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2015 employee-training scorecard



of training center

Launched new

online learning

management system

Began update of

Conductor Trainee


Advances in employee development

In 2015, the company advanced efforts to enhance training and career development opportunities for new hires and seasoned employees.

Following are the most significant accomplishments.

Norfolk Southern Training Center:

Located in McDonough, Ga., the facility provides centralized technical training for newly hired craft employees and advanced training programs for veteran and supervisory employees. In March, NS completed a new classroom addition that doubled instructional space to 50,000 square feet and equipped the facility with the latest in digital learning technologies, including touchscreens, smart boards, tablets, and customized computer simulations.

The upgrade also enhanced environmental sustainability:

The center’s new virtual welding lab, for example, enables NS to teach the basics of freight car welding virtually instead of consuming stacks of metal burn plates. The computer-simulated welder training provides physical, auditory, and visual feedback and actually accelerates training.

Traning Center Snapshot

During 2015, 3,979 operations employees received 461,928 hours
of training at the Norfolk Southern Training Center.



conductor trainees and Locomotive Engineers



carmen, electricians, and machinists



signals employees






maintenance-of-way employees in bridge, equipment, and track welding service



supervisory employees

NS also began introducing enhancements to its conductor trainee program. Improvements in 2015 included the addition of static “competency stations” that expand hands-on training in such work tasks as mounting and dismounting equipment, securing rail car hand brakes, and coupling air hoses. The aim is to make the training program more efficient and reduce the amount of time needed to qualify conductors. This addresses a business need to improve resource allocation in response to changing business markets and traffic volumes.

Learning Management Center:

NS launched a new online learning management system that makes it easier than ever for employees to access training and develop and advance their careers.

The new LMS consolidates training programs formerly housed on separate systems into a one-stop shopping place that allows employees to browse training topics, complete online courses, and track their learning. In addition, employees receive automatic email notification of required training based on job position, department, and other criteria recommended for various job roles to help employees be successful.

“The LMS is a best-in-class system,” said Dan MacKay, director employee development. “It gives the company much more capability to deliver and track training and it gives employees a much more efficient way to explore and take advantage of the training opportunities we offer.

“Implementing the LMS as the single corporate standard,” MacKay said, “reduces the company’s operational costs in addition to streamlining the training process for employees.”