The 2018 programme is approximately $US 100m above what NS spent in 2017 with the main focus on core infrastructure.

During the railway’s 2017 fourth quarter earnings call, Mrs Cynthia Earhart, executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer, said this year's budget supports growth and the continuation of investment in core assets.

NS plans to spend $US 930m on track, bridges and communication systems; $US 345m on locomotives; $US 170m on facilities and terminals; $US 150m on technology; $US 140m on Positive Train Control; $US 60m on infrastructure; and $US 50m on freight wagons.

Mr James Squires, chairman, president and CEO, says NS aims to make smart, target investments in the year ahead. “We're open for growth and [there could be] additional investments if the returns are there,” Squires says. “We'll take our time, we'll do it right, we'll make sure that we maximise the returns from each-and-every dollar we put into the network.”