Norfolk Southern launches six-point safety plan

The initiatives are based on the National Transportation Safety Board review, officials say

FILE - (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) (Gene J. Puskar, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Norfolk Southern has launched a six-point safety plan to immediately enhance the safety of its operations after the Ohio train derailment that raised concern across the country, officials said.

The six key points are based on the National Transportation Safety Board’s review, and will go into effect immediately, officials said. You can read an outline of the key points below.

The NTSB’s preliminary report traced the derailment and the initial fire to an overheated axle on one of the train’s cars. Later testing showed that aluminum covers over pressure relief valves melted, according to the release.

Additionally, officials said the NTSB found that the rail crew was operating the train in alignment with Norfolk Southern’s rules, that the train was going below the track speed limit, and that the wayside hot-bearing detectors were operating as designed.

Norfolk Southern’s six key points are as follows, according to their release:

  • Enhance the hot-bearing detector network: The company will check every location on its core network where the distance is more than 15 miles and create a plan to send more detectors where they are needed.
  • Pilot next-generation hot-bearing detectors: The company is working with manufacturers to speed up testing and implementation of safety technology.
  • Work with industry on practices for hot-bearing detectors: Norfolk Southern will work on a comprehensive review of standards and practices for hot-bearing detectors. They will also partner with other railroads to review best practices.
  • Deploy more acoustic-bearing detectors: The company will speed up the use of acoustic-bearing detectors and will add 13 new detectors into the mix.
  • Accelerate the Digital Train Inspection program: Norfolk Southern is partnering with Georgia Tech Research Institute to develop the next generation of the newest, most advanced safety inspection technology.
  • Support a strong safety culture: Norfolk Southern has agreed to join the Federal Railroad Administration’s Confidential Close Call Reporting System.

You can read more about their safety plan here.

About the Author:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.