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Norfolk Southern Railway has assisted 75 customer facilities in locating or expanding operations along the Class I's rail lines in 2017.The 54 new and 21 expanded facilities owned by NS customers represent an investment of $1.1 billion by those customers. The investment is expected to create nearly 2,000 new customer jobs in the railroad's service area and generate more than 147,000 carloads of new rail traffic, according to an NS press release."The strong industrial development activity in 2017 is an indication of renewed confidence on the part of industry and consumers, as well as continued demand for freight rail service," said Jason Reiner, assistant vice president of industrial development. "The results include a mix of manufacturing, energy, and foreign-trade related business, and we believe we have an encouraging pipeline for growth entering the new year."NS works with state and local economic development authorities on projects that involve site location and infrastructure to connect customers to the Class I's rail system. NS provides free and confidential facility location services, including industrial park planning, site layout, track design and supply-chain analysis.During the past 10 years, the NS Industrial Development Department has participated in the location or expansion of 922 facilities representing private investment of more than $60 billion and creating nearly 41,000 direct new customer jobs in territory the railroad serves, NS officials said.