Thursday, April 05, 2018

Norfolk Southern safety train to visit 23 cities in 15 states

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NS has announced its safety train will visit 23 cities throughout 2018. NS has announced its safety train will visit 23 cities throughout 2018. Norfolk Southern

Norfolk Southern (NS) has announced its safety train will visit 23 cities throughout 2018 as part of its Operation Awareness & Response program.

 

 

The free training is meant to inform first responders about how to safely respond to potential rail incidents.

"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 safety train kicked off its tour April 3, with three days of training to take place at NS' rail yard in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Additional stops on this year's safety train tour include visits to Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, NS said.

NS' hazardous materials specialists are expected to lead a four-hour course at each location that pairs classroom instruction with hands-on training on a locomotive and rail cars, the railroad said.

Emergency personnel who take part in the training will learn about railroad operations, safety precautions, response procedures and the various types of rail equipment.

After completing the course, qualified emergency responders will be able to download AskRail™, a free smartphone application that offers information about rail cars carrying hazardous materials to serve as a resource in the event of a rail incident, NS said.

The safety train itself includes a dedicated locomotive, two boxcars converted into classrooms, three tank cars that are used to transport various types of chemicals and two flat cars that are equipped with intermodal containers and multiple tank car valve arrangements and are capable of simulating leaks.

NS said it provides training sessions each year to first responders through programs such as the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response program, which is a national network that highlights the need for the safe transportation of hazardous materials.

The OAR program offers additional training sessions including seminars, online courses and resources, table-top drills and full-scale exercises, NS said.

The 2018 training schedule is available at the OAR website.