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Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway

Norfolk Southern's Squires touts strategic plan achievements

James Squires
Photo –

Norfolk Southern Corp. is improving its corporate performance through "successful execution" of the company's five-year strategic plan, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer James Squires announced today at the company's annual meeting.

Last year was the first full year of the company's strategic plan to operate a faster, lower-cost and more profitable railroad. The Class I's achievements last year included an "all-time best" operating ratio of 68.9 percent, productivity savings of $250 million, near record levels of network service performance and record locomotive fuel efficiency, according to an NS press release.

"Through successful execution of our plan, we achieved our key first-year financial and operational targets and we are well on pace to achieve our 2020 performance goals," Squires said.

NS is off to a strong start this year, Squires said, citing 2017 first-quarter records in operating ratio, operations income and earnings per share (EPS).

The railroad's 2020 goals include annual expense savings of more than $650 million, double-digit percentage compound annual growth rate in EPS, and an operating ratio below 65 percent.

"We are driving growth by providing superior service that optimizes pricing and increases volume and top-line revenue," Squires said. "We are relentlessly focused on meeting the unique needs of our customers – and we are measuring service excellence as they define it."

Long term, service will be NS' competitive differentiator and will propel shareholder value, Squires added

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