Norfolk Southern Reviews | Glassdoor

Norfolk Southern Reviews

Updated November 21, 2017
530 reviews

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2.9
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Norfolk Southern Chairman, President and CEO James A. Squires
James A. Squires
27 Ratings

530 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The pay and benefits were best of the best (in 55 reviews)

  • Good pay for what you actually do (in 75 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is very one-sided (in 52 reviews)

  • Working long shifts and on call 24/7 365 (in 30 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "IT Helpdesk"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Care Agent in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Customer Care Agent in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Norfolk Southern full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The IT Helpdesk has a great work environment in Midtown Atlanta. They have great benefits, including great vacation allowance and 401K Plan.

    Cons

    Working at a 24/7 Helpdesk has its cons as my work week includes weekends and sometimes holidays, if there aren't enough volunteers.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Terrible!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Railroad Freight Conductor in Baltimore, OH
    Current Employee - Railroad Freight Conductor in Baltimore, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The crew in Baltimore is great!

    Cons

    Lowest paid in the industry.
    Management is always out to get you.
    Training program sucks.
    Baltimore Terminal sucks.

    Advice to Management

    Grow up. Youre dealing wit adults, not kids.

  3. "it sucks"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Conductor in Wilmington, DE
    Current Employee - Conductor in Wilmington, DE
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people that you work with is the best part of the job....but the company sucks ass!!!!!!

    Cons

    the management has no leadership skills, they automatically feel your in the wrong no matter what it is. The hide in the weeds to watch you, and catch you doing something wrong.

    Advice to Management

    If your thinking about hiring with them, give it a second thought, they suck!!!!!!


  4. Helpful (1)

    "The Job was great, Managment was very poor."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ashtabula, OH
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ashtabula, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good wages, not much else good the co-workers were in the same boat, a company that does not care about the employees

    Cons

    poor management. Poor disiplinary policies. a company that does not care about the employees. this is a company that only cares about the bottom line. you get hurt, you are in a war to get back to work.

    Advice to Management

    Start caring about the employees, they are your life blood. they are not just a human resource.


  5. "Hate it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Maintainer in Elkhart, IN
    Current Employee - Maintainer in Elkhart, IN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The money in good and the benefits for the family are good too. the secure job is also a plus

    Cons

    fear for your job. always having lower level supervisors lie to make them look good. The company allowing their lower managers fire people for non rule violations but for personal reasons.. this is a bad company... harsh tatics

    Advice to Management

    upper managers need to find out for themselves and not rely on the words of the lower managers who will say anything to keep their bonuses


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Bad Quality OF Life"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Trainmaster in South Bend, IN
    Current Employee - Trainmaster in South Bend, IN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Norfolk Southern full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    *On the management side they have wonderful medical benefits and great salary for those starting out.
    *Great retirement, if you can make it that far!!

    Cons

    * You work for the railroad and they are a 24hr operations.

    * The pay verses the hours does not work out well. Instead of dollars per hour it turns out to be pennies per hour

    *There are no sick days, no personal days, no set schedule in terminal's or line of road, no personal life allowed.

    *You are at their beck and call. 24hrs a day, it doesn't matter if you are at a ball game with your son or recital with your daughter your butt is theirs and you better not have your phone turned off.

    *If you are married stay away from this company because their is good possibility you want be married in a few short years.

    *If you are prior Military they take you for granted and use and abuse you because they think you will adapt to their unbalanced way of life and culture. I'm sorry but the military was more balanced in their way of life and culture than Norfolk Southern. The military took more time to care about the well being of you andvyour family.

    * The military supported your time with family, Norfolk Southern seems to see your family as a hindrance to their operations.

    Advice to Management

    Norfolk Southern is trying to change their way of life and it is appreciated because their needs to be major reform in the way of life. However, your reform isn't happen fast enough. I'm not willing to sacrifice my family as many have done in the past to make a buck. I'll go work at McDonald's making minimum wage if it means being able to spend more time with my family and not answering a phone at all hours of the night. If i could give one piece of advice to the upper level management I would have to say..."focus on your front line supervisors (B3-B4) make their lives better!


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Company treats its transportation employees terribly"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Railroad Freight Conductor in Danville, KY
    Former Employee - Railroad Freight Conductor in Danville, KY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Norfolk Southern full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Decent pay and good retirement

    Cons

    Terrible hours, on call 24/7, inexperienced trainmasters getting good workers in trouble for nothing, NS treats their employees worse than any company I've seen. To make matter worse, you're forced to pay into a Union that WILL NOT be there when you need them, they just want your money.

    Advice to Management

    Use common sense. I worked at NS for almost six years and was fired, terminated for good, kicked to the street curb because of a relatively small violation. A few weeks later I received dismissal letter. The union I was in (the corrupt UTU) never lifted a finger to help me despite the thousands of dollars I paid them to do just that. Management seemed not to care one bit about their decision, that I lost my job for no good reason considering others out there have done much worse and still have their job, and the big shots in Knoxville don't care one bit.

    NS tells their trainmasters to hide in the shadows and bushes in order to catch an employee breaking just one of their 10,000 rules so they can write them up, showing their superiors that they're good little workers by throwing their employees under the bus, 99% of the time for something so minor that their sanity should be questioned. I think they make a game out of it really, breaking their own safety rules in the process. NS also likes to cover up employee injury's so that they might win the Harriman safety award for another year, it makes them look better despite the injuries, and hopefully they'll never win it again because they don't deserve it.

    I bent over backwards for this company and made them a good worker for years, but they up and moved the job out of town, took away any chance of a future with the company, hired inexperienced trainmasters who don't know up from down, and then in return they fire me for absolutely nothing. Just look at the lawsuits against this company for wrongful termination!

  8. "pay is the only thing that keeps employees there"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    pay and benefits, if you brown nose management will leave you alone.

    Cons

    In the train and engine department, we employees are treated with no respect, threatened and intimidated. The new atmosphere the company brags about is worse then ever. Sexual harassment is constant, and the company blames the victim. when traveling I am away from home 60 to 100 hours a week, and am disaplined if I mark off because im too tired to safely run a train. If you complain you are labeled a trouble maker and the company does everything to fire you

    Advice to Management

    The company needs a real eeo program that all managers and union officals have to follow.t he company needs to honor their agreements and quit harassing employees. Im sure some departments are treated well but not transportation. When a trainmaster says he needs a crew to have a fatality so he can investigate it and move up in the company, the company has problems. Quit blaming victims and have real investigations into sexual assaults in the work place.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Demoralizing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    The company has a great benefits package and pretty good salary.

    Cons

    If you are a family oriented person then stay away from NS. They expect you to bleed railroad 24/7. You are always on call and heaven forbid you do not answer your phone in the middle of the night.

    For those of you who are military be it reserves or coming off active duty, the railroad is nothing like the your branch of service. NS says that they are military friendly when they are not. I was told by my asst superintendent that I could not go to my regular drill weekend because I had to work, his operations took priority. After a major phone call, I was able to attend drill that weekend.

    Advice to Management

    Your A.D.I. process doesn't work because no one buys into it.

    Before you turn a trainmaster loose make sure he or she knows how things work, his territory, and understands that people are going to work but if you hover over them they are going to slow down.

    When finding a replacement for a superintendent or what ever the case may be, look at the persons track history. Not just his rule violation history but, what his previous and current employess have to say about him or her. The good old boy system plays a hughe role in NS.

    I will never ever recommend this company!


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Conductor, RCO, Locomotive Engineer, Yardmaster"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Locomotive Engineer
    Former Employee - Locomotive Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Norfolk Southern full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great money for the amount of education.

    Cons

    Horrible working conditions. Hostile work environment. No organizational skills in daily operations. Waste of resources. Promotes toxic employees to remove them from departments. Business model preaches safety but safety is only a concern when someone gets hurt or breaks a rule. Bosses head hunt to reach bonus. Unpredictable management expectations. Resembles a Nazi Regime. Back stabbing is a must to survive. Unsafe work environment. Double standards. Family is 2nd work is 1st, no matter the emergency. Accelerated programs are designed to push people thru even if they're not technically qualified. Equipement is sub par or has mechanical band-Aid to get it to the next destination.

    Advice to Management

    Upper-management should reconsider their business culture and/or model and current managerial staff and make the proper cuts or changes needed. Treat people with respect. Practice what you preach. The cut throat model isn't working. That's why you have the ratings, the horrendous work attitude, and your turn over rate is so high. NS could be so much more than what it is. I love the job but dislike the supervisors I work next to not for. Oh and have a promotion structure. Promote from within and quit hiring college kids who have 0 experience and expect them to solve railroad problems. You're basically employing glorified clerks that cause problems for your operation.


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