Safety Train Educates 3,241 First Responders on its 2017 Tour (Video)

In 2017, Norfolk Southern provided training to 3,241 first responders across its network on the company’s safety train, a rolling learning lab that helps communities prepare for and safely respond to potential rail incidents.

The safety train visited 23 communities across 14 states during its 2017 tour, providing free training to firefighters, law enforcement, emergency management personnel, and other first responders.

(In keeping with a strong tradition of safety, Norfolk Southern recently rolled out a new educational train and website to help first responders across its network respond to potential rail-related incidents. Courtesy of Norfolk Southern Corp and YouTube)

“Safety is ingrained in all things at Norfolk Southern, but emergency response preparedness is something that stands apart,” said John Irwin, assistant vice president safety and environmental.

John Irwin, Norfolk Southern assistant vice president safety and environmental
John Irwin, Norfolk Southern assistant vice president safety and environmental

“I want to thank all of the emergency responders across our system who took advantage of this opportunity over the past year to experience the hands-on training on our hazmat safety train.”

During the safety train’s final stop of the year, Nov. 27-Dec. 1 in Greensboro, North Carolina, firefighters participated in advanced tank car training on possible incidents involving the transport of hazardous materials.

Norfolk Southern started the tour in March in Hagerstown, Maryland, and along the way provided training to first responders in:

  • CressonKing of Prussia, and Allentown in Pennsylvania
  • Newark, Delaware.; Linden, New Jersey
  • Binghamton, New York
  • Cantonand Columbus in Ohio
  • South Bend, Indiana
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Roanoke and Bristol in Virginia
  • HuntsvilleBirmingham, and Tuscaloosa in Alabama
  • Slidell, Louisiana
  • Macon and Savannah in Georgia, and
  • Greenville and Charleston in South Carolina

(Learn More. Courtesy of Norfolk Southern Corp and YouTube)

Norfolk Southern rolled out the safety train in 2016 as part of the railroad’s commitment to safe operations in the communities it serves.

David Schoendorfer, NS manager hazardous materials, addresses a group of first responders last year during classroom training
David Schoendorfer, NS manager hazardous materials, addresses a
group of first responders last year during classroom training

The safety train consists of:

  • A dedicated locomotive
  • Two box cars converted into classrooms
  • Three tank cars used in transporting all types of chemicals, and
  • Two flat cars equipped with intermodal containers and multiple tank car valve arrangements that can simulate leaks

“Our safety train is helping Norfolk Southern build and strengthen relationships with first responders across our network,” said David Schoendorfer, system manager hazardous materials.

“We want them to be equipped with the tools and resources they need to safely do their jobs when responding to potential rail incidents. It’s all about helping our communities be prepared and safe.”

The train is part of Norfolk Southern’s “Operation Awareness and Response” program to connect first responders with training resources.

Part of the training focuses on AskRail™, a mobile application for first responders that provides real-time data about what rail cars are transporting, helping them make informed decisions when responding to a rail emergency.

(Learn More. The AskRail app is a safety tool for first responders that provides immediate access to accurate, timely data about what type of hazardous materials a railcar is carrying so they can make an informed decision about how to respond to a rail emergency. AskRail is a backup resource if information from the train conductor or train consist is not available. Courtesy of freightrailworks and YouTube)

Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary operates approximately 19,500 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers.

Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal, automotive, and industrial products.