Railroads Are a Lot More Efficient. Are They Also Less Safe?
In the world of railroading, keeping the trains moving is paramount, and Norfolk Southern Corp. has little tolerance for late departures.
Supervisors can be penalized for trains that are ready to leave but instead sit in rail yards, according to current and former employees of the Atlanta-based railroad. Train inspection time frames are tight. Employees who seek more-stringent reviews of rail equipment or slow down transport can face discipline.
Scott Wilcox, a sixth-generation railroader who is retired from Norfolk Southern, said its railcar inspectors used to have five to eight minutes to...