Norfolk Southern Reviews

Updated July 27, 2014
Updated July 27, 2014
101 Reviews

3.4
101 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Norfolk Southern Chairman, CEO, and Director Wick Moorman IV
Wick Moorman IV
63 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • pay and benefits, if you brown nose management will leave you alone (in 8 reviews)

  • Great pay, solid support, unlimited ability to progress your career if you work hard (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is horrendous (in 6 reviews)

  • They expect you to bleed railroad 24/7 (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

14 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Trainmaster

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Norfolk Southern

    Pros

    Great pay and benefits. Work inside and out.

    Cons

    Long hours. Work nights and weekends and holidays. Quality of life sucks. Anything and everything is your fault.

  2.  

    Use to be great but getting worse by the year.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - One Thats Rumored to BE Contracted Out  in  Elkhart, IN
    Current Employee - One Thats Rumored to BE Contracted Out in Elkhart, IN

    I have been working at Norfolk Southern for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Descent benefits until healthcare started going south. Decent pay until taxes went thru the roof.

    Cons

    Deductibles on any hospital visits are way high. Of course someone has to pay for everyone thats getting free healthcare now. Norfolk Southern loves there contractors and would love to get rid of all there employees and just contract all the work out so as a worker you never really know how long your going to have a job. Morale is usually very low among employees because of the constant worries of contractors coming in also.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit trying to contract everyones jobs out and take care of the employees you have already. Workers that have been out there for 15 -40 years working injury free and helping you be the safest railroad in the country and then you just want to stick it to them and bring in a contractor to do there job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Nepotism Southern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Norfolk, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Norfolk, VA

    I worked at Norfolk Southern full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Fascinating industry; good retirement benefits; credible efforts to ensure employees understand the business, regardless of their function.

    Cons

    It's all about whom you know. Thoroughly unqualified people in leadership roles -- not only do they lack functional expertise, but they get away with behaving in ways that run completely counter to the values that NS supposedly holds dear. (HR is probably the worst offender in this space, believe it or not.) Abrasiveness, finger-pointing, lack of perspective regarding work-life balance and how anyone could possibly want to spend time with their families are the norm. If you're a CYA expert with friends in the right places, this is the company for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't use HR as a dumping ground for members of the good ol' boys club who are looking for a place to land. Try to remember that screaming, naked hostility and lack of work-life balance rarely bring out the best in people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    It is a really hard place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Norfolk Southern

    Pros

    Great pay compared to others

    Cons

    Long hours and bad management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Adjust to today's culture. Be concerned about your employees home life.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great pay, great benefits but thats it!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Service Management Trainee  in  Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Customer Service Management Trainee in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at Norfolk Southern full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great pay, great benefits, great pay, excellent chances for advancement (ONLY IF you have family that has retired, you have godparents/family friends pulling for you, or if you're a great brown noser)

    Cons

    Mentioned at the end of pros, no work-life balance (they expect for you to live and die for the railroad), generally monotonous work (in the service management group). Most people are miserable because they HAVE to stay to support their families (that great pay takes control). The micromanagement is INSANE (you have so many managers that they must be bored). People in management are there because of who their married to, who their father or grandfather was, and who their godparents or friends parents are. Hate to mention this, but there is also slight racism. Google the lawsuits.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I know you're trying to justify your positions by micromanaging, but stop. Why exactly do I need to report to 4 managers? Your lack of actual management skills, boring monotonous work and lack of a fair chance at advancement is driving the younger generation away.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    CYO

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Norfolk Southern full-time

    Pros

    Most of the clerks are nice

    Cons

    They work you to death. No one appreciates your contributions. They promote the wrong people

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the Director

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    IT Department: Toxic-Culture + Under-Performers = Lack of Quality and Innovation

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Developer  in  Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Senior Developer in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at Norfolk Southern as a contractor for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Fortune 500 company with reasonable budgets for capital investments. Relatively stable company which is not as affected by economic downturns.

    Cons

    There is a toxic culture of dishonesty, hypocrisy, sketchy agreements, lack of accountability and negative politics throughout the IT Leadership. Promotions are tenure-based -- not merit based. Performers are punished rather than rewarded.

    This environment attracts under-performers looking for an easy pension. Management is unwilling/unable to compensate top level talent with competitive salary ranges. Skilled IT-resources move on to better organizations while under-performers stay until retirement resulting in a perpetual "brain drain".

    As an organization, there is no desire to be anywhere but the middle or rear of the "pack" in regards to IT capabilities. Until a major cultural change occurs, this company's IT Department will always be an industry-lagger rather than industry-leader.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the culture. (start with Forbes article: "The Key to Changing Organizational Culture")

    Attract, reward and retain top-talent. (start with Dice article: "30 Ways to Attract or Repel the Very Best Employees in Tech")

    The rest will happen naturally...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Non family friendly completely money focused

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Locomotive Engineer  in  Roanoke, VA
    Current Employee - Locomotive Engineer in Roanoke, VA

    I have been working at Norfolk Southern full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Health Insurance was good for the first few years when we had no co pay, then we started paying 300+ a month for it. Descent pay check ,

    Cons

    Worked on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week, all weekends and holiday's, with no extra pay for working holiday. No time at all for family, they called you back to work after 10 hours rest, and you spent from 36 to 40 hours gone at a time. 120+ days a year in a hotel room. No where near enough pay for every thing you sacrifice. They always find a way to beat you out of your bonus's and you never got a pat on the back for working your hind end off. Always hiding in the bushes trying to catch you breaking a rule. Management at the local level was terrible. Twelve years of this and I called it quits!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give a fellow a Pat on the back once in a while, all we ever get is the negative. The only time you see a Supervisor was to tell you how you needed to do more and do better. Hire people in management that have a clue, the college grads you hire right out of college know nothing about the railroad, and they are suppose to be able to help you and 99% of the time I had forgotten more than they even knew about railroading!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    If you want no personal life, work for the railroad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Railroad Conductor  in  Bellevue, OH
    Former Employee - Railroad Conductor in Bellevue, OH

    I worked at Norfolk Southern full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Decent pay, Job is very simple overall

    Cons

    On Call 24/7 365, Common sense not prevalent in management circles

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Ridiculously Abusive Culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Trainmaster/Chief Dispatcher  in  McDonough, GA
    Former Employee - Trainmaster/Chief Dispatcher in McDonough, GA

    I worked at Norfolk Southern full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Pay is relatively well.
    Mobility due to large number of employees retiring.
    Unlimited potential if you're willing to set aside your private life and dignity.

    Cons

    You will work 24hrs/day with no sick, personal, or other time off.
    Vacation policy is terrible, considering you work 24/7. Operations employees get the same amount of off time as staff employees who work 40hr work weeks.
    Management has old school mentality that doesn't value employees.
    Education is worthless. NS relies on a large number of uneducated people who "can't" readily find comparable salaries.
    Relocations to unfavorable locations.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of Division Superintendents that are stifling innovation and running away educated supervisors who are not willing to put up with the abusive culture.
    Culture change is nice, but you will never get buy in from rank and file until the bad actors are gone. People will not suddenly start trusting officers with a history of unsavory conduct.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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