Norfolk Southern Corporation participated in the location of 73 new industries and the expansion of 27 existing industries along its rail lines in 2011.

New plants and expansions announced in 2011 represented an investment of $9.5 billion by Norfolk Southern customers and are expected to create 6,800 jobs in the railroad’s territory, in future years potentially generating more than 152,000 carloads of new rail traffic annually.

Norfolk Southern assisted state and local government and economic development officials throughout 18 states in helping customers identify ideal locations for new and expanded facilities.

“The energy sector was once again a major contributor to these new plants and expansions,” said Newell Baker, assistant vice president industrial development.

“Norfolk Southern assisted in the location or expansion of 27 energy-related facilities in 15 states across our service area. Coal projects led the way, contributing 41 percent of the potential new rail traffic in future years.

“In addition, Marcellus Shale gas exploration projects increased in 2011, and we expect this trend to continue.

“Industrial investment along our rail lines in 2011 also was bolstered by strong rebounds in the metals and automotive sectors.”

The balance of other projects secured during 2011 was distributed among several of the broad product areas Norfolk Southern serves.