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2015 Economic Engine Scorecard


New Industries


industry expansions

$4.2 billion

industry investment

$8.7 billion

NS payroll, purchases,
and taxes


additional carloads


new customer jobs

Helping communities prosper

In 2015, Norfolk Southern contributed to industrial development projects that created jobs and business growth across 20 of its 22 operating states.

Working with customers and local and state economic development officials, NS helped locate 61 new and expand 32 existing industries along its rail lines. These projects pumped more than $4.2 billion in industry investment into communities large and small, generated more than 6,000 new customer jobs, and added to NS’ top-line growth – an estimated 88,974 additional carloads of business valued at more than $212 million.

The two largest projects in terms of jobs and investment involved automotive assembly plants: Mercedes-Benz USI invested $2 billion to expand production of its C-class models at Vance, Ala., while Ford Motor Co. invested $1.1 billion to expand production of F-150 pickups at its Claycomo, Mo., plant.

Agricultural projects served by NS’ grain franchise – including elevators, feed mills, and food processing plants – accounted for nearly one-quarter of the rail carload growth. While U.S. energy production slowed in 2015, 12 projects associated with NS’ ethanol, natural gas, crude oil, wood pellet, and coal markets were among 19 expected to generate more than $3 million each in annual railroad revenues.

“Our goal is to help communities be successful. If our communities are doing well from an industrial standpoint, it bodes well for us.”
–Jason Reiner, Assistant Vice President
Industrial Development

Learn more about how NS’ Industrial Development group supports customers and communities.

NS' 2015 Economic Footprint

The positive economic impacts generated by Norfolk Southern’s business operations ripple through states and local communities across the eastern U.S. In 2015, NS financed a payroll of more than $2.3 billion and paid taxes and made purchases totaling more than $6.3 billion.

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All Other
  • Total Number of
    Employees Paid (a)

  • Total Payroll (a)

    (in thousands)
  • Total Taxes, Purchases
    & Other Payments (b,c)

    (in thousands)
  • Miles of Road Operated

  • -

    Industry Investment

    (in thousands)
  • -

    New Customer Jobs

  • -


  • (A) Employment based on W-2's state of residence.
  • (B) Taxes include state income, property, sales and use, franchise, and other miscellaneous taxes.
  • (C) Total purchases includes capital items, rolling stock, joint facility, employee claims, and legal fees. Payroll is not included.

Capital Investment Generates Economic Returns

For every dollar of operating revenue generated in 2015, Norfolk Southern reinvested approximately 23 cents into capital projects to enhance service and grow the business. That investment totaled $2.4 billion.

The company prioritizes capital investment among four strategic areas to achieve performance goals. The focus is to:

  • Maintain existing and purchase new assets, including rail and track infrastructure, locomotives, and freight cars.
  • Ensure consistent and reliable customer service.
  • Improve and enhance operational efficiencies and productivity.
  • Facilitate growth in targeted markets.

While strengthening NS’ franchise, these investments create a multiplier of economic benefits for communities across the railroad’s operating network. They provide income to NS suppliers and their employees, generate tax revenues for state and local governments, and create an economic climate that supports jobs and development.

The largest portion of NS’ 2015 capital budget went to maintain track infrastructure: With 35,000 miles of yard and road track, NS’ business is capital-intensive. The railroad installed 523 miles of new rail, replaced 2.4 million crossties, and resurfaced 5,074 miles of track with approximately 2.6 million tons of ballast.

2015 Capital Investments