The Norfolk Southern Railway (reporting mark NS) is a Class I railroad in the United States. With headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, the company operates a route of 21,500 miles (34,600 km) in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia, and has rights in Canada over the Albany to Montréal route of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and previously on CN from Buffalo to St. Thomas. NS is responsible for maintaining 26,300 miles (42,300 km), with the remainder being operated under trackage rights from other parties responsible for maintenance. The most common commodity hauled on the railway is coal ...
from mines in Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The railway also offers the largest intermodal network in eastern North America.
NS is a major transporter of domestic and export coal. The railway's major sources of the mineral are located in: Pennsylvania's Cambria and Indiana counties, as well as the Monongahela Valley; West Virginia; and the Appalachia regions of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. In Pennsylvania, NS also receives coal through interchange with R.J. Corman Railroad/Pennsylvania Lines at Cresson, Pennsylvania, originating in the "Clearfield Cluster". NS's export of West Virginia bituminous coal begins transport on portions of the well-engineered former Virginian Railway and the former N&W double-tracked line in Eastern Virginia to its Lambert's Point coal pier on Hampton Roads at Norfolk. Coal transported by NS is thus exported to steel mills and power plants around the world. The company is also a major transporter of auto parts and completed vehicles. It operates intermodal container and TOFC (trailer on flat car) trains, some in conjunction with other railways. NS was the first railway to employ roadrailers which are highway truck trailers with interchangeable wheel sets.