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Technology Outage Shuts Down Norfolk Southern's System

The network was restored by Monday evening, but the effects could linger for weeks.

A Norfolk Southern train in Pittsburgh, March 26, 2018.
A Norfolk Southern train in Pittsburgh, March 26, 2018.
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File

NEW YORK (AP) — Norfolk Southern railroad is recovering from a "hardware-related technology outage" that impacted its rail systems Monday, but there may be lingering effects for at least a couple of weeks.

The railroad said there is no indication that the outage was related to any cybersecurity incident.

All system functionality was restored by 7 p.m. Eastern on Monday, the company said, and it is bringing the rail network back online.

Norfolk has been in contact with its customers and is working Tuesday to get shipments where they need to be.

Norfolk Southern Corp., based in Atlanta, is in the crosshairs of federal regulators after a derailment in Ohio earlier this year led to a fiery, toxic chemical spill.

In a 143-page report this month, the Federal Railroad Administration said that Norfolk has made some improvements, but is nowhere near the "gold standard for safety." The railroad is too often only willing to meet minimum safety requirements, regulators said.

The agency has promised to conduct similar safety culture reviews at all the major freight railroads, including CSX, Union Pacific, BNSF, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Kansas City, but it hasn't set a timeline for those reviews.

Congress and regulators have called for all the major freight railroads to make a number of changes to improve safety but proposed legislation has stalled in the Senate and failed to get started in the Republican-controlled House.

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