Quarterly earnings and revenue numbers that fell short of analyst expectations sent freight-rail giant Norfolk Southern's stock price veering off the tracks.

Shares of Norfolk Southern (NSC) - Get Report  were trading 4.4% lower at $187.99 after the company reported earnings per share of $2.70, below the $2.79 estimate of analysts surveyed by FactSet.

The Norfolk, Va., freight railroad's revenue came in at $2.93 billion, compared with the FactSet estimate of $2.95 billion.

In another worrying sign for investors, Norfolk Southern saw rail-shipping volume decline in some key categories, with intermodal revenue dropping 1.4% to $701 million, merchandise volume slipping 3% and coal falling 6%.

Despite the drop in the volume of freight and the earnings and revenue misses, Norfolk Southern did see significant year-over-year increases across its balance sheet.

Lower fuel and other expenses helped drive up net income 2% during the quarter to $722 million, while earnings per share were 8% higher than they were a year earlier.