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4/5/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

For NS, seven plus seven equals prime performance, Goode says


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Norfolk Southern Railway expects its top-line dice to soon roll nothing but sevens. Chairman, president and chief executive officer David Goode recently outlined the railroad's "7 + 7" goal in NS' April online newsletter.
"Number one is to start our revenue number with a seven — $7 billion, up from $6.2 billion last year," he said. "The second is to start our operating ratio with a seven — as in the 70s."
Goode believes NS can approach those goals yet this year, after better controlling costs and improving revenue yield in 2001.
"We must make an incremental jump in the improvement of our business if we are to continue to succeed in an environment that continues to change radically," he said. "That change, in essence, is this: As we have expanded our transportation network, markets have shifted and we need to react."
Goode wants NS to continue improving its service reliability — for example, running merchandise trains more than 90 percent on time through Thoroughbred Operating Plan — in order to sell a high-value service, gain market share and increase revenues.
"We achieved last year the industry's best improvement in operating ratio, but 83.7 percent is not nearly good enough for 2002 and beyond," he said.


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