Another NS first: Yard Planner to further enhance safety and service

We’re committed to being an industry leader on safety and customer service, and technology is a key lever for us. We’ve begun implementation of Yard Planner, a new technology solution, at our Norris Yard in Birmingham. Yard Planner is helping us to improve our operational consistency and increase on-time delivery of freight to our customers.

The technology uses computer-aided decision making to reduce car switching, which allows cars to move and be assembled for outbound trains safer and more consistently. Yard Planner also provides Yardmasters with car-level visibility to optimize movements throughout the terminal. In addition, the platform enables pre-planning moves hours in advance and incorporates safe train build practices to safely move cars more efficiently. These components assist our Yardmasters to make consistent and safe decisions about the movement of rail cars within our terminals.

“Norfolk Southern is the first Class I railroad to implement Yard Planner and we are already seeing greater consistency of car movement,” said Joe Gioe, VP Transportation. “Most importantly, Yard Planner embeds safety and efficiency in our yards. We are excited about the long-term potential of this technology to support our customers.”

Since implementing Yard Planner in early September, we’ve seen improvements in the predictability of our operations at Norris Yard. In the future, Yard Planner will produce valuable real time data for use by other platforms such as Movement Planner, a technology that provides optimal train routing through automated decision-making capability.

We will fully implement Yard Planner by the beginning of next year at Norris Yard with the introduction of computer-aided decision making for outbound train assembly. We will then introduce the technology to a new yard beginning in Q1 2024 with the goal of implementing Yard Planner at all other NS hump yards in the future.

Special thanks to the teams at both our Norris Yard and our Gulf Division for their support of this critical work.