Norfolk Southern EVP Deborah Butler Retiring Oct. 1

A train pulled by Norfolk Southern units passes through Tucson, Ariz., on March 1, 2015. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

The executive vice president of planning and chief information officer of Norfolk Southern Corp. is retiring effective Oct. 1, the company announced today.

Deborah H. Butler joined Norfolk Southern in 1978 as a customer account auditor. She was later named assistant vice president transportation customer services in 2000 and vice president customer service in 2002.

“Envisioning the railroad of tomorrow is one thing, actually making it happen is quite another,” Norfolk Southern President and CEO Jim Squires said in a news release. “Deb’s enduring contribution to Norfolk Southern is all around us in the systems and technology that literally make the railroad run, that support efficient customer service, and that provide flexibility to take advantage of growth opportunities.”

Butler has served as chairman of the board of Thoroughbred Technology and Telecommunications, a subsidiary of Norfolk Southern. She has also served as a board member of TTX Co., which provides railcars and related freight car management services to the rail industry.

On the technology front, during her tenure at Norfolk Southern, Butler oversaw the implementation of a new optimized dispatching system to improve network velocity and significant progress toward installation of Positive Train Control systems. On the planning side, her tenure included the successful negotiation to purchase 282 miles of Delaware and Hudson Railway Co. lines to support rail service and the economy in the Northeast.