Norfolk Southern Endorses National Safety Policy Recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board

NTSB Chair visits Norfolk Southern headquarters to discuss company's progress on safety initiatives

ATLANTA, July 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) today endorsed the national safety policy recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board as part of the agency's investigation of the 2023 East Palestine derailment. The recommendations align with safety initiatives currently underway at the railroad designed around the principles of accident prevention, mitigation, and response.

During her visit today, Chair Jennifer Homendy met with senior leadership to discuss Norfolk Southern's progress in implementing safety initiatives aligned to the NTSB report. She addressed more than 80 operational leaders during the railroad's Safety Summit, a three-day seminar bringing together labor leaders and field supervisors to enhance the company's safety culture.  She also toured Norfolk Southern's Network Operations Center and experienced a demonstration of RapidSOS, a technology designed to deliver immediate consist information to first responders.

"We have a deep respect for Chair Homendy and the important work of the NTSB. We appreciate her leadership, willingness to collaborate with us on next steps, and direct engagement with our operational leaders," said Alan H. Shaw, President and CEO of Norfolk Southern. "Norfolk Southern and the NTSB share the same goal when it comes to safety. We're committed to taking action that addresses their recommendations and to becoming the gold standard of safety for the industry."

The NTSB national safety policy recommendations include initiatives to improve the performance of defect detection systems, modernize the nationwide tank car fleet carrying certain types of hazardous materials, and quickly put critical real-time information in the hands of emergency responders. Norfolk Southern continues to support the goal of enacting bipartisan legislation that advances safety in the rail industry, including those safety policy initiatives aligned with the NTSB recommendations.

Over the last 16 months Norfolk Southern led the industry in implementing many safety enhancements and technologies that align with the NTSB recommendations. The company has:

  • Become the first railroad to partner with RapidSOS, a digital platform that connects devices over 16,000 emergency response agencies to immediately provide first responders with real-time access to train consists, train locations, and emergency response protocols.
  • Continued to advocate for more expedited phasing out of DOT-111 tank cars than federal regulations have provided given our role as a common carrier under which we are obligated to accept DOT-111 tank cars.
  • Announced the formation of a Vent and Burn Workgroup—an element of the recent settlement with DOJ and U.S. EPA pending court approval—to assess current practices and protocols to improve coordination for future events where a vent and burn may be necessary. Norfolk Southern, with input from the Workgroup, will develop a Vent and Burn Coordination Procedure that could serve as an industry standard.
  • Launched and implemented a Six-Point Safety Plan including:
    • Installing 190 out of a planned 250+ additional hot bearing detectors, reducing core network average distance between detectors to approximately 12 miles;
    • Quadrupling acoustic bearing detectors;
    • Developing and deploying Digital Train Inspection Portals, using ultra-high-resolution cameras and machine vision; and
    • Investing in next-generation inspection technology.
  • Continued to invest significant resources in training first responders on hazmat response.
    • Broke ground on a new regional first responder training center in East Palestine, Ohio and will invest $25 million in the new center.
    • Continued to provide classroom and online resources, tabletop drills, and full-scale exercises to help responders prepare for incidents through our OAR program.
    • Participated in industry efforts to help communities develop emergency response plans.
  • In collaboration with labor unions, become the first Class I railroad to join the FRA's Confidential Close Call Reporting System.
  • Brought in world-class safety experts, AtkinsRéalis US Nuclear (ANS) to conduct an independent review and implement a 2-3 year roadmap of additional safety initiatives.

Additional information is available in Norfolk Southern's 2024 Midyear Report on Safety Accomplishments and Ongoing Initiatives.

About Norfolk Southern
Since 1827, Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) and its predecessor companies have safely moved the goods and materials that drive the U.S. economy. Today, it operates a customer-centric and operations-driven freight transportation network. Committed to furthering sustainability, Norfolk Southern helps its customers avoid approximately 15 million tons of yearly carbon emissions by shipping via rail. Its dedicated team members deliver more than 7 million carloads annually, from agriculture to consumer goods, and Norfolk Southern originates more automotive traffic than any other Class I Railroad. Norfolk Southern also has the most extensive intermodal network in the eastern U.S. It serves a majority of the country's population and manufacturing base, with connections to every major container port on the Atlantic coast as well as major ports in the Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes. Learn more by visiting

SOURCE Norfolk Southern Corporation

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