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Norfolk Southern plans $2 billion in upgrades

Keywords: Tags  Norfolk Southern, railroad, capital investments, Wick Moorman, rail, transportation

CHICAGO — Norfolk Southern Corp. plans to spend $2 billion on capital improvements to its rail transportation network in 2013.

The largest expenditure will be $831 million designated for roadway improvements, including the maintenance and replacement of rail, crossties, ballasts and bridges. The rail company also plans to spend $420 million to acquire new locomotives, upgrade existing units, rebody coal cars, buy multilevel freight cars to handle increased automotive traffic, and purchase intermodal containers and chassis.

Norfolk Southern has marked $229 million for continued implementation of positive train control, a federal automation technology mandate designed to improve safety while equipment is moving.

Investments in facilities and terminals will exceed $200 million and will include the expansion of a northern Ohio railyard, the construction of a new intermodal terminal in Charlotte, N.C., and the development of new and expanded bulk transfer facilities.

"Our capital plan will maintain the safety and quality of our existing franchise, improve service quality and performance, achieve operational efficiencies and productivity improvements, and support business growth," chief executive officer Wick Moorman said in a statement.

The Norfolk, Va.-based company operates 20,000 route miles in 22 states, mostly east of the Mississippi River.

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