NOC war room enabling operational successes

Our newly established Network Operations Center (NOC) war room is fast-tracking performance improvements throughout our 22-state network. Located at our Atlanta headquarters, the war room is staffed by leaders from all operating divisions. By taking a Team of Teams approach, they are helping to make NS a more reliable and resilient railroad. This is achieved through the shared and relentless focus on meeting our customer-centric, operations-driven objectives.

“We’ve brought together teams of some of our most experienced leaders to solve both short-term and long-term problems. They are addressing issues in real time and adjusting based on what the inbound and outbound train connection data tells us,” said John Orr, Chief Operating Officer. “Everyone in the war room is singularly focused on challenging the status quo to make NS a leader in safety, service, and productivity.”

“The NOC war room brings everyone together in a single location to ensure close collaboration so we can implement the best strategies to support our customers,” said Rodney Moore, VP Network Operations. “Together, we’re developing solutions that we can implement throughout our entire network.”

The war room team achieves continuous performance victories that allow it to deliver safe, reliable, and resilient service. Recent examples include:

  • Three new continuous schedules were implemented between Chattanooga to Savannah, Savannah to Chattanooga, and Chattanooga to Valdosta, Georgia. These trains are now scheduled to travel to the freight’s final designation instead of stopping at an intermediate terminal to be processed.
  • Train 11K, which travels from Croxton, New Jersey, formally terminated at Conway, Pennsylvania. It now terminates at Elkhart, Indiana. With the newly developed Northern Region plan, traffic that formally processed at Conway now travels directly to its destination in Elkhart without dwelling.

A key member of the war room team is Russell Strickland, Director, Network Optimization, who is helping to design a new train network for the Southern Region’s production yards. Working in conjunction with Transportation and the NOC, the team successfully redistributed trains across multiple terminal operating plans to help spread inbound volume and to optimize both dwell and connections performance.

“One of our main goals is to increase the velocity of freight throughout the network,” said Strickland. “We have been utilizing a matrix that shows inbound trains and their outbound connections to find the “sweet spot” for these trains’ departure schedules to capture the most traffic in those optimal windows thereby reducing dwell.”