Ballast Line Leadership Program enhancing safety culture and engagement

We are engaging our frontline leaders across Norfolk Southern to help build effective communication with their teams, while encouraging continuous improvement and feedback. These comprehensive efforts to improve how we support our teams are designed to enhance our culture of safety and help us to be a customer-centric, operations-driven railroad.

Key to this is our Ballast Line Leadership Program (BLLP), a two-day course designed for frontline Operations leaders. BLLP reinforces leadership skills that include driving exceptional results, leading with trust, serving our customers, and building connections across teams. This program contributes to enhancing our safety culture, a priority that we are reinforcing in our collaboration with independent safety consultant, AtkinsRéalis US Nuclear.

“We want frontline leaders to have the knowledge they need to effectively engage their teams and move our strategy forward,” said John Fleps, VP Safety. “It’s all about mutual respect. We get the best results when our craft employees have a trusted relationship with their supervisor, and that goes both ways.”

“The BLLP course provided me an opportunity for collaboration with colleagues in a trusted safe space and increased self-awareness,” said Crystal McNeely, Manager Environmental Operations at our DeButts Yard in Chattanooga, TN.  “I’m proud to be part of an organization that is listening and providing resources that encourage communication and guidance to navigate difficult conversations.”

“I gained a lot from this program,” added Richard Mosley, Road Manager at Conway East in Pennsylvania. “We had plenty of time for thorough discussion and self-reflection. We could take what we learned and apply it out in the field right away.”