Norfolk Southern’s safety train will stop in 23 cities during 2017 as part of its Operation Awareness & Response (OAR) program, which provides first responders with free training on how to respond to a railroad incident.
The safety train kicks off March 21 in Hagerstown, Md., with three days of training at Norfolk Southern’s 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. The full schedule is available at the OAR program website, JoinNSOAR.com.
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 styles of tank cars: DOT-105, DOT-111, DOT-112, and DOT-117; and two 89-foot flatcars used to transport intermodal containers.
Each four-hour training session includes classroom instruction and hands-on training inside a locomotive and on rail cars. The 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.
“We’re committed to moving all materials on our railroad safely,” said John Irwin, Norfolk Southern 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.”
NS is a 16-time national TRANSCAER Achievement Award winner. The award recognizes exceptional achievement in voluntary efforts by companies to help communities prepare for and safely respond to incidents involving transport of hazardous materials.
During 2016 Norfolk Southern provided training for about 5,600 emergency responders, government officials, and others in 18 states. The training included classroom seminars, hands-on sessions with rolling stock, table-top simulations, full-scale drills, and exercises at training centers operated by NS and the Association of American Railroads. Norfolk Southern also was instrumental in developing the AskRail™ mobile app, which provides real time rail information to first responders.
About Norfolk Southern
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) 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.
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