Dillard Yard improves safety, productivity, and efficiency

Norfolk Southern’s Dillard Yard in Savannah, Georgia is building on the safe, reliable, and resilient service they provide to customers. This includes enhancing communication, productivity, and efficiency. These successful changes are being adopted throughout NS’ Coastal Division.

Over the past six months, the yard has implemented a series of operational improvements, including:

  • Achieving significant successes in reducing overtime and enhancing safety throughout the operation by using Six Sigma methodology.
  • Improving connection traffic through the realignment of crew members. By condensing connection traffic, teams now traverse less distance to perform switching. These changes have also enhanced safety by reducing the risk of car collisions.
  • The Dillard team uses a build sheet process, which is a living document that is updated throughout the day with car switching information and inbound and outbound train sizes. The Performance Excellence group has since deployed this process throughout the Norfolk Southern network, which has improved visibility for outbound trains.
  • The build sheet process allows the Network Operations Center (NOC), as well as other terminals,  a way to see estimated train sizes 12-36 hours in advance of the trains being built. This visibility helps the NOC and receiving terminals plan 24-48 hours ahead and better anticipate flow across our network.

“These improvements ensure that we are putting the right car in the right lane, so it is delivered on time,” said Christopher Harden, terminal superintendent. “Our crew members have a much greater understanding of how their works support the goals of our customers. We want everyone to feel proud of the work they do.”  

Around 100 crew members work at the Dillard Yard, which serves the Port of Savannah. Freight moved includes paper, chemical, and warehousing.