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Blowing Past Its Own Records, Norfolk Southern's "pier Without Peer" Sets New U.S. Coal Transload Benchmark

NORFOLK, Va., Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- It's been an eventful month at Norfolk Southern's (NYSE: NSC) Pier 6 at Lamberts Point, as the railroad's coal transload facility again has loaded a record amount of coal into a single ocean-going vessel.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130918/MM82030-a )

On Sept. 21, NS employees finished loading 168,977 net tons of coking coal into the M/V Negonego, destined for use by integrated steel producers in China. That's a record not only for Pier 6, but also for the entire U.S., where Pier 6 is the top performer among more than a dozen export terminals on the East, Gulf, and West coasts.

"I can give you 450 individual reasons behind this achievement," said Jeff Yates, NS superintendent of terminals. "Our Lamberts Point employees are passionate about safety, service, and productivity. That's how they loaded the M/V Negonego in an astonishingly fast 40 hours and 45 minutes."

T. Parker Host Inc. was the vessel agent. The coal was shipped by Xcoal Energy and Resources in 1,592 railroad coal cars. XCoal CEO Ernie Thrasher said, "Everyone from the miners at the Buchanan Mine to the employees at NS contributed to this record. They work every day to sustain our business, and they deserve the credit."

The previous Pier 6 loading record was set just a couple of days prior, on Sept. 18, when 166,840 net tons of metallurgical coal were loaded into the M/V China Pioneer, just as Pier 6 was celebrating its 50 th anniversary.

"Pier 6 truly is a 'pier without peer,'" said Mark H. Bower, NS group vice president, export, metallurgical, and industrial coal marketing. "America has 25 percent of the world's known recoverable coal reserves – more energy than all the oil in the Middle East. NS and our production and sales partners are the reliable team for getting that coal to the world's utilities and coke plants."

Norfolk Southern has been transferring coal and coke from railroad cars into ocean-going export and domestic vessels in the Lamberts Point area since 1884, when it opened Pier 1. In the first half of the 1900s, new Piers 2-5 featured improvements in speed and capacity and even loaded coal into a number of famous vessels, such as those used in Admiral Byrd's 1933 Antarctica expedition.

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