NS Forms Combined Transportation, Network Ops Organization

Written by

Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor

Norfolk Southern has promoted Paul Duncan to Senior Vice President Transportation & Network Operations (left); Rodney Moore to Vice President Network Operations (center); and Jacob Elium to Vice President Network Planning and Optimization.

Paul B. Duncan will lead Norfolk Southern’s (NS) newly combined
Transportation and Network Operations organization, the Class I railroad reported on Sept. 29.

Duncan has been elevated to Senior Vice President Transportation and Network Operations and will lead the team that designs network operations, executes network plans, and coordinates the movement of trains across the company’s rail network, NS said. 

Duncan previously led Network Planning & Optimization (NPO) and the Network Operations Center (NOC), both responsible for developing and implementing NS’s operating plan. The addition of the Transportation Department, under the leadership of Vice President Transportation Floyd Hudson, “will bring together and strengthen all the Operations groups responsible for service improvement and quality,” according to the railroad.

“Since joining Norfolk Southern in March 2022, Paul has made an immediate, positive impact on our operations,” NS Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Cindy Sanborn said. “He has led the creation of our new TOP|SPG operating plan* while putting in place processes to improve service for our customers. Importantly, he is a collaborative leader, and this newly combined organization will help us drive greater momentum and help hone our focus on creating growth for customers and Norfolk Southern.”

The leadership team for the new Transportation and Network Operations organization will be rounded out with Jacob Elium, Rodney Moore, and Floyd Hudson, who were also promoted. Sanborn called them “dedicated professionals with broad and deep experience at Norfolk Southern.”

As Vice President Network Operations, Moore will oversee the team that executes TOP|SPG through locomotive distribution, crew management and dispatch. He served previously as the General Manager responsible for Operations in NS’s Southern Region. Moore joined the company in June 2004 as a Management Trainee, and has held numerous leadership roles in Transportation—including Superintendent Coastal Division, Division Superintendent and Terminal Superintendent—and also served as Assistant General Manager for the NOC.

As Vice President NPO, Elium will lead the team that develops network operating plans. He served most recently as Group Vice President Automotive Marketing & Sales in the Marketing Division, and was previously the company’s Assistant General Manager Crew Management. Elium started at NS in June 2012 as a Management Trainee and has also held roles in Customer Service, Labor Relations and Human Resources.

Sanborn noted that the Sept. 29 announcement “reflects our solid pipeline of leaders and commitment to promoting top talent.”

* NS’s TOP|SPG operating plan—which stands for Thoroughbred Operating Plan | Service Productivity Growth—has evolved from the railroad’s previous plans, TOP 21 among them. Cindy Sanborn and Paul Duncan in August joined Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono on a Rail Group on Air podcast (listen below) to talk about how TOP | SPG “isn’t a radical change in how we work with our customers, but a shift in how we execute our operations to move their shipments more directly and consistently.” The biggest changes affect intermodal markets, NS’s most time-sensitive business. TOP | SPG modifies about 90% of scheduled intermodal and merchandise trains “to reduce terminal congestion, improve network fluidity and create capacity for growth, ultimately simplifying the network through an operating plan with a high level of executability that will drive greater consistency and service improvements for customers.”

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