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4/2/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

NS marketing/operating unit to bolster, broaden eastern North Carolina business; vice president to supervise customer service


Norfolk Southern Railway April 1 began operating East Carolina Business Unit (ECBU), a marketing and operating group charged with developing business, improving customer service and increasing operating efficiency in eastern North Carolina.
NS plans to run the unit — designed to bring the railroad closer to local customers and improve asset use — through local managers, who'd supervise 485 miles of NS-operated track running east and south from Raleigh, N.C.
The Class I named Carl Wilson, former superintendent of terminals in St.
Louis, ECBU general manager to oversee the Raleigh-based group, including operating and marketing functions. Ronald Taylor, former general superintendent of NS' Lambert's Point Docks in Norfolk, Va., was named director of sales and marketing.
ECBU would be operated as an internal unit with its own budget, which is similar to a short line but the unit would be linked to NS' centralized dispatching, customer service and operating systems.
"It's a new, entrepreneurial way of doing business for Norfolk Southern," said Norfolk Southern Development President Daniel Smith (who has
overall ECBU responsibility) in a prepared statement.
NS assigned about 100 employees to ECBU, which would operate three mainlines and serve more than two dozen communities including Raleigh, Fayetteville, Mackeys, Lee Creek, Cumnock and Camp Lejeune, and, via North Carolina Railroad, Cary, Selma and Morehead City.
ECBU's main terminal for sorting freight cars and building trains is located in Raleigh, with satellite terminals in Chocowinity, Goldsboro, New Bern and Morehead City.
NS plans to work with North Carolina Railroad Co., North Carolina departments of commerce and transportation, Port of Morehead City, and local communities and customers to strengthen the region's rail service.
Meanwhile, in another customer-service enhancing move, NS April 2 named Debbie Butler vice president customer service, a new position responsible for overseeing the railroad's national customer service center, centralized yard operations and rail-car supply management.
Butler, who'll report to Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Tobias, joined NS in 1978 as a customer account auditor, later serving as assistant vice president transportation assets management and, most recently, as assistant vice president transportation customer services.


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