Norfolk Southern Corporation  (NSC)
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    Sector  Transportation    Industry Railroads
   Industry Railroads
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Norfolk Southern Corporation

Business Description

Norfolk Southern Corporation (Norfolk Southern) was incorporated on July 23, 1980, under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. On June l, 1982, Norfolk Southern acquired control of two major operating railroads, Norfolk and Western Railway Company (NW) and Southern Railway Company (Southern) in accordance with an Agreement of Merger and Reorganization dated as of July 31, 1980, and with the approval of the transaction by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) (now the Surface Transportation Board [STB]).

NS' railroads operated approximately 21,500 miles of road in the states of Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia and in the Province of Ontario, Canada.

NS' railroads carry raw materials, intermediate products and finished goods primarily in the Southeast, East and Midwest, and via interchange with other rail carriers, to and from the rest of the United States and parts of Canada. They also transport overseas freight through several Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports. Atlantic ports served by NS include: Norfolk, Virginia; Morehead City, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida; Baltimore, Maryland; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania/Camden, New Jersey; Wilmington, Delaware; and the Ports of New York/New Jersey. Gulf Coast ports served include Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana.

The lines of NS' railroads reach most of the larger industrial and trading centers of the Southeast, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic region and Midwest. Chicago, Norfolk, Detroit, Atlanta, Metropolitan New York City, Jacksonville, Kansas City (Missouri), Baltimore, Buffalo, Charleston, Cleveland, Columbus, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Toledo, Greensboro, Charlotte and Savannah are among the leading centers originating and terminating freight traffic on the system.

In addition, haulage arrangements with connecting carriers allow NS' railroads to provide single-line service to and from additional markets, including haulage provided by Florida East Coast Railway Company to serve southern and eastern Florida, including the port cities of Miami, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale; and haulage provided by The Kansas City Southern Railway Company to provide transcontinental intermodal service via a connection with the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company. Service is provided to New England, including the Port of Boston, via haulage, trackage rights and interline arrangements with Canadian Pacific Railway Company and Guilford Transportation Industries.

The system's lines also reach many individual industries, electric generating facilities, mines (in western Virginia, eastern Kentucky, southern and northern West Virginia and western Pennsylvania), distribution centers, transload facilities and other businesses located in smaller communities in its service area. The traffic corridors carrying the heaviest volumes of freight include those from the New York City area to Chicago (via Allentown and Pittsburgh); Chicago to Jacksonville (via Cincinnati, Chattanooga and Atlanta); Appalachian coal fields of Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky to Norfolk, Virginia and Sandusky, Ohio; Cleveland to Kansas City; and Knoxville to Chattanooga.

Chicago, Memphis, Sidney/Salem, New Orleans, Kansas City, Buffalo, St. Louis and Meridian are major gateways for interterritorial system traffic.

COMPETITION - There is continuing strong competition among rail, water and highway carriers. Price is usually only one factor of importance as shippers and receivers choose a transport mode and specific hauling company. Inventory carrying costs, service reliability, ease of handling and the desire to avoid loss and damage during transit are also important considerations, especially for higher-valued finished goods, machinery and consumer products. Even for raw materials, semifinished goods and work-in-process, users are increasingly sensitive to transport arrangements that minimize problems at successive production stages.

NS' primary rail competitor is the CSX system; both operate throughout much of the same territory. Other railroads also operate in parts of the territory. NS also competes with motor carriers, water carriers and with shippers who have the additional option of handling their own goods in private carriage.

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