Home sweet home: Norfolk Southern opens its new Atlanta HQ


Last week, Norfolk Southern Railway hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the Class I’s new corporate headquarters in Midtown Atlanta. Guests joining NS executives and employees at the event included Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, former Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).

The 750,000-square-foot building sits on a 3.4-acre campus in the city’s multiblock neighborhood known as Tech Square. About 3,000 of NS’s 19,000 employees will be stationed at the new corporate campus.

The Atlanta headquarters marks the end of NS calling Norfolk, Virginia, its corporate home. However, the railroad has a history in Atlanta: In 1982, when Norfolk & Western merged with Southern Railway, Norfolk was selected as the corporate headquarters, while the railroad’s operations and technology leadership was located in Atlanta.

For many years that worked well, according to Annie Adams, NS executive vice president and chief technology officer.

“But to be a leader in today’s rapidly evolving transportation and logistics market, we need to be more agile and work more collaboratively across organizational boundaries,” said Adams, according to prepared remarks she delivered at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “We needed to bring operations, technology, marketing, finance and other functions together in one place. And that’s the genesis of Project Fusion — our plan to bring our people together in a space that would foster collaboration and innovation.”

Office space designed for health, wellness

In designing the new headquarters, employee health and well-being were a central focus.

“As a result, we created an environment perfectly suited for the future of work in a post-pandemic world — with lots of space for socially distanced meetings, touchless movement and transactions, hospital-grade air handling systems, abundant outdoor spaces and state-of-the-art technology that enables our new era of hybrid work,” Adams said.

Employees’ desks are located with their teams in a small “neighborhood” of work stations that allow employees to sit or stand at their desks. The neighborhoods feature plenty of natural light, Adams said.

“But our goal is to foster cross-functional collaboration so laptops and mobile technology enable employees to move freely and work throughout the building without feeling tethered to their desk,” she added. “Employees might meet in a high-tech conference room that allows them to easily connect with colleagues across town or across the country — or they might meet around a library table in The Stacks, one of two floors with a variety of alternative workspaces.”

The following video, provided by NS, offers an overview of some of the building’s design features, as well as highlights of the ribbon-cutting ceremony.