Supporting economic development

Norfolk Southern is an economic engine that attracts commercial development. We help create jobs, stimulate business growth, and generate tax revenue for building stronger communities across our 22-state network.

NS keeps the economy moving
Promoting the economic vitality of the communities we serve is a critical element of our commitment to responsible corporate citizenship. We support local and state economic development departments as we help customers identify the best locations to build and expand facilities along our rail system.

In 2012, we participated in the location of 64 new industries and the expansion of 30 existing industries. That represented a $2.1 billion investment by our customers, with the expectation of creating more than 6,100 jobs and generating more than 141,000 carloads of new rail traffic annually.

Much of the investment came from the energy sector, including coal, crude oil, nuclear power, and natural gas. Of the 94 economic development projects we assisted with in 2012, 32 of them, or a third, involved the location or expansion of energy-related facilities – spread across 14 states on our network.

Some of the development will support exploration and drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale deposits in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. Those mining activities, which provide good jobs and tax revenues, have become robust business for our metals and construction market over the past four years. We’re now moving tens of thousands of rail carloads annually of “fracturing” sand, pipe, and other materials used in the drilling and recovery process.

2012 also marked the first full year of an emerging market in transporting crude oil by rail. We are working with interline rail partners to transport unit trains of crude from the Bakken Formation in North Dakota and Canadian shale fields to East Coast refineries. The Sunoco Logistics Terminal Facility in Westville, N.J., was the first major crude oil terminal to come online for Norfolk Southern and one of 2012 economic development projects on our network.

PBF Energy in 2012 began construction to add two 100-car loop tracks at its Delaware City, Del., refinery. Our industrial development group, along with our transportation and engineering departments, worked closely with PBF to help plan the expansion and ensure efficient movement of trains in and out of the revamped facility.

Several development projects in 2012 were associated with markets for export thermal and metallurgical coal. About 21 percent of export coal moved by Norfolk Southern in 2012 was for power generation, up from less than 1 percent in 2011. Growing international demand for thermal coal could help offset declines in our domestic utility coal franchise.

In addition, we worked with ThyssenKrupp Steel USA in 2012 on plans to expand its steel mill in Calvert, Ala., and assisted Georgia Power and South Carolina Electric & Gas in the expansion of their nuclear power plants.

In our Northern Region, on our Pan Am Southern Corridor, we invested in new automotive distribution terminals in Mechanicville, N.Y., and Ayer, Mass., part of our strategy to expand business in New England markets. That has made us more attractive to auto customers looking for a broad geographic supplier as the automotive market rebounded in 2012. Other automotive projects during the year included expansions of an auto loading facility in Detroit and a Honda plant in Indiana.

Other significant non-energy projects included a Georgia customer that completed a major expansion of a facility that processes kaolin, an industrial mineral used in the manufacturing of various products, including paper and plastic goods. Customers also opened a number of warehouse and distribution facilities that handle commodities ranging from food products to construction materials.

Over the past 10 years, Norfolk Southern’s Industrial Development Department has helped locate or expand 1,021 facilities. That represents a $28.7 billion investment by our customers, generating more than 48,000 jobs in areas served by the railroad.

Working with communities to ensure they have available land for industrial sites, our Industrial Development team joins state and local authorities in marketing sites served by us or our short-line railroad partners. We offer free, confidential plant-location services, including site-assistance planning, track design, and logistics support.

Network improvements and efficienciesOur Key Public-Private Partnerships
sampleImage
Learn about our economic development plan — helping to expand industry, create jobs, and positively contribute to daily life along our 22-state network.
learn more >

In the past decade on our network:

  • More than 1,021 facilities
  • Nearly $29 billion in investment
  • More than 48,000 jobs created
site map  /  reports archive  /  ns sustainability home  © 2013 Norfolk southern

sustainability in action:

Creative thinking reduces energy use – and costs

Through our InnovatioNS program, Norfolk Southern encourages employees to look for ways to make their work safer, more efficient, and more cost effective. Brian Thomas’ ingenuity has saved the company money and contributed to its sustainability efforts. read more >

sustainability in action:

Committed to a greener workplace

Employees at Norfolk Southern have embraced the railroad’s sustainability efforts. At many locations across the system, employees such as Emily Hunter have taken the initiative to launch recycling and other green initiatives. read more >

sustainability in action:

A Norfolk Southern ‘River Star’

Ray Jones, a 32-year railroader, is committed to helping Norfolk Southern meet its pledge to be a good corporate neighbor and environmental steward. read more >

Creative thinking reduces energy use – and costs

>

Committed to a greener workplace

>

A Norfolk Southern ‘River Star’

>

See all of our sustainability in action case studies

sustainability in action:

Keeping locomotives moving down the track

Norfolk Southern is continually looking for ways to increase the efficiency and productivity of operations. Devina Miller has played a key role in a Mechanical Department initiative dubbed Mission Critical. read more >

Keeping locomotives moving down the track

>

See all of our sustainability in action case studies

sustainability in action:

A little effort, a lot of food for those in need

To strengthen the communities our railroad serves, Norfolk Southern promotes and supports employee volunteerism. Many employees, like Amanda Carpenter, volunteer their time, treasure, and talents to build community connections. read more >

sustainability in action:

Building community partnerships

Norfolk Southern strives to be a good corporate citizen. The railroad routinely partners with local, state, and federal government officials on projects that benefit communities and the country. Employees such as Ed Sites and David Dize are the ones who make these partnerships work. read more >

sustainability in action:

In pursuit of a dream

Norfolk Southern ensures that employees have ample opportunities to develop their skills and advance their careers. Jerome Perry is taking advantage of an NS program to further his education. read more >

sustainability in action:

Where good health meets good deeds

As part of its employee wellness program, dubbed WellNS, Norfolk Southern in 2011 introduced Power Train, an initiative that combines physical fitness and charitable giving. Misty Braden organized a Power Train team in Knoxville to help fund breast cancer research after a colleague was diagnosed with the disease. read more >

sustainability in action:

Partnering for safety

Safely operating our railroad is Norfolk Southern’s No. 1 priority. In addition to efforts to keep our employees safe on the job, we partner with communities in various ways to promote public safety. Employees Richard Vaughan and Greg Valentine demonstrate that commitment. read more >

A little effort, a lot of food for those in need

>

Building community partnerships

>

In pursuit of a dream

>

Where good health meets good deeds

>

Partnering for safety

>

See all of our sustainability in action case studies