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.
In the past decade on our network:
- More than 1,021 facilities
- Nearly $29 billion in investment
- More than 48,000 jobs created