Norfolk Southern (NS) has announced the schedule of stops in 23 cities that its safety train will make in 2017. The safety train, which is part of the railroad's Operation Awareness & Response (OAR) program, will provide first responders with free training on responding to any railroad incident.
The safety train’s first stop will be in Hagerstown, Md., with three days of training at its NS’ rail terminal. Additional stops include communities in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina.
“We’re committed to moving all materials on our railroad safely,” stated John Irwin, NS assistant vice president safety and environmental. “Important components of our safety culture include building relationships with first responders in the 22 states where NS operates and providing in-person educational opportunities like the OAR train.”
The OAR safety train is composed of a 2,000-horsepower, 273-ton locomotive painted in honor of emergency responders; two boxcars converted into 30-seat classrooms; four tank cars, including DOT-105, DOT-111, DOT-112, and DOT-117; and two 89-foot flatcars used to transport intermodal containers.
The four-hour training sessions are recommended for representatives of fire and law enforcement departments; emergency medical services and hazmat response teams; military and homeland security personnel; and railroad customers and suppliers. Training sessions include classroom instruction and hands-on training inside a locomotive and on rail cars.
NS is a 16-time national TRANSCAER Achievement Award winner, which recognizes exceptional achievement in voluntary efforts by companies to help communities prepare and respond to incidents involving transport of hazardous materials. In 2016 NS provided training for approximately 5,600 emergency responders, government officials, and others in 18 states.