Norfolk Southern’s TOP|SPG operating plan—which stands for Thoroughbred Operating Plan | Service Productivity Growth—has evolved from NS’s previous plans, TOP 21 among them. Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Cindy Sanborn and Vice President Network Planning and Operations Paul Duncan join Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono to talk about how TOP | SPG “isn’t a radical change in how we work with our customers, but a shift in how we execute our operations to move their shipments more directly and consistently.” The biggest changes affect intermodal markets, NS’s most time-sensitive business. TOP | SPG modifies about 90% of scheduled intermodal and merchandise trains “to reduce terminal congestion, improve network fluidity and create capacity for growth, ultimately simplifying the network through an operating plan with a high level of executability that will drive greater consistency and service improvements for customers.”
Podcast sponsored by The Greenbrier Companies: Three of America’s leading industrial and transportation companies—United States Steel Corporation, Norfolk Southern Railway and The Greenbrier Companies—have created a unique partnership to produce a new, more sustainable steel gondola railcar. Using an innovative formula for high-strength, lighter-weight steel developed by U.S. Steel, each gondola’s unloaded weight is reduced by up to 15,000 pounds. These innovative gondolas will provide an extended lifecycle, increased sustainability and greater freight capacity.