August 29, 2023

Norfolk Southern says outage impact could last weeks

Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) says its systems are back online after an outage impacted the railroad’s operations on Monday.

Service was restored around 7 p.m. Monday, according to a statement from the company, but the impacts could be felt for at least a couple of weeks.

In a statement, the company said there’s no indication the disruption was related to cybersecurity, noting it was a “hardware-related technology outage.” It impacted freight, commuter and passenger service.

“We are safely bringing our rail network back online,” the statement reads. “Throughout this, we have been in contact with our customers and will work with them on updated timing for their shipments.

Norfolk Southern is currently under scrutiny for its handling of the Feb. 3 derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. Thirty-eight rail cars derailed during the accident and a fire ensued, damaging an additional 12 cars. No fatalities or injuries were reported, although there was a 1-mile evacuation zone due to the release of hazardous materials. Days after the derailment, Norfolk Southern and officials decided to vent and burn the tank cars carrying vinyl chloride because of concerns that one of the cars could pose an explosion hazard. 

Earlier this month, the Federal Railroad Administration and the ​​Occupational Safety and Health Administration called on Norfolk Southern to review its safety practices, and the Railway Safety Act of 2023 is awaiting debate on the Senate floor.


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