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Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
Norfolk Southern's strategic plan is producing results, Squires says
Norfolk Southern Railway in 2019 is "reimagining possible" in all aspects of its business to improve customer service, increase efficiency, drive growth and create shareholder value, President and Chief Executive Officer James Squires Squires said today at the company's annual shareholders meeting.
"We are moving full speed ahead with a new plan for the future that provides a clear path to continued success — success that benefits our customers, our employees, and our shareholders,” said Squires in a press release.
Released in February, NS three-year strategic plan is transforming the company. The plan is based on a precision scheduled railroading (PSR) model, and is built on five principles: serving customers, managing assets, controlling costs, working safely and developing people.
“We are transforming our operations, and, indeed, our entire organization,” Squires said. “We’re getting the right people in the right positions and in the right places. We’re looking at old challenges in new ways – and we’re turning challenges into opportunity.”
Through a process called "clean sheeting," NS has streamlined operations at its rail terminals to improve the consistency and reliability of customer service while lowering operating costs and creating capacity for growth, NS officials said.
Guided by the first strategic plan developed under Squires' leadership, NS has delivered record financial results over the past three years. Those results include year-over-year improvement in operating ratio, which reached an all-time best of 65.4 percent in 2018.
Under the new strategic plan, the company's goal is to achieve an operating ratio of 60 percent by 2021.
The new strategic plan already is delivering results, Squires said. Under the plan, the Class I achieved all-time best first-quarter performance in 2019 across several financial measures, including net income, earnings per share, and operating ratio.
The company also accomplished significant improvements in network fluidity and velocity, increasing average train speed 14 percent and reducing the time that rail cars dwell in terminals by 23 percent, he said.
Squires' full remarks can be found here.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.