Norfolk Southern Touts Improvements Along D&H Line

It’s been one year since Norfolk Southern Corp. bought the Delaware & Hudson Railway Co. (D&H) line between Sunbury, Pa., and Schenectady, N.Y.

Now, NS says customers are seeing improved customer service and infrastructure investments along the corridor.

NS completed its purchase of 282 miles of D&H track for $214.5 million from Canadian Pacific Railway Sept. 18, 2015. Delaware & Hudson is a subsidiary of CP.

“We set out to improve our competitive transportation offerings between Pennsylvania, New York, and New England, and I’m proud to say Norfolk Southern is well on its way to achieving that goal,” NS Chairman, President, and CEO James A. Squires said in a news release. “Norfolk Southern takes great pride in incorporating this corridor into our safe, reliable, and efficient 22-state freight rail network.”

The line connects to Norfolk Southern’s network at Sunbury and Binghamton, N.Y., as well as to its joint venture subsidiary Pan Am Southern at Mechanicville, N.Y. Together, the Pan Am Southern network, which services New England markets, and the former D&H line provide NS with a single-line route linking Chicago and southeastern U. S. markets to the Capital Region of New York.

During the past year, NS has improved safety and service on the line by installing 90,000 new ties, resurfacing 84 miles of track, and making improvements to the Belden Tunnel in New York. Additionally, NS hired 166 new employees, including 140 former D&H employees with experience working the corridor.

Improved service on the route, including an average of eight daily trains, has helped attract additional rail traffic, shifting long-haul trucks off public roadways. NS Intermodal terminals at Ayer, Mass., and Scranton, Pa., have seen double-digit volume growth during the past year.

Norfolk Southern’s partnership with New York to replace the Portageville Bridge in Letchworth State Park will further improve service to Binghamton, Scranton, Albany, and New England. The new bridge, expected to open in 2017, will replace the span, which operates under weight and speed restrictions.

“Our operation of this corridor not only underscores our confidence in the economy of the region, but also preserves good-paying railroad jobs and revitalizes this important rail line,” said John H. Friedmann, NS vice president strategic planning. “We’re making these investments to provide our customers with freight rail service that helps them thrive, and we continuously look to improve safety for our employees, our customers, and the communities in which we operate.”