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12/14/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

NS to dole out fewer dollars for 2002 capital projects


Norfolk Southern Corp. plans to spend less on capital improvements next year compared with its 2001 capital expenditures — about $100 million less.
NS Dec. 13 announced a $705 million 2002 capital spending budget; The Class I in early 2001 budgeted $806 million for capital spending this year.
"We completed many of our major investments in line capacity, rail
terminals and information systems in 2001, and that's enabled us to
increase the resources devoted to maintaining our rail infrastructure," said David Goode, NS chairman, president and chief executive officer in a prepared statement, adding that 2002 spending levels are designed to bolster NS' system and steadily improve the railroad's service.
The 2002 budget targets $482 million for roadway projects — more than 2001's $449 million projection — including $366 million for rail, crosstie, ballast and bridge programs; $31 million for communications, signal and electrical improvements; $17 million for environmental projects and public improvements, including grade crossing separations and crossing signal upgrades; and $43 million for marketing and industrial-development initiatives, such as increasing track capacity and access to coal receivers and vehicle production and distribution facilities, and improving intermodal facilities.
The railroad's projected $173 million in equipment spending — quite a drop compared with 2001's $256 million budget — includes $102 million to purchase 50 six-axle locomotives and upgrade existing locomotives, and $57 million to improve information technology, including security and backup-system enhancements.


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