Norfolk Southern and Operation Lifesaver are bringing their Whistle-Stop safety train tour to Delaware and eastern and central Pennsylvania to stress the importance of public safety around railroad tracks.
The Keystone Whistle-Stop Safety Train starts in Delaware on Monday, June 23, and by Thursday, June 26, the train will have transited through communities such as Harrington, Dover, Newark, Pottstown, Reading, Lebanon, Harrisburg, Lewistown, Altoona, and Latrobe.
Since January 2011, Delaware has experienced 17 train vs. vehicle incidents at highway-rail grade crossings, and one pedestrian has been struck.
Over the same period, Pennsylvania has experienced 185 train vs. vehicle incidents. Between January and March 2014 alone, 21 incidents have occurred, compared with 9 during the same period in 2013. During this decade in Pennsylvania, 108 people have died while trespassing on railroad property and another 102 were injured.
“There is no more important time than now for public safety officials and entire communities to learn how people can stay safe and alive around railroad tracks and other property,” said Cayela Wimberly, NS’ grade crossing safety director.
“We need a strong partnership between the railroad companies and the communities to keep the public safe near railroad tracks, bridges, yards, and grade crossings,” added Thomas Algatt, state coordinator for Operation Lifesaver in Pennsylvania. “We need parents, educators, neighbors, railfans, and friends to spread the word – stay away from tracks, stay away from trains, stay safe, and stay alive. And we’re going to talk on the Keystone Whistle-Stop Safety Train about how you can have that conversation with the people you care about.”
The train includes two NS locomotives with the Operation Lifesaver logo displayed on their flanks, two vintage passenger cars, the NS Exhibit Car, and the NS Research and Test car. Passengers will include railroaders, Operation Lifesaver representatives, public safety advocates, and news media, all of who will observe via live video the train crew’s point-of-view as the train moves on the track and approaches grade crossings.
It’s the third such trip this year for Norfolk Southern and Operation Lifesaver on the NS network. A fourth trip is scheduled in Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri later this summer.
Operation Lifesaver (www.oli.org) is a national nonprofit safety organization whose mission is to end collisions, deaths, and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way.
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 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.
Pennsylvania Operation Lifesaver contact:
Thomas Algatt, 717-620-9788 (firstname.lastname@example.org)