Norfolk Southern’s rail network is a business magnet across our 22-state network. We work with customers and state and local economic development officials to identify suitable sites along our tracks to locate manufacturing plants, warehouses, distribution facilities, and other facilities that require rail to get their products to market. We help stimulate business growth, create jobs, and generate tax revenues for the communities we serve.
Keeping the Economy Moving
In 2013, Norfolk Southern’s Industrial Development Department helped customers locate 67 new industries and expand 25 businesses. Those economic development projects resulted in customer investments of $2.3 billion in 14 states across our network that is projected to create more than 3,100 new jobs and 136,000 carloads of new rail traffic.
Continuing a trend over the past few years, energy sector development contributed to strong growth across our service area. Projects involving crude oil transportation and support for natural gas exploration and production accounted for 65 percent of the new carload traffic resulting from economic development projects in 2013. Norfolk Southern assisted in the location or expansion of 11 energy-related facilities.
The balance of development projects secured during 2013 was distributed among the business markets the railroad serves, with notable representation in the metals, agriculture, and automotive sectors.
One of the single largest development projects was the expansion of V & M Star’s steel pipe mill in Youngstown, Ohio. The steel company’s $650 million investment is projected to create 350 new jobs and 4,350 new carloads of rail business annually. Another substantial project was General Motors Corp.’s $275 million truck assembly plant expansion in Fort Wayne, Ind., which is projected to lead to 150 new jobs and 7,700 new carloads.
New Bulk Terminals Expand Reach of Rail
For areas not directly served by rail, Norfolk Southern promotes economic development through 32 Thoroughbred Bulk Terminals. Operating in 17 states, these specialized facilities allow non-rail served customers to transfer an array of dry and liquid commodities between railcars and trucks. The TBT terminals handle commodities such as flour, plastic pellets, steel, sand, cement, and corn syrup.
In 2013, Norfolk Southern opened new TBT facilities in Knoxville, Tenn., and Columbia, S.C., and expanded a facility in Elizabeth, N.J. These terminals enable us to offer truck-competitive rail service to customers who otherwise might have no other option than to move their product over the highway.
A Tax Engine for State and Local Economies
Norfolk Southern makes significant contributions in taxes, payroll, and purchased services in the communities we serve.
Measures of the railroad’s economic impact in 2013 include:
- $2.18 billion in total payroll
- $311.5 million in total state and local taxes
- $6.2 billion in purchases and other payments