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1894 (1894)–Present (founded as the Southern Railway, 122 years ago) Norfolk Southern Railway (1990-present) The Norfolk Southern Railway (reporting mark NS), (also known as Norfolk Southern Railway Company, Norfolk Southern Railroad or simply Norfolk Southern) is a Class I railroad in the United States, owned by the Norfolk Southern Corporation. The railroad operates over 22,000 route miles in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia, and has rights in Canada from Buffalo to Toronto and over the Albany to Montreal route. The most common commodity hauled on the railroad is coal from mines in Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The railroad also offers the most extensive intermodal network in eastern North America. The Norfolk Southern Railway was founded in 1894 as the Southern Railway (also known as Southern Railway Company), making it the fourth oldest Class I railroad in North America (just behind Union Pacific Railroad, Canadian Pacific Railway and Kansas City Southern Railway). The railroad is a product of nearly 150 predecessor Southern United States lines that were combined, reorganized and recombined beginning in the 1830s, formally becoming the Southern Railway in 1894. The railroad's official predecessors are the Richmond, York River and Chesapeake Railroad, Richmond and Danville Railroad, Memphis and Charleston Railroad, East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railway with its heritage dating back to South Carolina Canal & Rail Road. The railroad has been operating for 122 years and has a heritage dating back to 189 years, 67 years before the railroad began. As the Southern Railway, its reporting mark was SOU and is still being used by the railroad today. The railroad's headquarters were originally located in Washington, D.C. but was moved to Norfolk, Virginia. The railroad shares the headquarters with its parent Norfolk Southern Corporation. In 1982, the railroad and its rival the Norfolk and Western Railway (N&W) joined forces together and created the Norfolk Southern Corporation holding company and then both railroads were placed under control of their new holding company. The Norfolk Southern Corporation was created in response to the creation of the CSX Corporation (its rail system was later transformed to CSX Transportation in 1986). The railroad was renamed from "Southern Railway" to its current name "Norfolk Southern Railway" on December 31, 1990 to reflect its parent company, making the railroad the third business entity to use the "Norfolk Southern" name. Its holding company was the second business entity to use the "Norfolk Southern" name starting in 1982 and the holding company was named in honor of the original Norfolk Southern Railway that existed from 1942 to 1982. The railroad gained full control of the Norfolk and Western Railway in 1990 with the Norfolk and Western being transferred from the holding company to the renamed Norfolk Southern Railway. Seven years later in 1997, the railroad absorbed the Norfolk and Western Railway, ending the existence of the Norfolk and Western Railway. In 1999, the railroad grew substantially with the acquisition of over half of Conrail, acquiring 58% of Conrail. CSX Corporation's CSX Transportation acquired the remaining 42% of Conrail. Together Norfolk Southern Railway and the CSX Transportation have a duopoly over all east-west freight rail traffic east of the Mississippi River. On November 17, 2015, Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, the holding company for Canadian Pacific Railway announced an offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Norfolk Southern Railway's parent company Norfolk Southern Corporation, at a price in excess of the US$26 Billion capitalization of the US based railroad corporation. If completed, the merger of the second and fourth oldest Class I railroads in North America and their holding companies would form the largest single railroad network in North America, reaching from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast to the Gulf Coast. On December 4, 2015, Norfolk Southern Corporation rejected Canadian Pacific Railway Limited's offer, but CP replied that it was "committed" to a merger with NS.
The interview procedure at Norfolk Southern Railway is straightforward. There is a basic skills assessment which covers topics including but not limited to reading, writing, speaking, and simple math. Applicants must bring their resume with them to the interview. Some applicants go through a email screening prior to progressing to an in person interview. Current employees have reported that it is important to show that you are capable of coping with stressful situations, working in a fast paced environment, have a flexible schedule, and communicating with colleagues. Once through the interview process, all new hires are required to go through a formal training.