support in 2006. A native of Weiler, Germany, Thelen is a graduate of Fachhochschule, Munich, and holds a master of engineering degree from Penn State University.
"Gerhard has been an invaluable intellectual asset to Norfolk Southern, and we will miss his leadership in addressing the technical challenges of 21st century railroading," said Mark Manion, executive vice president and chief operating officer. "Fortunately, Tom, who has been leading our effort to comply with Congress' positive train control mandate, has the knowledge, experience, and wisdom to take up that mantle."