Our People:
The Power that Drives us Forward

Our railroaders are the very best in the industry, and the heart and soul of Norfolk Southern. Their hard work and dedication drives America's economy, and we count on them every day to safely deliver reliable and resilient service for our customers.

That is why we have renewed our commitment to our craft colleagues and taken steps over the past year to improve their work experience and provide a better quality of life – from being the first railroad to provide paid sick leave for all of our craft colleagues, to forging an industry-leading collaboration with union leadership to set the gold standard of railroad safety.

Our strategy means more training and career advancement opportunities for our people. We have a special focus on providing a strong quality of life for front-line railroaders.

Image of Listening to our Craft Colleagues

Listening to our Craft Colleagues

Norfolk Southern operates inspection trains across our 22-state network, offering NS leadership the opportunity to experience our facilities up close and foster employee engagement and gather feedback.

Recently, our Operations leadership team rode the inspection train for a two-day trip to meet with railroaders in 3 states. During each visit, we spoke with our railroaders to gain firsthand insights on new ways to enhance our safety culture and policies, as we become a safer and more customer-centric, operations-driven railroad.

Image of Enhancing Conductor Training with SMART-TD

Enhancing Conductor Training with SMART-TD

Through our partnership with the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers — Transportation Division (SMART-TD) we will launch several new initiatives to further enhance the training program for our conductor trainees and increase compensation for conductors who help provide this important training.

We made a commitment to partnering with our unions on safety, and our work with SMART-TD's is another example of that We’ve begun developing and deploying innovative training initiatives, including:

  • A train-the-trainer program for all conductors and foremen to ensure consistency and quality in the training they provide to new trainees.
  • A standardized process to monitor and report progress on all activities outlined in the existing trainee qualification book.
  • A bilateral rating system to allow conductor trainers and trainees to rate each other's engagement, professionalism, and commitment to safety.

Ballast Line Leadership Program

Trust and collaboration are essential in creating a safe work environment for our teams. With this in mind, we launched the Ballast Line Leadership Program (BLLP), a two-day course for our frontline Operations leaders.

This course helps equip our supervisors with the skills and perspectives needed to both solicit valuable feedback from their teams, and to provide constructive feedback to their employees without fear or hesitation. Strong leadership development is a core component of our efforts to create the best possible environment for our people.

Image of Leading the Rail Industry in Paid Sick Leave

Leading the Rail Industry in Paid Sick Leave

Norfolk Southern is the first Class I railroad to have negotiated paid sick leave agreements for its entire craft workforce base.

Norfolk Southern and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers — Transportation Division (SMART-TD) reached an agreement with representatives for their final group of craft employees – yardmasters – to provide up to seven paid sick days per year.

The agreement provides nearly 300 Norfolk Southern yardmasters with four additional days of paid sick leave per year while also offering them the flexibility to use up to three additional days of existing paid time off as sick leave.

"We are fully committed to addressing quality of life issues for our craft railroaders, and our agreement with SMART-TD makes good on that promise. I am incredibly proud of our team for working constructively with union leadership to reach agreements that benefit all of our craft colleagues."

— Alan Shaw, Norfolk Southern President and CEO

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