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NS addresses COVID-19 prep; CN to hold annual meeting via webcast

NS employees, systems and communication infrastructure are being prepared for remote work should the need arise, EVP Alan Shaw said in a letter to customers and supply chain partners.
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Norfolk Southern Railway yesterday provided its customers and supply chain partners an update on the Class I's efforts to address concerns about COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

NS's chief medical officer is closely monitoring guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and health officials across the railroad's network, wrote Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Alan Shaw in a letter outlining the company's actions.

NS has ensured that office locations, crew reporting locations, locomotives and operations buildings across the system are supplied with cleaning and disinfecting products, and is enhancing regular cleaning services, he said.

"We have identified mission critical activities and essential employees that support those activities, and we are modifying those work areas to create additional spatial separation to ensure that those operations continue working smoothly and seamlessly for our customers," Shaw wrote.

NS employees, systems and communication infrastructure are being prepared for remote work should the need arise. Additionally, the railroad has initiated its Pandemic Planning Task Force, which includes representation from all departments, to review work group contingency plans and procedures.

Contingency planning is ongoing, Shaw said.

"We are focused most acutely on mission critical functions, including transportation planning and operations, customer service, equipment management, train reporting and work orders, ensuring we have plans in place to maintain adequate staffing and a safe, effective work environment," he wrote.

Customers who need to contact NS should continue using normal communication channels, although they may experience longer than normal wait times, Shaw said. He encouraged customers to use AccessNS, the company's web-based portal, for the latest shipping information.

Shaw also encouraged customers to advise NS if they anticipate changes in their supply chains.

Meanwhile, CN announced this week it will conduct its annual shareholders meeting via live webcast on April 28. Holding the meeting online rather than in person will minimize health risks associated with large gatherings "and is in line with our sustainability vision and belief," company officials said in a press release.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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