Two Norfolk Southern rail employees using safety technology to enhance rail safety


At Norfolk Southern, everything starts with safety — including our relentless pursuit to advance safety technology. From AI to machine learning to the latest imaging capabilities, our rail safety technologies are leading the way to smarter, safer operations.

While innovative technologies keep the world in motion today, our team is developing the breakthroughs of tomorrow. We are committed to harnessing the power of technology to move forward — safely, efficiently, and more intelligently than ever before.

Autonomous Track Inspection

Building a Digital Twin of Our Network for Safer Tracks

As our trains transport goods across the nation, our cutting-edge, car-mounted imaging systems and AI models are busy inventorying every rail — including the manufacturer, year, size, and condition. We use this information to create a digital twin of our entire network. With this digital model, we can remotely analyze the condition of our rails and proactively address the safety of our tracks.

 Rail Stamping

AI-Powered Safety Planning

Harnessing Big Data to Predict the Future

Building on our extensive rail expertise, we’re using big data to make track safety even smarter. Our predictive AI models evaluate the digital twin of our network to look for patterns and plan for maintenance as rail conditions change. These rail-health algorithms, powered by machine learning, make it possible to predict the need for rail maintenance up to five years in the future.

What if a technology could evolve itself and become smarter on its own? As our AI models analyze the digital twin of our rail network over time, they learn, adapt, and optimize decision-making as conditions change.


predictive AI models analyzing every segment of rail in our network


reduction in industry hazmat derailments across the industry from 2002 to 2022 due to technology investments and innovation1

1. Federal Railroad Administration Rail Equipment Accident/Incident Data (Form 54) database 2022

Assistant Vice President Enterprise Data & Analytics

Mabby Amouie

“Our AI-powered models automatically evaluate and integrate new information, constantly evolving to make better predictions in the future. Being able to plan rail maintenance with this specificity has allowed us to enhance safety, prevent delays, and save millions of dollars.”


Powered by state-of-the-art imaging systems and the industry’s most advanced AI models, the future of train inspection has arrived — and we’re excited to lead the cutting edge. 

With our innovative digital train inspection technology, we’re turning finders into fixers by empowering our employees with more efficient tools, more precise information, and more powerful insights. An inspector’s job walking the length of a train to look for defects is labor-intensive and time-consuming — and there are critical parts of trains that a human inspector cannot see. By bringing together the power of people and technology, we are creating a safer railroad.

High-speed, high-resolution cameras along our network collect images of railcars from different angles as trains pass. Our industry-leading AI models look at these images to accurately and independently identify defects — and send an alert to our mechanical wayside desk for maintenance if a defect is found.

Close up of underside of rail car using digital train inspection rail safety technology

In our commitment to advancing safety and the future of railroad technology, we’re already working on the next innovations in digital train inspection. We recently partnered with the Georgia Tech Research Institute to develop and deploy next-generation, ultra-high-resolution camera and imaging systems.

Close up of underside of railcar showing digital train inspection safety technology

Committed to Safe Communities

Giving First Responders the Whole Picture

The free AskRail® app provides first responders across our network immediate access to accurate, timely railcar data. In an emergency, like a derailment, this app enables first responders to use a simple ID search to know if a railcar contains hazardous materials, giving them the information they need to respond.

Graphic of phone showing what’s inside railcar for safety technology AskRail app

Focused on the Future

Exploring What’s Next: The Possibilities of AI-Powered Asset Mapping

We transformed the way the industry monitors rail and inspects trains. Now we’re looking to our next safety innovation — mapping the world our trains travel through. Using railcar-mounted LiDAR and leading AI models, we're creating 3D maps of our network — complete with the location and dimensions of switches, crossings, and other assets. This precise, up-to-date digital map streamlines our route planning and maintenance, helping us proactively prevent collisions, derailments, and other safety risks.

 Close up of ipad showing ai-powered asset mapping safety technology

Safety First, Safety Always

Everything starts with safety. Find out how we protect our employees and the communities we serve.

Norfolk Southern employee who uses safety technology in safety vest and hat smiling