Norfolk Southern announces safety train schedule

RELATED TOPICS: NORFOLK SOUTHERN | SAFETY | EAST
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Norfolk Southern's new hazardous materials safety training train in Altoona, Pa.
Norfolk Southern
NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk Southern’s safety train will stop in 23 cities during 2018 as part of its Operation Awareness & Response program, which provides first responders with free training on how to safely respond to a potential rail incident.

The safety train kicked off today in Hattiesburg, Miss., with three days of training at Norfolk Southern’s rail yard there. Additional stops on the 2018 tour include communities in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The complete 2018 training schedule is available at the OAR website.

At each location, NS hazardous materials specialists lead a four-hour course that combines classroom instruction and hands-on training on a locomotive and rail cars. Emergency personnel attending the training learn about railroad operations, basic safety precautions, initial-response procedures, types of rail equipment, and who to contact in an emergency. Following completion of the course, qualified emergency responders can download AskRail, a free mobile application that provides immediate information about rail cars carrying hazardous materials should a rail incident occur.

“Our safety train is helping Norfolk Southern build and strengthen relationships with first responders across our network,” says 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 consists of a dedicated locomotive, two boxcars 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.

Each year, NS offers training to first responders in communities served by the railroad through programs such Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response, a national network that promotes the safe transportation and handling of hazardous materials. The OAR program builds on these efforts by providing additional training opportunities such as classroom seminars, web-based courses, on-line resources, table-top drills, and full-scale exercises.

— A Norfolk Southern news release. April 3, 2018.
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